TOWN DOWN

Trouble in Geothermia:

Staufen, in the Black Forest, was proud of its innovative geothermal power plan that was supposed to provide environmentally-friendly heating.

But only two weeks after contractors drilled down 460ft to extract heat from below the earth, large cracks have appeared in buildings as the town centre subsided about a third of an inch.

That’s not how Tim Flannery imagined things: “All of this would require a new city in the desert – let’s call it Geothermia. What might it look like? I imagine a solar collector towering over a low-rise city, providing shade and conserving soil moisture. Perhaps the infrastructure would be underground. Geothermia would be a city not of thousands but of hundreds of thousands – a place with its own critical mass.” Too much critical mass, as it turns out:

Michael Benitz, mayor of Staufen, said: “Will the earth continue to sink or is it going to stop? If it stops now, then we will have got away lightly. But if it continues, it could turn out to be quite bad.”

A similar experiment triggered a series of earthquakes near Basel in Switzerland last year.

Safer to live in the charming hamlet of Atomica.

(Via Liam B.)

Posted by Tim B. on 03/31/2008 at 09:53 PM
    1. imagine a solar collector towering over a low-rise city …

      Garrett?

      Posted by egg_ on 2008 03 31 at 10:08 PM • permalink

 

    1. Monorail!

      Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2008 03 31 at 10:13 PM • permalink

 

 

    1. I am Gaia,
      Hear me roar,
      As you’re sinking through the floor,
      When you bust my crust
      You know I’ll get revenge
      When you feel that magma flow,
      You will still have far to go,
      And no-one’s ever gonna keep me down agaiin..

      Posted by cuckoo on 2008 03 31 at 10:18 PM • permalink

 

    1. Not sure why my second-last link didn’t work!

      Posted by TimT on 2008 03 31 at 10:19 PM • permalink

 

    1. #2

      prescient

      Posted by Pickles on 2008 03 31 at 10:21 PM • permalink

 

    1. Perhaps the infrastructure would be underground.

      Morlocks?

      Posted by ptiusa on 2008 03 31 at 10:35 PM • permalink

 

    1. Meanwhile, a bear free Polarica beckons us home.

      Posted by RichS on 2008 03 31 at 10:52 PM • permalink

 

    1. Now the earth has a flat spot.

      Posted by rhhardin on 2008 03 31 at 11:02 PM • permalink

 

    1. With their puny energy reserves and limp wrists they will be no match for our nuclear might!  Huzzah!

      Posted by bondo on 2008 03 31 at 11:04 PM • permalink

 

    1. That’s not how Tim Flannery imagined things: “All of this would require a new city in the desert – let’s call it Geothermia. What might it look like? I imagine a solar collector towering over a low-rise city, providing shade and conserving soil moisture.”

      What might Paco’s “new city in the desert” look like? I imagine enormous Spanish colonial villas, with unemployed climatologists dressed in colorful Indian peasant garb, pounding corn meal and making fresh tacos for the patrones, and the occasional cool night air warmed with mesquite fires in solid stone fireplaces, and brandy and cigars after the beef rib roast, and double refrigerators (freon-cooled, none of that substitute stuff) filled with Mexican beer for the enjoyment of guests who will gather ‘round the plasma TV to watch NASCAR races on ESPN, and every house lit up with incandescent light bulbs, to honor God’s command, “Let there be light”, and four weeks paid vacation for the workers at the local plastic bag factory, and a marksmanship elective at the public high school.

