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somerandomdude from Dark side of the moon Relationship Status: How YOU doin'?
Feb 18th 2014 at 8:27:45 AM

[up] The issue with that is that the reaction just doesn't produce nearly enough helium to fit the needs of modern industry (and it's used for just about every modern industry). This is because fusion is actually a very efficient process under ideal conditions (a single truckload of hydrogen could sustain a 1 GW fusion power station for a year).

So while it's possible that fusion reactions could be a source of helium, we'll still need to be mining it to meet industrial demand.

ok boomer
Feb 18th 2014 at 10:39:28 AM

[up] I don't think the intent was to get rid of helium mining but having additional sources is always nice, even if they are insignificant.

joesolo Indiana Solo Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
Indiana Solo
Feb 18th 2014 at 3:57:48 PM

A mix of both. Even insignificant amounts might be worth capturing and selling, depending on what the laws on emission of the stuff is.

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RadicalTaoist scratching at .8, just hopin' from the #GUniverse
scratching at .8, just hopin'
joesolo Indiana Solo Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
Indiana Solo
Feb 19th 2014 at 7:48:25 PM

If there's less to replace it makes replacing the rest easier. Not the only way though. We could power the world on solar right now if we really wanted to.

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TheHandle United Earth from Stockholm Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
United Earth
Mar 12th 2014 at 4:13:18 AM

[up][up]No we could not, unless you want to spend the night without electricity. We don't have the technology it takes to store the energy throughout the day and distribute it as needed. Otherwise, fossil fuels and nukes and such remain indispensable.

edited 12th Mar '14 4:13:58 AM by TheHandle

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
BestOf FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC! from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
Mar 12th 2014 at 5:54:05 AM

You can store solar power. There's some loss but you can actually generate power and store it in various ways. One of the more popular ones, if I'm not mistaken, is to use the excess electricity to pump water into a high container, from which it is then allowed to fall back down (powering a hydro-energy generator on the way) when the solar panels aren't producing power. As I said, there's some loss but it does work.

There are other ways to store energy, as well.

Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
TheHandle United Earth from Stockholm Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
United Earth
Mar 12th 2014 at 6:23:47 AM

[up]There aren't enough valleys in the world to store all the energy we'd need. There are storage options, but they're limited.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
joesolo Indiana Solo Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
Indiana Solo
Mar 12th 2014 at 6:29:32 AM

There's a difference between 'can't' and 'would be expensive'. As best said there are storage options, and besides that it is possible to lay power lines across oceans. With a global power grid we could use purely solar power without significant storage. Besides, demand at night is much lower.

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TheHandle United Earth from Stockholm Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
United Earth
Mar 12th 2014 at 7:41:15 AM

There are lots of technical difficulties with what you're suggesting (basically, Desertec's program). Electricity just doesn't carry over very well over very long distances. You gotta produce the energy locally, as much as possible.

edited 12th Mar '14 7:41:48 AM by TheHandle

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Joesolo Indiana Solo Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
Indiana Solo
Mar 12th 2014 at 8:29:09 AM

it COULD be done though. I didn't say it'd be the most effective thing.

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TheHandle United Earth from Stockholm Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
United Earth
Mar 22nd 2014 at 12:09:16 PM

Who?

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
BestOf FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC! from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
Mar 22nd 2014 at 8:19:20 PM

Jared Diamond is a sociologist who has recently gained a following, especially among people who are just getting into sociology. (I don't mean to imply that people who are already more involved in sociology aren't fans of his; I'm just saying that he seems to have gained a status as a sort of intro-level popular sociologist.)

He likes to write about the history and future of Western civilisation, from the perspective that our civilisation seems to be displaying many of the features that led to the fall of several empires of the past.

Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
RadicalTaoist scratching at .8, just hopin' from the #GUniverse
scratching at .8, just hopin'
Mar 22nd 2014 at 8:24:27 PM

His popularity as an entry-level source is probably due to his accessible and clear writing style; man knows how to put words to a page.

Collapse is super relevant to this thread, who's read it?

Share it so that people can get into this conversation, 'cause we're not the only ones who think like this.
rmctagg09 The Wanderer from Brooklyn, NY Relationship Status: I won't say I'm in love
TheHandle United Earth from Stockholm Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
United Earth
Apr 4th 2014 at 2:21:39 AM

I dunno, it sounds quacky on the surface. The Decline of the West-ish.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
MechWarrior from Long Island, NY Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Apr 5th 2014 at 12:38:51 PM

Scientists have been trying to tame fusion power for more than 50 years with little success. Although the National Ignition Facility, a $3.5-billion operation, was built for classified government research, half of its laser time was devoted to fusion with an aim to accelerate research. Zulfikar Najmudin, a plasma physicist at Imperial College, said: “These results will come as a huge relief to scientists at NIF, who were very sure they could have achieved this a few years ago.”

That's honestly a bigger budget than I expected them to have. Of course, I'm of the opinion that somewhere in the neighborhood of half the national budget should be earmarked for scientific research, but still. They're making good progress, all things considered. Hopefully they can get more attention, and thus money, and start to speed this up.

Apr 5th 2014 at 1:46:25 PM

@Best Of: I can't really say I'm a fan of most pop-science writers. But especially the political/sociology/evo-psych ones...Such crappy research and crass preaching. They're just selling what people like to believe.

Apr 9th 2014 at 5:39:37 AM

[[major threadhop]]

Here's an interesting thing. Great for carbon sequestration (actually carbon-reuse). Produces usable jet fuel for around $3 a gallon from seawater. http://www.nrl.navy.mil/media/news-releases/2014/scale-model-wwii-craft-takes-flight-with-fuel-from-the-sea-concept

Weird emphasis in the article title. Talks about model planes, like that's the important part, not the revolutionary fuel source.

Goal: Clear, Concise and Witty
demarquis Who Am I? from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
Apr 9th 2014 at 10:55:00 AM

That price is a projection, it's not commercially viable just yet.

To understand evil is not to excuse it
joesolo Indiana Solo Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
Indiana Solo
Apr 9th 2014 at 12:39:20 PM

Don't see what your saying, seems to me the 'fuel from sea' part carries weight

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