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Ed Moses: Clean Fusion Power This Decade

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poby4u Avatar
Posted: 11.16.10, 02:05 AM
@ David Cale: I fully empathize with you and feel your anxiety. In fact I have a kind of strange idea about the anxiety that I share with you. I will be happy if you can make time and read my blog posts here to get my drift. I hold some optimism for the outcome of the present malady, and I would sincerely request you to hold some yourself.
poby4u Avatar
Posted: 11.15.10, 08:25 AM
I tend to agree with Periergeia but from a different view point. The talk is great but I see a bit of American arrogance in projecting LIFE as a solution for the Climate Change crisis and the energy deficit scenario in order to go carbon neutral in 2/3 decades. I call that hardly an 'invention' but a technology upgrade basically - all fundamentals are long known. I have nothing against America or its people but it remains a fact that it's per capita energy consumption is absurdly high. I hope no developing country ever should make that a standard. By concept and design, if 'Life' is a research that transforms into technology, it will be a technology based on the same old capital intensive, high-tech and consumerist growth model. Even if it becomes commercially viable, I guess, it will only suit US. Just like its economy that flourished on debt and crumbled. The fundamental crisis that humanity is facing in terms of environment is Global, a solution of any part of it (be it energy, food, health) need to be global in true sense. The novelty seeking research with a national competitiveness sounds so lame at this point of transforming time. Dr. Mose's call to invent future is inspirational but I feel that invention is already ongoing and any particaul country need not necessarily be the leader in that picture. The future as I see it will be sort of organic, where the solutions to our problems will come from a radical change of view towards life and not from a groundbreaking technology to support a 20,000 watt lifestyle for a person. With regard to Dr. Moses's call to embrace 'Life', I humbly refuse it.
David Cale Avatar
David Cale
Posted: 10.29.10, 09:57 PM
Optimism is just another word for faith without enough knowledge to justify it.
David Cale Avatar
David Cale
Posted: 10.29.10, 09:37 PM
As a Canadian I really like the idea that the worlds nuclear weapon stockpile is getting more and more unreliable. The Tritium that is in those warheads has a short half life and as it decays away the fusion weapons viability becomes more and more unreliable. I like that idea very much. I suspect it means that the use of the world killing WMD stockpile that was never in Iraq but is in the US and Russia will eventually become less and less viable. Let us not keep them viable. Clearly we need to replace Carbon burning, but that is inevitable anyway as the fossil fuel reserves are depleted. On a short term note [If SUVs and light trucks were removed from manufacture around the world we would nearly double the efficiency of individual transportation.] If cars were taxed to pay for bio-degradation we would see a profound change, but even then... The odds are that the real change will come with a pandemic that kills off about 60-80% of human population (I hope its not me or my kids) now that would dramatically reduce carbon burning. Now I know that you are supposed to have the right to happiness but that is a pipe dream. No where in nature is that a truth. Just watch a lion eating a gazelle. I am not advocating producing a pandemic but anyone who has studied any biology knows they are part of the natural order on a local scale. The thing is that the whole world is now local. No one is going to have to make one it will just happen. We think we are so important individually but my fellow human we are not. I suppose if there is some maniacal god who will send fire instead of the flood that might also solve the problem. Thank god (irony) it is unlikely there is such a being with murderous designs on humanity. It will simply be nature, red of tooth and claw, which will do our species or those that evolve from us or others, the favour and reduce our numbers to a manageable level. Nuclear weapons on the other hand, used on a massive scale could simple snuff out all but the simplest life. I am a physicist who has spent his life in the field and I love the majesty of the universe, I fall on my knees in awe of its wonder. I just don't worship it. At this large scale stage fusion power, is a possibility but is not an inevitability and the odds that it will bring heaven on earth are very unlikely. Just think if we suddenly had massive amounts of cheap energy we would simply use the rest of the other non renewable resources more quickly and end up at the same place. Of course I am projecting the future and that has always been a mugs game, but if we simply put it in terms of odds, it looks impossible for the earth to sustain 7+ billion voracious consumers for at the outside, a century. There are just too many of us on this tiny planet and we are evolutionarily predisposed to consume as much as we can lay our hands on. I am 62 and may or may not see the collapse, but all you guys who think never ending growth is good remember the exponential curve. I shudder ever time I hear that the economy is growing. It just means that kissing your kids goodbye will be sooner rather than later.
Millennian Avatar
Posted: 10.12.10, 11:10 PM
I enjoy the math and the savings and the NO CARBON FUEL feature of NIF. My fear is that gravity will be adversely affected at some point in the implosion of the peppercorn, because it is the same rate of implosion as that of our solar star, and if mass is irrelative to that EMP, a gravity burst could be harmful to the planet's polar axis.
Prince of Lies Avatar
Prince of Lies
Posted: 08.09.10, 07:45 AM
As the speaker said, salt is very useful, why only take a grain of salt with his speech ... one just walks away not having been at a talk about science but rather a sales pitch. National defense, national pride, we are the best, lots of positive spin ... it just feels wrong, not enough genuine curiosity in it
bremont Avatar
Posted: 07.30.10, 06:24 PM
look at the sun how it works, look at human society it works the same way. a solar magnetic flares is face-book on human terms. however the collider in Switzerland is a bad idea, it creates magnetic fields like those on the sun, it shoots particles you cannot perceive, and it affects the magnetic core on the planet. the end result is a combination of heat on the atmosphere. this nuclear busyness is to complicated for you folks to actually understand it was a big mistake and a mistake born out of imagination. you use logic to understand issues that the actual logic cannot reason properly. confine to theory. before is to late.
Charlie O Avatar
Charlie O
Posted: 07.15.10, 10:49 AM
chawil: Are you among the people who were convinced that putting a man on the moon, or making a computer you could hold in your hand, or finding a practical use for the laser, were also "chimeras"? Just curious...
chawil Avatar
Posted: 07.14.10, 11:32 AM
And pigs will fly! I've heard this cant since the 1960s. "Just another 10 years and we'll be there". Just like the "lean burn" automobile engine, cold fusion which still has proponents and other chimera of the technocracy. A chimera, by the way, has the property that the closer you come to it the further it is from you.
arcs_n_sparks Avatar
Posted: 07.13.10, 07:03 PM
Interesting thread.... First, the problems LIFE proposes to solve were actually solved by ORNL over 40 years ago with their molten salt reactor. Lately, the liquid fluoride thorium reactor (the evolving name of the MSR) is gaining increased attention, and there are some Google Tech Talks worth watching on the topic. In particular, "The Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor: What Fusion Wanted To Be" by Joe Bonometti. Second, you cannot disconnect the politics of LIFE from the politics of NIF (and I do mean politics; not science, technology, or engineering). This is the photon tail wagging the nuclear dog, and is not totally unexpected if one understands how NIF was executed. I think the one thing that was unexpected is that LLNL, after subsidizing NIF and distorting internal values, would continue the process after the completion of NIF: the photon fatigue was clearly setting in. Third, there is a disproportional LIFE dialogue on the up-sides versus the down-sides (or challenges, or alternatives). That is partially because opponents of Ed Moses tend to have short half-lives, and LLNL is littered with them. Not the way to honestly compete in the arena of good ideas, and to solve important national problems.
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