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  • #5472
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    digh
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    Focus Fusion, once successfull, would probably be used to supplement big energy initially. But as long as its manufacture is not controlled/monopolized, you should see a shift to local and specific uses ie. buildings, towns and small plants. Now if we could just break up the banking/financial monoply we might be on our way to a better world. Also, lets hope its not to late to stabilize global warming.

    #5476
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    Phil’s Dad
    Member

    Define stabilize.

    Attached files

    #5477
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    digh
    Member

    There’s the rub. First we would have to keep the warming from increasing. A reversal might be desirable but realistically that isn’t practical even if all fossil fuel burning ceased in the next ten years. Even if we prevent it from getting worse (stabilize) there will be consequences ie. additional arctic meltdown, coastal flooding etc. etc. Focus Fusion along with other nuclear/green solutions can help and ultimately reverse global warming. However we may have to employ what Werner Von Braun called Planetary Engineering (Geoengineering) (Wikipedia) until they can have an impact.

    #5481
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    Phil’s Dad
    Member

    digh wrote: However we may have to employ what Werner Von Braun called Planetary Engineering (Geoengineering) (Wikipedia) until they can have an impact.

    If we get into that stuff we had better be sure we know what we are doing. For example according to the IPCC the Earth as a whole has become about 6-8% greener in twenty years. Consider the implications of reversing that just a little too much.

    #5487
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    digh
    Member

    There you have it unknown vs unintended consequences. If we manipulate at all it should be as minimal as possible, prevent ice cap meltdown if possible. Various Geoengineering solutions have been proposed:

    * Space shading via sunscreen

    * Pumping sulfur into the stratosphere as volcanoes do

    * Injecting sea salt into the atmosphere for shade

    See Scientific American Nov. 2008 Robert Kunzig. Massive reforestation is probably the most benign along with rapid conversion to Green technology in general. Focus Fusion would be especially desirable, once perfected, since it could be mass produced, widely distributed and sweep most alternatives aside based on economics.

    #5503
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    Phil’s Dad
    Member

    digh wrote: Massive reforestation is probably the most benign along with rapid conversion to Green technology in general. Focus Fusion would be especially desirable, once perfected, since it could be mass produced, widely distributed and sweep most alternatives aside based on economics.

    I agree totaly – while we wait for FF we should get on with the reforestation thing.

    #5822
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    Brian H
    Member

    Phil’s Dad wrote:

    Massive reforestation is probably the most benign along with rapid conversion to Green technology in general. Focus Fusion would be especially desirable, once perfected, since it could be mass produced, widely distributed and sweep most alternatives aside based on economics.

    I agree totaly – while we wait for FF we should get on with the reforestation thing.
    1) NA is more heavily forested now than when the Pilgrims arrived.
    2) There is evidence now showing that temperate forests do not reduce CO2 levels net-net.
    3) CO2 IR blockage is a non-issue; the first 20 ppm had as much effect as the next 400. Saturation was achieved billions of years ago.

    #5832
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    Rezwan
    Member

    Yes, reforestation is also biased towards trees and a bit Eurocentric. Don’t forget the grasslands. http://www.holisticmanagement.org That might be even more useful. Not so much for the CO2. It’s more about reducing erosion, building up the water table and just making the world that much prettier. If CO2 fears is what gets people to take the time to get ground cover going (again, grassland species are superior to trees in many environments), then bless those fears.

    After we get fusion up and running, grasslands will be my next environmental pursuit. Restoring the Middle East dustbowls. So much to do.

    #5833
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    Rezwan
    Member

    Yes, I think engineering solutions might tend to be a bit of overkill. We’d probably be surprised at how much a bit of gardening would improve the stability of micro-climates. Like redwood forests maintaining a steady temperature throughout the year. We’re so out of touch with the basics. I suppose many of us have killed any houseplant that came our way, so we’re a bit mystified by plants. Think engineering is less complex somehow.

