How Much Fuel Can Your Descendants Use?



  1. When will the world wake up to Thomas Edison's brief statement made in1931. He said " I would bet all my money on the SUN and solar energy! What an incredible and never ending source of power!! I hope we don't have to wait until all the coal and oil run out before we tackle that fine idea!!!" And before we burn out our kids' future with those fossil fuels and/or unclear nuclear energy!!!! Human survival is going to require MAKING THE SUN OUR SOLE ENERGY-POWER SUPPLY!!!!!
    We have to make our ever-mounting biowaste messes into our major fuel supply by using pyrolysis on them instead of dumping them to be allowing energy and CO2 to escape needlessly by natural biodegradation. We need major reforestation to get trees growing and taking up CO2, and then when mature harvest them for lumber with waste parts getting pyrolyzed. And we need to be using already reported catalyst activated by sunlight to split water to get hydrogen, The Clean Fuel!!!

  2. I attended a conference last month. One of the presentations was by a gentleman (whose name I've forgotten) who works at Lockheed Martin's famous "Skunk Works." He stated in no uncertain terms that they would have a prototype fusion (yes, fusion) reactor, approximately the size of the trailer of a semi-tractor trailer rig, that would deliver 100 MW (yes, 100 megawatts) "within four years." Commercial production would follow within five years after that. It sounds like pie in the sky, but we're talking about Lockheed Martin and, in particular, Skunk Works. That brings at least a certain degree of instant credibility. Deeper details are here.

    Such a development would be, of course, of epically (spell check doesn't care for that construction but I looked it up) game-changing in ways too incredible to enumerate. I have done zero research on this effort and have no ability to state whether there's some obvious flaw, whether it's another clever way for Lockheed Martin to slop at the public trough (ref. the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, etc. Thus, I am not yet ready to go all-in on believing it, but I sure am ready to be ready.

  3. Elon Musk's batteries are starting to look good too.

    The trouble is not so much a lack of alternatives. We have alternatives already. The trouble is the alternatives have to be mighty cheap to shut down the fossil fuel industry altogether sans regulation.

    What's more, once fossil fuels are threatened, I expect all the anti-regulatory talk magically won't apply to their competitors.

  4. "What's more, once fossil fuels are threatened, I expect all the anti-regulatory talk magically won't apply to their competitors."

    Sure, that's what the free market is all about. Wait, what? Still though, it is true that there are alternatives, but a compact source delivering 2.3 megawatts/meter^2 (of course this is oversimplifying but still) is dramatically more compelling than a solar array or wind farm. And Lockheed Martin is as skilled at manipulating the political system to their ends as anyone and more skilled than most. And they can afford to purchase only the finest politicians and legislation.

    As I'm sure is obvious to readers and editors here, Musk's battery developments and such a reactor are hugely complementary. I will admit to being a Musk fan boy, to the extent of even not rejecting the Hyperloop concept of out hand. The thought that one can see a world that's dramatically less reliant on fossil fuels and in which the "you and me," "our kids," and "remaining budget for rest of mankind" slices are more than sufficient is exciting.

    Just like every other important problem, certainty with respect to the energetics and economics of fossil fuel production is incredibly difficult to fully grasp at a dilettante level but, as nearly as I can reckon, pricing will be on the side of such developments, as supergiant fields deplete and the each barrel or its equivalent becomes more difficult to acquire than the last.

    As I said, I'm not ready to declare that all of our troubles are behind us. Heck, even if both developments are real and both timelines accurate, I could go on and on about problems that these won't solve. Nevertheless, these are two things that lead me to believe that it may not be as bad as I'd previously thought.

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