      Posted by paco on 2008 03 31 at 11:26 PM • permalink

 

    1. I have this vision of the sturdy burghers standing on a wooden floor, industriously sawing around themselves…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2008 03 31 at 11:26 PM • permalink

 

    1. If Geothermia fails, there’s always Plan B: Coprophagia.

      Posted by anthony_r on 2008 03 31 at 11:26 PM • permalink

 

    1. So much for German engineering.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2008 03 31 at 11:46 PM • permalink

 

    1. Staufen: v. To locate geo-drilling activity too close to a town centre.

      Megastaufen: v. To pay too much attention to off-topic academics outta their league …

      Posted by egg_ on 2008 03 31 at 11:57 PM • permalink

 

    1. Thank jeebus Flannery hasn’t planned Geothermia in Egpyt?

      Posted by egg_ on 2008 03 31 at 11:58 PM • permalink

 

    1. I think I may sell my German car.

      Posted by Bishop on 2008 04 01 at 12:00 AM • permalink

 

    1. The start of a new underground railway to get rid of al themm gazzz guzzlers.
      How clever.

      Posted by watty on 2008 04 01 at 12:01 AM • permalink

 

    1. “Ve ver only followink ze direkzhons”

      Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2008 04 01 at 12:04 AM • permalink

 

    1. OT but really really really stupid so worth a look – these greenies are on the far side

      useless green design & disgusting as well

      Posted by KK on 2008 04 01 at 12:44 AM • permalink

 

    1. Michael Benitz Wile E. Coyote, mayor of Staufen, said: “Will the earth continue to sink or is it going to stop? If it stops now, then we will have got away lightly. But if it continues, it could turn out to be quite bad.”

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2008 04 01 at 12:59 AM • permalink

 

    1. Must’ve been that ACME* equipment.

      *ACME Drilling & Excavating, a wholly-owned subsidary of PACO Global Industries.

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2008 04 01 at 01:04 AM • permalink

 

    1. I’ve been involved with the Geothermal wells drilled out at Innaminka, South Australia.  It has been said by those in the know (ie Rock Doctors) that as soon as they start pumping water into the formations the release of CO2 will be 3 times greater than that of an average gas well over it’s lifetime.

      I don’t know if it’s true or not, but it does sound feasible.

      Posted by deadparrot on 2008 04 01 at 01:34 AM • permalink

 

    1. How do you “extract heat from below the earth”?  Wouldn’t that be—-space!

      Posted by yojimbo on 2008 04 01 at 01:36 AM • permalink

 

    1. Another global warming related tragedy.

      Posted by andycanuck on 2008 04 01 at 02:03 AM • permalink

 

    1. “Well, well, well – vot’s happened hier?”

      “Ja!”

      Posted by egg_ on 2008 04 01 at 02:03 AM • permalink

 

    1. #6 Brilliant, Pickles!

      Posted by Ash_ on 2008 04 01 at 02:05 AM • permalink

 

    1. #11.paco.
      Sir, you have just described, what I would imagine Utopia to be.

      Posted by BJM on 2008 04 01 at 02:06 AM • permalink

 

    1. Atomica?  You could move to Martinborough in New Zealand and live on Radium Street.

      Posted by brian_smaller on 2008 04 01 at 02:20 AM • permalink

 

    1. I am Gaia,
      Hear me roar,
      As you’re sinking through the floor,
      When you bust my crust
      You know I’ll get revenge
      When you feel that magma flow,
      You will still have far to go,
      And no-one’s ever gonna keep me down again…

      Or, to put it another way:

      Earth mother!
      (When she catches you you’re through!)
      Earth mother!
      (When she catches you you’re through!)

      (To the tune of Road Runner)

      Posted by TimT on 2008 04 01 at 02:41 AM • permalink

 

    1. Montgomery Burns has already done the solar screen shenanigan; wazza

      One would be happy to have a solar screen if flannery copped the same exit wounds as Burns.

      #23 deadparrot; your point has wings! Hot water flowing over rocks will tend to release CO2 because CO2 absorbtion tapers at higher temperatures and CO2 emissions exceed absorbtion; CO2 takeup is higher at low temp; the effect of running water over the hot rocks will be a release of CO2 which will enter the atmosphere at the top of the pipe.

      Posted by cohenite on 2008 04 01 at 02:43 AM • permalink

 

    1. I imagine a solar collector towering over a low-rise city, providing shade and conserving soil moisture.

      Kind of like the inside of a cave.

