Homepage Forums Reframing fusion, managing expectations A funny thing happened on the way to the future…

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  • #917
    AvatarRezwan
    Member

    This is a classic frame that fusionistas need to explore.

    There was a time when the planet’s future looked bright. Now it feels like we’re struggling to just keep our heads above water.

    Fusion can take us beyond sustainability. Energy plus…

    Other energy solutions may work, but will keep us at status quo.

    OK, I haven’t nailed this frame. You know what I’m talking about though, right?

    #8028
    AvatarTulse
    Participant

    Rezwan wrote: You know what I’m talking about though, right?

    Focus fusion jet packs? 🙂

    #8034
    Avatarzapkitty
    Member

    Tulse wrote:

    You know what I’m talking about though, right?

    Focus fusion jet packs? 🙂

    … errr… even a flying car would be a bit too small for the currently proposed DPF specs… a flying mobile home, perhaps?

    #8035
    AvatarRezwan
    Member

    Uh, no. You guys are getting too literal and technical.

    I’m referring to the promise of unlimited energy from fusion – and the gleaming shiny cities on a hill and space travel and Earth as garden paradise that that implies – vs. the pervasive expectation people seem to have of apocalypse in our time.

    Of course, fusion has always suggested this possibility, and has not delivered for 60 years, so people chalk it up to a mythic thing, like a unicorn. Is it a unicorn? Dare we dream of a bright future.

    Of course, books have been written about this that suggest that even without fusion, stuff is getting better over all – incrementally.

    What I want to see is a clear picture of how fusion goes above and beyond “stuff getting better incrementally, but watch out for apocalypse.”

    #8040
    AvatarJShell
    Member

    Well, I see the story as a little bit different than just “lets develop FF so that the world has cheap energy”

    I think its an issue of climate change and developing a form of renewable energy that could be cheaper than coal and fossil fuels. I think focus fusion is necessary because

    1) Coal, oil, and natural gas for electricity and transportation are major emitters of greenhouse gasses, and the primary sources of energy for most of the developed world. Given the current economic situation, wind and solar are too expensive to replace fossil fuels. They’re also too intermittent and dispersed to replace the energy needs of major cities. Nuclear fission creates nuclear waste problems, and many nuclear fusion projects are a long way from breakeven.

    2) Developing countries feel that they can’t afford to pay more for renewable energy because they’re trying to get themselves out of poverty. Yet, China’s CO2 emissions already equals that of the US. If they continue on their current path, the world will never stop emitting greenhouse gasses.

    3) Thus FF could be a way of reducing emissions dramatically by undercutting coal-fired power plants, as an insurance policy against the possibility of future damages wrought by a changing climate.

    #8042
    Avatarzapkitty
    Member

    And the problem with that is that the massive and unrelenting corporate funding of climate change denialism has created a class of people who have honest and serious doubts about the concept of human influence on the global climate and are extremely vocal about it… while remaining blissfully unaware that they have created a self-perpetuating and self-repairing belief system that exists to further oligarchic talking points…

    #8047
    AvatarAeronaut
    Member

    I’d hazard a guess that the average person has no idea how plentiful, cheap, clean energy is going to help improve his or her world. It requires too much imagination without a benefit such as paying 1/20th of their current electric bill. And in the winter, something like 1/20 of their heating bill. Those make effective carrots worthy of some extra thought.

    #8051
    Avatarzapkitty
    Member

    Aeronaut wrote: I’d hazard a guess that the average person has no idea how plentiful, cheap, clean energy is going to help improve his or her world. It requires too much imagination without a benefit such as paying 1/20th of their current electric bill. And in the winter, something like 1/20 of their heating bill. Those make effective carrots worthy of some extra thought.

    … so what you’re saying is that we need is a grassroots combination of an Atoms For Peace program (this time with a reality-based set of projections) and a Five Year Plan for the Effects of Fusion on the Global Economy (this time based on an economic model that bears some relation to reality)… I’ll get right on that… 😉

    #8059
    AvatarDr_Barnowl
    Member

    How about a scene of the future… a vast green forest (of young trees) with a gleaming city poking out of the horizon.

    There’s a clearing with a camp fire in the middle. An old geezer and his grandson are camping. He’s saying ….

    “Of course, when I was a lad, all this was oil derricks and desert… until they built the fusion desalination plant.”

    Fusion. Energy to spare for the necessities.

    #8088
    AvatarIvy Matt
    Participant

    For some reason I’m reminded of this.

    #8106
    AvatarRezwan
    Member

    Dr_Barnowl wrote: How about a scene of the future… a vast green forest (of young trees) with a gleaming city poking out of the horizon.

    There’s a clearing with a camp fire in the middle. An old geezer and his grandson are camping. He’s saying ….

    “Of course, when I was a lad, all this was oil derricks and desert… until they built the fusion desalination plant.”

    Fusion. Energy to spare for the necessities.

    Yes! We need an image of the gleaming city. Anyone have an original gleaming image?

    #8107
    AvatarRezwan
    Member

    Ivy Matt wrote: For some reason I’m reminded of this.

    Hilarious. I would’ve liked to see a continuation of the rant.

    #8111
    Avatarjamesr
    Member

    Rezwan wrote:

    How about a scene of the future… a vast green forest (of young trees) with a gleaming city poking out of the horizon.

    There’s a clearing with a camp fire in the middle. An old geezer and his grandson are camping. He’s saying ….

    “Of course, when I was a lad, all this was oil derricks and desert… until they built the fusion desalination plant.”

    Fusion. Energy to spare for the necessities.

    Yes! We need an image of the gleaming city. Anyone have an original gleaming image?

    How about this?

    #8125
    AvatarRezwan
    Member

    Yikes. Logan’s run. Good point. Evil planned utopias aren’t the greatest sell.

    I’m thinking more like the wonderful scenes from Star Wars. Those were some amazing cities. Clean skies, nature, fantastic architecture. And then the core planets in Firefly. Xenon? Did they actually name the city Xenon. A lot more lively. And Fifth Element. Great artwork. Fun people.

    So, not some sterile city, but a city that has a networked society, and lots of cool architecture and progressive infill development : )

    Maybe a time lapse. Multiple possibilities.

    #8132
    AvatarTulse
    Participant

    Rezwan wrote: the core planets in Firefly. Xenon? Did they actually name the city Xenon.

    “Sihnon” (one of the two major core planets, and settled primarily by Chinese colonists, in contrast with “Londinium”, the other major core planet, which was settled primarily by by Western colonists). Of course, the Big Damn Heroes in Firefly are fighting against (or, more accurately, pulling crimes against) the core planets and their government, which is somewhat oppressive, however pretty the cities are. So again, it may not be a great example.

    (And yes, I know way too much about the Firefly ‘verse.)

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