Post End Of the World

Now that we’ve made it past the projected end of the world, I suppose it’s time to consider where do we go from here.  And those of you who were counting on Apophis, NASA has nailed the orbit down enough to know it will miss the Earth on the two next passes.

When I look back at the last 40 years, some things have changed and some haven’t.  There were no home computers in 1972, or all the computerized gadgets, no cellular phones let alone smartphones, no big screen TV’s, no video games, no CDs or DVDs.

There were no body searches just to take an airplane flight, no black list, fireworks were legal, we could actually celebrate our freedoms on the 4th of July, or New Years, or just whenever we felt the urge.  Long distance used to hugely expensive, overseas calls could be $15-$30 per minute.  You used to be able to have a wide choice in telephones, a model M500 desk phone, a “Princess” phone, or a “Trimline” phone.

It seems to me that one invention, the Integrated Circuit, is about 99% responsible for all the new technologies and changes to existing technologies, other than some rather modest incremental improvements.  Integrated circuits made central processing units and semi-conductor memory possible, which in turn made computers and their cousins, the microprocessor and digital signal processor possible.  These things made Smartphones, CD and DVD players, modern digital televisions, VOIP telephony which made long distance basically free, and much more.

So what will be the next big thing, the breakthrough technology that will make the next 50 years new gadgets possible?

And will the march away from freedom, the total annulment of the US Constitution, the march towards globalization, the continued increase in disparity between the wealthiest and the rest of the population, continue?  Or is it a pendulum that has swung too far in one direction and in time will swing the other way?  I sure hope so.  One thing totalitarian governments seem to be good at is suppressing creativity.

We’ve become a people that have become so obsessed with safety that we’ve become willing to trade everything else for it.  And yet, our obsession with it isn’t really providing it, not real safety.  Look at the 9/11 event, around 3,000 people died in that event.  Our response to that was to invade Iraq, which wasn’t responsible in any way to begin with, and we’ve lost another 4,000 plus US citizens according to official numbers there.  Unofficially we’ve lost more of course, anytime a soldier was seriously wounded, they’d be flown to Germany, and if they die there, they didn’t count against those war casualty numbers.  And that’s just soldiers, which doesn’t count all the security and supply line personnel outsources to private industry.

So our response was really not making us any more safe.  What it did do is gain control over some oil resources and waste a lot of oil.  We burned up more oil in air force operations over Iraq than Iraq produced, so in terms of getting our hands on oil, it was a net loss, but it shorted the world supply, driving prices up, and driving the profits of the oil companies up.

In 1972, I could freely enter and leave Canada, now, even if it weren’t for my crime, a passport would be required. This is all more fake safety.  Legitimate citizens will either just give up and not go, or they’ll go through all these new requirements to enter/leave Canada.  However, the terrorists will just take a boat and go from one port south of the Canadian border to one port North, or the other way around.  No real safety, just restrictions on our freedom.

Whether you believe 9/11 was the work of a bunch of pissed off terrorists, or a false flag operation aimed at getting support for taking away our freedoms, the latter was certainly the result.  So where are we going in the future?

The little RF ID chips we implant in dogs and cats so our lost pets can be returned, how long until they require these in humans?  Or will biometric-identification technologies such as retina scans and fingerprint scans provide the same capability, the absolute elimination of anonymity less invasively?

I used to feel like I had a pretty good feel for where things are going but not anymore.  I could never have anticipated the degree of apathy that exists with respect to our freedoms being taken away, or is it fear?  I don’t know, I just know I didn’t think people would ever allow themselves to be treated this way.

And then technologies, who could have anticipated the Integrated Circuit, all of it’s ramifications, and the incredible densities of electronics that are now possible?  And who can anticipate the next big thing?

I’ve always been fascinated by science and technology and I’m aware of some of the things in the pipeline and there are so many things now, ranging from technologies like nano-diode arrays capable of rectifying millimeter wavelengths that ordinary room temperatures radiate at, allowing background energy to be turned into electricity essentially violating the 2nd law of thermal-dynamics.  Right now it’s just very experimental, tiny chips that generate a few micro-amps of current by drawing heat from it’s surroundings. Even these small currents have applications for things like self-powered biological implants but more than that, they prove that something is flawed with our understanding of thermal dynamics and the assertion that we could never tap background heat or zero-point energy is wrong. How will that play out in the future?