      Posted by bingbing on 2008 04 01 at 02:59 AM • permalink

 

    1. Why take the risk of having to move spent nuclear fuel around on trucks and rail cars here and there, looking for a place to put it?

      It’s a recipe for doomsday disaster.

      This time, I think we should listen to our green smokin’ friends and look for an Earth-friendly, Gaia approved geothermal energy alternative. So what if there was a little hiccup in the Black Forest. That doesn’t prove that we can’t find safe, cheap and unlimited energy sources just below the surface…

      Take for instance the Toba caldera on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. A few well placed exploratory drills could provide enough energy for the future needs of Indonesia, not to mention the potential to rapidly grow this emerging industry to supply markets well beyond the Asia Pacific rim.

      What could possibly go wrong?

      Posted by splice on 2008 04 01 at 03:10 AM • permalink

 

    1. #33 are you saying the super volcanoes of the past were caused by humans? By the way, mango spices are my favourite.

      Posted by cohenite on 2008 04 01 at 03:49 AM • permalink

 

    1. #34
      That’s a knotty problem. I’ll settle for any old splice.Midori is a favourite, with lots of ice.

      Posted by kae on 2008 04 01 at 03:59 AM • permalink

 

    1. #33

      What could possibly go wrong?

      I think it’ll be ace, as long as wronwright is nowhere near it…

      remember the lake?

      Posted by kae on 2008 04 01 at 04:10 AM • permalink

 

    1. I imagine a solar collector towering over a low-rise city, providing shade and conserving soil moisture. Even though rain never hits said soil, due to there being a fucking enormous solar panel right over the top of it.

      Posted by wreckage on 2008 04 01 at 04:19 AM • permalink

 

    1. #35; I’d be happy if I could spell the sweet thing. Do they make alchoholic splices? Having an alchohol permeated ice-covering of ice-cream would be different from pouring those alchohol syrups straight over the ice-cream. I suppose either would be ok to have while you were watching a super volcano.

      Posted by cohenite on 2008 04 01 at 04:36 AM • permalink

 

    1. splice.

      Reminds me of this one, Indonesian mud eruption.

      And these couple from our induction video at work.

      Hydrogen Sulphide.
      “Liberated when acid mine water
      corrodes metal sulphides.”
      Better make sure theres no sulphide type orebody nearby…

      Methane is a greenhouse gas of magnitudes more powerful than CO2.
      “Can be liberated from the sulphide ores
      when carbonaceous shale is penetrated”
      “When water is removed from the mine”

      Again with the sulphides and shale…

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2008 04 01 at 04:43 AM • permalink

 

    1. #38
      Midori Splice (you can now buy this drink like the Baccardi Breezers)I also like Midori sour (Midori and lemon juice, with lots of ice).

      Posted by kae on 2008 04 01 at 04:46 AM • permalink

 

    1. #34 Cohenite, I was just trying to make funny when I wrote that post.

      But it isn’t any joke when I think a little more about the idea of an awakened ancient caldera. To speak plainly, we have enemies whose method is to use fear to leverage advantage well above their military capabilities. The strategic goal is to force a population to succumb to the will of the aggressor.

      I’ll have my foot in my mouth for quite a while over this one.

      Posted by splice on 2008 04 01 at 05:15 AM • permalink

 

    1. #41; don’t worry splice, I married “an awakened ancient caldera” and I’m doing alright.

      #40 kae; I’m getting drunk reading your posts.

      Posted by cohenite on 2008 04 01 at 05:41 AM • permalink

 

    1. (To the tune of that Irish jig …)
      Take some Jiggery-Pokery,
      Flannelly Flannery,
      Add in a dash of
      Rock drilling, unmannerly
      Stirring of Gaia’s thin vestments
      Can, latterly, see you end up
      With your face in the mud.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2008 04 01 at 06:15 AM • permalink

 

    1. #19
      “Aber Hans, ich thought they said to drill a hole behind the Schmidt house …”

      Posted by egg_ on 2008 04 01 at 06:21 AM • permalink

 

    1. Guter Gott! Kommen Sie hier der MORLOCKS!

      Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2008 04 01 at 06:37 AM • permalink

 

    1. 3rd order of effects of the anti-Globallworming efforts.

