R&D isn’t t violates Energy production it’s pre-production


Money doesn’t change the calculus – more fusion research doesn’t speed up commercialization



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Money doesn’t change the calculus – more fusion research doesn’t speed up commercialization


Hank Campbell, 10-15-2012, “Fusion In A Coffee Mug,” Science 2.0, http://www.science20.com/science_20/fusion_coffee_mug-95126

They are basically correct about one part. Fusion is not ready yet. It may be another 50 years before it is ready. But, as much as it will send some in the broad audience into hysterical shrieks to read it, we have that 50 years and it will be time well spent. CO2 from energy companies have plummeted and the dirtiest source, coal, is in steep decline and producing levels of emissions not seen since Reagan was in his first term. Our current energy is getting cleaner and nothing else is ready to take its place - we'd need to build a nuclear plant every day for the next 50 years to meet our energy needs and even then we can do it only because fission energy is relatively efficient; if we instead tried to use solar power, the environmental energy darling du jour, it would be close to impossible. The 'greenmail' and environmental lawsuits that appear every time a decent-sized solar plant is even proposed makes it too flaky in a nation that wants a reliable energy plan.(1) Politicians think about 'the now' and fusion is not exciting people, despite its potential. Like solar power, it's already been promised for 60 years and made no huge advances. If a president comes into power who is a believer, it may get tens of billions of dollars in subsidies thrown at it, like solar power has, but here on Science 2.0 we would still ridicule it because you can't just throw money at a company or a school and have a basic research miracle spring to life. It takes time, and mistakes, and increments, before anything revolutionary happens. Instead of invoking yet another Cold War military-industrial pipe dream - government loves to build "Manhattan Project of X" behemoths despite none of them working since the actual Manhattan Project - a smaller, nimbler, 21st century way of doing science makes more sense when it comes to fusion. Lots of programs that are outside Big Science may lead to a real breakthrough and aren't 'all or nothing' financially. It's being done now, in both corporate- and government-funded science, and one recent program may be worth getting excited about.




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