As an elderly technologist who’s really concerned about the dramatically warming planet, I watch in horror as folks who lack any understanding of technology propose simply moving to more electric vehicles, etc., without realizing that electricity doesn’t simply magically come out of outlets in the wall or plugs at charging stations or that batteries are simply storage devices, not sources of electricity.
Planet-wide energy consumption has increased by a factor of over 70 times during my lifetime and continues on a steeply rising curve as population rises, advanced societies demand more and more stuff, and poor societies strive to catch up with them. This increase in demand hasn’t and won’t diminish or even stabilize.
Understanding that, I believe that the U.S. should initiate a large-scale “moonshot”-like program to perfect hydrogen fusion, which would enable us to generate vast amounts of electricity without pollution or radioactive waste, and move almost all energy consuming activities to electric power distributed via a greatly expanded grid supplied mostly by fusion generators supplemented by a little solar and wind generation.
All stars, including our sun, produce their energy by fusing hydrogen into helium —and so should we Earthlings. While there are scattered efforts under way in Europe and at MIT, etc., what’s needed is to perfect this technology as if our lives depend on it, because it probably does.
I’ll be happy to discuss this in some depth with anyone who might be interested and, hopefully, in a position to act before it’s too late.