'War Is a Matter of Preparation and Resources'

RECEIVED Fri., Oct. 19, 2012

Dear Editor,
    Quoting The New York Times again … tsk tsk [“Letters at 3am,” Oct. 19].
    Whoever wrote a story about a huge map people walk around on simply does not understand the military focus on logistics, training, money, and work hours. A lot of war fighters sit in offices, watch computer screens, and push buttons. War is a matter of preparation and resources. Most wars are won or lost years before the initiation of any combat operations.
    A search through Wikipedia on sodium hydroxide reveals that it absorbs water and carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. NaOH and HCl are made by salt water hydrolysis. Once the CO2 is absorbed, combining the now sodium carbonate and hydrochloric acid releases the CO2 and leaves salt water.
    If one hydrolyzes water and makes hydrogen, one can combine the hydrogen and CO2 into various hydrocarbons using plasma or the Sabatier process. Plasma tubes can be powered by the welding/plasma-cutting power units used by welders. Therefore, a largish wind turbine and hardware people could buy in secondhand stores would be enough to generate crude motor fuels, generally ethylene and propylene.
    While this is a simplification, each of the constituent elements is already well understood. The reason no one has put them together is that renewable energy sources have been extremely expensive until recently.
    By the time we get anywhere near World War III, this technology will have become cost-competitive.
Meredith Poor
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