      Yes, the entire town fell into the 30km sink-hole, but Hey! Carbon emmissions are down by 73%!
      We call this victory!

      Posted by Texas Bob on 2008 04 01 at 06:45 AM • permalink

 

    1. I’m cooking roast pork to keep the sand goblins away.

      It’s working!

      Posted by kae on 2008 04 01 at 06:55 AM • permalink

 

    1. #36 kae –

      I think it’ll be ace, as long as wronwright is nowhere near it…

      remember the lake?

      What about the lake?  Are you implying my mission was carried out in less than an exemplary fashion?

      It had to go somewhere kae.  I thought “what’s wrong with Asia?”

      Posted by wronwright on 2008 04 01 at 08:34 AM • permalink

 

    1. Geothermia?  How are you going to buld a city for hundreds of thousands of people underground without disturbing the indiginous natural rock and soil populations?

      Think about the countless billions of bacteria that would be displaced, and the entire subterranian ecosystem that would have to be destroyed.

      Posted by Jimmy the Dhimmi on 2008 04 01 at 09:58 AM • permalink

 

    1. #49

      Think about the countless billions of bacteria that would be displaced, and the entire subterranian ecosystem that would have to be destroyed.

      You’re making a joke, but I am convinced, with absolute certainty, that there are greenies who would make that exact claim.

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2008 04 01 at 10:29 AM • permalink

 

    1. #49 No worries Jimmy.  The econuts are only concerned with life with a cuteness factor of 7 or higher.  Of course, cuddliness is taken into consideration, but is not mandatory (ie: manatee).  Bacteria are neither cute nor cuddly and are therefore categorized (along with unborn human fetuses) as icky.

      Posted by Texas Bob on 2008 04 01 at 10:31 AM • permalink

 

    1. You’re making a joke, but I am convinced, with absolute certainty, that there are greenies who would make that exact claim.

      There are people who fret over the environmental damage we’ve done to the moon.

      Posted by Rob Crawford on 2008 04 01 at 11:52 AM • permalink

 

    1. Hmmmmm.

      Geothermia is sinking!

      Sounds like a great album cover.

      Posted by memomachine on 2008 04 01 at 12:06 PM • permalink

 

    1. #11 paco, that is a beautiful place.  Will we have polar bear sausages every other Sunday?

      Posted by ushie on 2008 04 01 at 12:17 PM • permalink

 

    1. #54: Absolutely! And stir-fried ivory-billed woodpecker giblets every Wednesday (depending on availability).

      Posted by paco on 2008 04 01 at 12:51 PM • permalink

 

    1. Town falls, can’t get up.

      Posted by mojo on 2008 04 01 at 12:57 PM • permalink

 

    1. #22 Spiny Norman –

      ACME Drilling & Excavating, a wholly-owned subsidary of PACO Global Industries.

      It is?  This certainly explains a lot.

      (wronwright looks around at his equipment, all of which sport ACME logos)

      Posted by wronwright on 2008 04 01 at 01:56 PM • permalink

 

    1. And just what might a nice modest condo in Paco’s “new city in the desert” cost?  Hmmm, this sounds to me like another time share sales pitch.  Where’s the dame from Three’s Company to help hawk the shares?

      Posted by wronwright on 2008 04 01 at 02:02 PM • permalink

 

    1. Gaia is getting her revenge for this Earth rape!

      /sarcasm.

      P.S. Can I sell PacoVille’s Mortgage Backed Securities to the Fed’

      Posted by Rob Read on 2008 04 01 at 02:45 PM • permalink

 

    1. “Will the earth continue to sink or is it going to stop?”

      According to my computer model, by the year 2100 the town of Staufen will have sunk over 800 feet into the earth. And as we have learned in recent years, computer models are never wrong.

      “I imagine a solar collector towering over a low-rise city, providing shade and conserving soil moisture.”

