This book sets forth a set of truly controversial and astonishing theories: First, it proposes that below the surface of the earth is a biosphere of greater mass and volume than the biosphere the total sum of living things on our planet's continents and in its oceans. Second, it proposes that the inhabitants of this subterranean biosphere are not plants or animals as we know them, but heat-loving bacteria that survive on a diet consisting solely of hydrocarbons that is, natural gas and petroleum. And third and perhaps most heretically, the book advances the stunning idea that most hydrocarbons on Earth are not the byproduct of biological debris ("fossil fuels"), but were a common constituent of the materials from which the earth itself was formed some 4.5 billion years ago. The implications are astounding. The theory proposes answers to often-asked questions: Is the deep hot biosphere where life originated, and do Mars and other seemingly barren planets contain deep biospheres? Even more provocatively, is it possible that there is an enormous store of hydrocarbons upwelling from deep within the earth that can provide us with abundant supplies of gas and petroleum? However far-fetched these ideas seem, they are supported by a growing body of evidence, and by the indisputable stature and seriousness Gold brings to any scientific debate. In this book we see a brilliant and boldly original thinker, increasingly a rarity in modern science, as he develops potentially revolutionary ideas about how our world works.
Over the last two decades, exploration of the deep subsurface biosphere has developed into a major research area. New findings constantly challenge our concepts of global biogeochemical cycles and the ultimate limits to life. In order to explain our observations from deep subsurface ecosystems it is necessary to develop truly interdisciplinary approaches, ranging from microbiology and geochemistry to physics and modeling. This book aims to bring together a wide variety of topics, covering the broad range of issues that are associated with deep biosphere exploration. Not only does the book present case studies of selected projects, but also treats questions arising from our current knowledge. Despite nearly two decades of research, there are still many boundaries to exploration caused by technical limitations and one section of the book is devoted to these technical challenges and the latest developments in this field. This volume will be of high interest to biologists, chemists and earth scientists all working on the deep biosphere.
This monograph contains articles based on the oral presentations given at the International Workshop on the Biosphere Origin and Evolution (BOE 2005) held in Novosibirsk, Russia, June 26-29, 2005. The organizers of the event were the Scientific Programme of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which involves 50 institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The production of biomethane, the renewable version of natural gas, from the biological conversion of organic matter at an industrial scale is fast advancing in several areas of the world. A confluence of factors is fueling the rapid expansion: cost-reducing continuous advances in the technology that make biomethane competitive to fossil natural gas, the emerging concerns over global warming and the need for developing renewable energy resources, and the looming peak oil consequences on the international political-economic stability and in particular the national security of the United States and several major energy importing nations. All types of organic wastes generated by our advanced society, as well as dedicated energy cash crops, can be and are employed separately or combined to produce this renewable fuel. Unlike other biofuels derived from limited food crops, biomethane is a universal natural fuel that is produced in a sustainable fashion because organic fertilizer as a coproduct of the conversion process is used to grow optimally the employed energy crops. Biomethane can be most effectively utilized as a replacement of gasoline and diesel in the transportation sector and is the only practical solution to do so in the foreseeable future. A biomethane-based road transportation system in the United States can generate over 1 trillion dollars in economic output and support 10 million direct and indirect green jobs in manufacturing, engineering, construction, farming, and services. Vision and political will are sufficient to mobilize the vast American natural resources, know-how and economy in order to effect full transition from oil dependency to an indigenous biomethane economy within twenty years.
A Critical Review by Scientists of How Physics and Astronomy Get Done
Author: Martín López Corredoira
Nobody should have a monopoly of the truth in this universe. The censorship and suppression of challenging ideas against the tide of mainstream research, the blacklisting of scientists, for instance, is neither the best way to do and filter science, nor to promote progress in the human knowledge. The removal of good and novel ideas from the scientific stage is very detrimental to the pursuit of the truth. There are instances in which a mere unqualified belief can occasionally be converted into a generally accepted scientific theory through the screening action of refereed literature and meetings planned by the scientific organizing committees and through the distribution of funds controlled by "club opinions". It leads to unitary paradigms and unitary thinking not necessarily associated to the unique truth. This is the topic of this book: to critically analyze the problems of the official (and sometimes illicit) mechanisms under which current science (physics and astronomy in particular) is being administered and filtered today, along with the onerous consequences these mechanisms have on all of us. Apart from the editors, Juan Miguel Campanario, Brian Martin, Wolfgang Kundt, J. Marvin Herndon, Marian Apostol, Halton C. Arp, Tom Van Flandern, Andrei P. Kirilyuk, Dmitri Rabounski and Henry H. Bauer, all of them professional researchers, reveal a pessimistic view of the miseries of the actual system, while a glimmer of hope remains in the "leitmotiv" claim towards the freedom in doing research and attaining an acceptable level of ethics in science.
The Atkins diet has transformed the lives of millions of people, revolutionizing grocery store shelves, restaurant menus, and dinner-table conversations. But there are questions beyond its efficacy and longevity. Is the Atkins diet a new wrinkle in capitalist exploitation or a twisted expression of negative body images? Is it a symbol of super-masculinity? Has the Atkins diet really been around for centuries under other names? Can it increase intelligence, or cause global warming and melt the polar ice caps? How does Atkins fit into Kant’s conception of the moral life, or Rousseau’s vision of a kinder, gentler human society? The Atkins Diet and Philosophy wittily explores these and other pressing questions in sixteen entertaining essays. Following the same fun, readable approach as earlier volumes in this series, this book uses philosophy to put the Atkins diet under the microscope, and uses the Atkins diet to teach vital philosophical lessons for life.
SETI -- the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence -- is undergoing something of a renaissance, and alongside the work of the scientists almost a million PC users round the world are participating in the SERENDIP IV project through the "SETI at Home" initiative from Berkeley University in California. This book is an up-to-date review of todays scientific thinking about where and how we might find life elsewhere in the universe, presented in Stuart Clarks easily read yet authoritative style.
This book is the comprehensive volume of the TAIGA (“a great river ” in Japanese) project. Supported by the Japanese government, the project examined the hypothesis that the subseafloor fluid advection system (subseafloor TAIGA) can be categorized into four types, TAIGAs of sulfur, hydrogen, carbon (methane), and iron, according to the most dominant reducing substance, and the chemolithoautotrophic bacteria/archaea that are inextricably associated with respective types of TAIGAs which are strongly affected by their geological background such as surrounding host rocks and tectonic settings. Sub-seafloor ecosystems are sustained by hydrothermal circulation or TAIGA that carry chemical energy to the chemosynthetic microbes living in an extreme environment. The results of the project have been summarized comprehensively in 50 chapters, and this book provides an overall introduction and relevant topics on the mid-ocean ridge system of the Indian Ocean and on the arc-backarc systems of the Southern Mariana Trough and Okinawa Trough.