    #5834
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    Henning
    Participant

    Rezwan wrote: After we get fusion up and running, grasslands will be my next environmental pursuit. Restoring the Middle East dustbowls. So much to do.

    Yepp. And my taking is, before colonizing Mars, finish colonizing Sahara first. I don’t care if Mars gets settled 1000 years from now, way after my lifespan.

    Mars is fine for robotic exploration (with computers outperforming human brain in twenty years anyway, like a recent survey of experts say – or let’s say in fifty years). There is no need for humans on extraterrestical planets, what couldn’t do robots better – giving one or two decades that are required to build stuff for a human expedition.

    And no high risk space elevator (yes Aero, that means you).

    Start with something useful, i.e. watering Sahara and surroundings.

    #5835
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    Aeronaut
    Member

    Henning wrote:

    After we get fusion up and running, grasslands will be my next environmental pursuit. Restoring the Middle East dustbowls. So much to do.

    Yepp. And my taking is, before colonizing Mars, finish colonizing Sahara first. I don’t care if Mars gets settled 1000 years from now, way after my lifespan.

    Mars is fine for robotic exploration (with computers outperforming human brain in twenty years anyway, like a recent survey of experts say – or let’s say in fifty years). There is no need for humans on extraterrestical planets, what couldn’t do robots better – giving one or two decades that are required to build stuff for a human expedition.

    And no high risk space elevator (yes Aero, that means you).

    Start with something useful, i.e. watering Sahara and surroundings.

    I fully agree that getting FF up, running, and performing useful work for real people is the first priority. My design strategy is to build thermal products that are designed so the X-ray converter bolts right in during normal scheduled maintenance. Which is going to boil down to a core swap out in the field for economic and regulatory reasons. At some point the net electric output option will make these retrofits irresistible to all FF owners. But I see a steep learning curve for onion makers, at least in the early year(s).

    Henning, I see the fusion frontier facing the same perception problem as space travel- most of the world is currently working from a limited resources world view. So the “glass half full” point of view is conspicuously missing, but only if you have the key to pretty much unlimited cheap, clean energy.

    Taken a step farther, FF may well need some custom-engineered nano materials to reach its fullest potential by consistently reducing the bulk and mass of the shielding. Capacitors are another area where custom-engineered materials research for FF could cross over into the SE tether’s development.

    And the last step is that when we get over the ‘need’ to reach orbit using chemical rockets, a whole new branch of the global economy is going to spring into existence. Returning NASA to its research and engineering roots was an excellent move in that direction, imho.

    #5863
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    digh
    Member

    There’s one element that gets lost in discussions of climate change be it excess co2 or cyclic, WATER! Climate change brings excess water where it’s not needed, ie. tsunamis, and arid conditions elsewhere. No water no forests or grasslands. The US is loosing half its western forests do to drier conditions. Don’t take my word for it just check the drastic increase in forest fires in the pacific/western areas. The firefighters out west believe in climate change. Solutions can get problematic but possibly trees and grasses that can proliferate in arid conditions could counter increases in desertification we also see in sub Sahara.

    #5864
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    Aeronaut
    Member

    Around 10 years ago it was El Nino that was screwing up the weather. Perceptions of the masses are managed- bought, sold, traded, etc.

    But the bottom line for this thread and the GW threads is that the single most important thing that we can do about all of the world’s challenges that rely on cheap, clean, and abundant energy is to get ff built and deployed in huge numbers. The ripple effects are going to be wondermous to behold. 🙂

    #5866
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    Brian H
    Member

    My big worry is that we will no longer be fighting against the dastardly corals and diatoms which have been sequestering CO2 in limestones and chalks for hundreds of millions of years, and have severely depleted the atmosphere. Perhaps we will need to set up special plants to burn coal to cook limestone etc. to make up for all the lost fossil fuel contributions. :ohh: :cheese:

    #5867
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    Aeronaut
    Member

    I doubt we have to worry about that in our lifetimes. Just take a look at all the pies that Babcock & Wilcox, Foster-Wheeler, and Bechtel have their hands in. :smirk:

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