      Sounds like an ideal environment for fungus growth. I hope the inhabitants of your city like mushrooms, because they’re going to be growing on every square inch of ground.

      Posted by sundog on 2008 04 01 at 02:55 PM • permalink

 

    1. There are people who fret over the environmental damage we’ve done to the moon.

      And Mars.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2008 04 01 at 02:56 PM • permalink

 

    1. #57 wronwright

      What do you know about the, ummm… incident in frollicking’s link in #39?

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2008 04 01 at 03:09 PM • permalink

 

    1. I think it’ll be ace, as long as wronwright is nowhere near it…

      Relax, there’s no chance of that.  He was put in charge of that Sagoth training camp a week ago.

      Posted by Achillea on 2008 04 01 at 03:19 PM • permalink

 

    1. Geothermia? That rings bells!

      There was another delusional maniac   visionary who was going to build an ”…..ia” – seem to recall something happened along the way.

      Yup, gottit! Germania

      I know, Godwin’s Law (hangs head)

      Posted by Boss Hog on 2008 04 01 at 03:49 PM • permalink

 

    1. #39 Sounds a bit like the Door to Hell.

      Posted by jetson on 2008 04 01 at 03:55 PM • permalink

 

    1. that tim flannery is a regular dream weaver.

      Posted by vinny on 2008 04 01 at 03:58 PM • permalink

 

    1. Green cars that don’t exist?

      GFF asked GM officials if there is a danger in marketing fuels and vehicles that are not yet actually in the marketplace, and if such a campaign would raise expectations too high.

      “We think it’s important people understand, and hold us accountable for that, in terms of moving forward,” Butler says. “Is there a danger of over-promising? I think it’s a risk worth taking in terms of being able to still communicate what we‚Äôre doing and why we’re doing it.” Green Fuel

      Posted by jetson on 2008 04 01 at 04:01 PM • permalink

 

    1. #65

      Sounds a bit like the Door to Hell.

      It does, doesn’t it?

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2008 04 01 at 04:09 PM • permalink

 

    1. O/T: More ethnic outreach from the Reverend Jeremiah “Albatross” Wright.

      Posted by paco on 2008 04 01 at 05:09 PM • permalink

 

    1. Reminds me of Banjo Paterson’s Song of the Artesian Water

      And it’s time they heard us knocking on the roof of Satan’s dwellin’;
      But we’ll get artesian water if we cave the roof of hell in

      Posted by Renegade Lawyer on 2008 04 01 at 05:18 PM • permalink

 

    1. Man, I haven’t had a drink with Midori in it since the 80s. I used to love Midori…

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2008 04 01 at 06:08 PM • permalink

 

    1. My US friend from Florida intro’d me to Midori Sours, otherwise I’d nave never tried it, either, tooo sweet! (And I think it was the 80s, too!) I like the splices but with lots of ice otherwise they’re too sweet.

      Posted by kae on 2008 04 01 at 06:15 PM • permalink

 

    1. #69 He’s a tremendously nice guy, isn’t he Paco?

      Posted by Ash_ on 2008 04 01 at 09:21 PM • permalink

 

    1. BJM, Paco, re; #11—Sounds like the El Paso Hooter’s to me…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2008 04 01 at 09:48 PM • permalink

 

    1. I also like Midori sour (Midori and lemon juice, with lots of ice).

      One of my all-time favorite drinks, that.

      Posted by Achillea on 2008 04 01 at 10:06 PM • permalink

 

    1. Conspiracy theory A48c. Staufen subsides during a pagan ritual, and at the antipodean end in the McLaren Vale, a large wine tank topples over due to possible movement in one of its feet.

      Have the loonies made a connection: Is this Gaia’s perverted sense of humour, or is it a legacy due to Flummery having worked up the road? We live in interesting times.

      Posted by mehaul on 2008 04 01 at 10:40 PM • permalink

 

  1. #65, 68
    there are many gates to hell?

    Posted by missred on 2008 04 02 at 06:14 AM • permalink