I've been reading up on peak oil and energy related matter's, partially because of bigby_wolf
's posts. Everything seems to be doom and gloom, and everyone's trying to convince you that there's no way out. I don't accept that. Thinking that way is a defeatist attitude that will prevent you from finding a solution. It would still be prudent to plan for not finding a solution, but the focus should be on finding a solution, not on retrenchement.
The otherwise seemingly exhaustive coverage at Life After The Oil Crash
mentions fusion only in a single paragraph and links to an article that has nothing to do with fusion power, only a nice example of cold fusion as a neutron source.
Fusion power is a reality. It's not a commercial reality, but that's primarily because of lack of funding. The US pulled out of the ITER project because of the political nature of funding international research. Funding for fusion is stupidly low, even though it's the most likely solution to the energy crisis. In fact, the US is spending more per day in Iraq than the year's budget for ITER project. I suppose they don't really want to solve the energy crisis, because that would prevent them from following their doomsday plans. Too many greenies feel the same way it seems. They'd rather go back to the stone age than admit technology can
save the day.
There are issues to be resolved, and it costs to solve them, but when the alternative is TEOTWAWKI
, why are billions of dollars a day being thrown at controlling oil reserves which we know will run out much more quickly, and not properly funding the most likely potential solution?
energy source , fusion is not infinitely sustainable (including solar, wind, you name it, none of it is infinitely sustainable), but estimates are that with current
designs there would be enough deuterium to last us for 150,000 years and enough lithium to last for sixty million years. One presumes that
amount of time would give us the opportunity to come up with something else. The safety issues are less than those of a coal or an oil-fired power plant. And that's even without the possibility of aneutronic fusion
I also think that Life After The Oil Crash
's dismissal of SPS
does not take into account the situation they are themselves describing. They say there are "technical and regulatory hurdles". The technical hurdles are again funding-based, they know how
to solve them but they don't have the money to do it. And again, surely a "regulatory issue", which is largely due to people being afraid that SPS systems could be used as orbital weapon platforms (whereas in fact the worse you're likely to get is bad sunburn if someone tries to use one as a weapon) and treaties controlling commercial exploitation of space, would surely be a non-issue in a TEOTWAWKI situation?
I feel the main problem is that science is no longer cool. People would prefer that we were reduced to the stone age and went back to being god-fearing peasants than have those nerdy scientists save them, and I think it's probably the most dangerous appearance of the "tall poppy syndrome" we've experienced.