Earth's Energy Problem by James Jaeger
The Earth is currently using about 16 terawatts of power each year. By the year 2050, the Earth will be using about 55 terawatts of power EACH year and by 2100 it will use almost 200 terawatts EACH year. This has been extrapolated from the usage curve since the 1790's so it's pretty assured. And there is NOTHING WRONG with a growing young civilization using ALL the power it wants, so long as it DOESN'T kill its host planet. The Universe is more than likely infinite as are ALL of the resources (including bandwidth on the electromagnetic spectrum, contrary to mythology and government-special interest propaganda).
The problem is this: by 2050 we will need 1,520 terawatt-years of power and by 2100 we will need 7,000 terawatt-years of power. That's a lot, but we have about 3,000 terawatt-years of fossil fuels that we KNOW about and another 7,000 terawatt-years of fossil fuels that we DON'T KNOW about still out there. Some simple arithmetic shows that we have enough fossil fuels to "keep us going" until some where between 2100 and 2125 and then the gasoline tank is flat on empty. But actually we're out of luck much sooner IF we keep burning all that crap and heating up the planet . . . as we are now OBVIOUSLY doing with the excessive CO2 emissions which are causing a greenhouse effect: contrary to whatever some are saying.
So, the bottom line is: we have enough fossil fuels to last us until at least 2100 but we are in a position where we MUST COMPLETELY STOP using them by NO LATER than 2025. Period. And anyone that tells you anything different should be ignored. And of course, all of the people connected with the oil and fossil fuel industries WILL probably be telling you different and they, of course, all need to be ignored.
So what is the only solution to our energy needs? Plasma Fusion. Not solar. Not wind. Not hydro electric. Not Fission. Not natural gas. Not nothing else. None of these clean other methods, as much as I dearly love the idea of solar and wind, etc., will be able to produce anything NEAR 10,000 terawatt-years of power (unless there is some sort of major technological breakthrough that is viable, such as possibly zero-point energy).
I guarantee the planet WILL need, want, demand and USE 10,000 terawatt-years of power over the next century. Count on it. Economizing will NOT work. Civilizations DON'T economize, unless they are succumbing. So, we MUST push the fusion (NOT fission) reactions to their sustainable points and get the job done. We are doing this now and should have it by this year, if not already. The reaction we need to ultimately get mastery over is the D-He3 reaction (Deuterium-Helium 3) because this is much cleaner than the Deuterium-Deuterium reaction (which eats away the walls of the outer chamber), in fact the D-He3 reaction is perfectly CLEAN and perfectly powerful, producing the highest energy-to-mass ratio of any reaction found in nature.
But here's the killer: There isn't any Helium 3 on Earth. Not a drop. Thus we HAVE to go to the Moon (and set up mining and science bases) because this is the closest place in the Solar System for the stuff. Thus we MUST start mining He3 off the Moon by the year 2010 and be totally routine with operations BY the year 2025 because the supply of He3 will probably only give us about 10,000 terawatt-years and MUCH of this power may be needed for large nuclear electric propulsion engines (and eventually fusion engines) that will be necessary to mine the gas giants, starting with Jupiter, where we will be able to tap another 5,600,000,000 terawatt-years of Helium 3 -- enough fuel to not only a) handle Earth for millennia, but b) explore and settle the Solar sys, c) tap the OTHER gas giants for their 8.3 billion terawatt-years of Helium 3 and d) give us enough rocket power to then begin exploring the next viable stellar system near the Solar Sys.
On the way to meeting these conditional, operating and production targets, we MUST keep the oil cartels, especially OPEC, of the world from totally screwing up a) the environment and b) suppressing the nuclear people who will get the planet shifted over to the new fuel system. There are no other ways. There is NO other program. It WILL be a battle, but the entire future of Earth depends on it and everyone should book-up on this and inform the planet's people and ask that they LISTEN TO THE SCIENCE and NOT to fossil fuel interests/politicians or to mystical and unrealistic alternative apologists.
Major labs say FUSION won't be available for about 10 years. In the meantime the 11 OPEC nations are going to be having a FIELD day with us -- not to mention they may get us involved in World War III to boot. I say the time to CUT our oil dependency is NOW. If anything, the terrorist attack of 11 September should be a clarion call to WAGE WAR on the ENERGY CRISIS -- NOT allow the Federal Reserve System to create more endless fiat currence to wage more war on Terrorism (so that the gov can use this as an excuse to more-perfectly strip us of our civil liberties). See "The Rothschild Formula."
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