Our understanding of genetics is rapidly evolving.  We used to believe about 97% of DNA was junk, now we know that not to be true, non-encoding DNA has other roles, one major role is to regulate encoding DNA.  We now have a field of epigenetics, we know that although the DNA itself in most cases does not change in response to the environment, there are other molecules attached that can change the expression of that DNA in response to environment.  Moreover, some of those changes can be passed on to future generations through mechanisms that we do not understand presently.  This new understanding of ourselves will no doubt lead to technological breakthroughs in the field of medicine.

I wonder how some of our laws and customs that have changed drastically in the last 100 years will effect our future well being as a species.  It used to be not uncommon to marry daughters off as soon as they reached puberty, now many women are delaying child bearing until their 30’s, putting establishing a career first a priority.  Around 1-in-2000 children born to a woman 16 years old will suffer autism, by 45, that’s around 1-in-20.  The same is true for many other genetic disorders.  By delaying child bearing to later years, we are increasing the rate of harmful genetic mutations being inserted into the human genome.  On the other hand, those that are born to an older woman and who are free of genetic defects are likely born to an individual who has better cellular DNA repair machinery, and in the long run will have an advantage, so perhaps this delayed child bearing ultimately will confer a longer life span on the human race.

The old saying, “that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”, is in many ways true of many environmental insults we suffer.  Sure it will kill a portion of us, but the world is in no danger of human underpopulation, well at least until we destroy the environment to the point where it can no longer produce enough food to support our numbers.

One big disappointment for me is that after getting to the moon, we just kind of stopped.  American’s curiosity, our fascination with space, science, discovering new things, seems to have evaporated.  It seems now all we care about is, can we make a profit with it?  And for what?  What are we gonna do with that profit?  Buy more cheap foreign made junk?

So I can’t predict where it’s going to go, I can only say where I’d like it to go.  I’d like people to recognize that wars are not, as often stated, always or even frequently religious in nature.  Wars are economic, they got something (like oil), we want it, but the leaders couldn’t get us fired up to go kill to take oil, that would be unethical, so instead they tell us God command it (Reagan, Bush), and our opponents tell their people the same thing, God commanded they kill the infidels, or at least enslave them.  In truth, neither leader believes that, they just want the resources the other side has, but they used God toward their ends.  I’m tired of God being blamed for man’s greed and I hope that, in the future, we come to realize this, and when one of our leaders tells us God told them to go kill someone, we’ll know better and remove that leader from power.

And even though it’s in the past, I happen to think the founders of this country put some pretty good ideas down in the constitution and we really ought to give serious thought to restoring those values.  That’s not to say our forefathers were angels, they certain were not, our constitution tells us all men are created equal, yet, many of them owned slaves.  None the less, the ideas that went into the constitution were good, and I think we should insist that our present government respect them.

I’d like to see our collective curiosity rejuvenated.  Sometimes I wonder if the Internet and all the new electronic gadgets aren’t responsible for it’s demise, because we have access to so much information, we are already in information overload, so going out and looking for more when we have more than we can digest already, the appeal to that is gone.  Yet, when we do real pure science, understand more about our nature and the nature of the universe we inhabit, there are always huge benefits to that.

Craftsmanship seems to be lost in the modern world, replaced by technology.  I’d like to see the two combined.  Most things we buy these days seem to be designed by accountants and marketeers, the aesthetics have much to be desired.

Speaking of marketeers, a very annoying recent trend is a vast increase in phone spam.  I get at least three random sales calls a day, often more, often by automated robots using VOIP telephone facilities.  I noticed that when Microsoft bought Skype, it seemed to take a quantum leap.  Coincidence? Maybe, but one doesn’t have to spend much time in Google to find cases of people being harassed by Skype and other VOIP calls.  The problem I think is that VOIP has made telephony almost as cheap as e-mail.  I don’t know any good fix for this.

There are lot of interesting things happening in the field of controlled hydrogen fusion, some new approaches generating temperatures that would make aneutronic fusion possible.  They haven’t achieved the necessary density yet, but who knows?  That’s one of those game changers, like the invention of the integrated circuit, it would change life as we know it.  I can see a lot of positive ways that things could change, but there are always unintended consequences and I wonder what those might be.

Well, some things to think about.  Goodnight all.

 

December 21st, 2012

I knew I’d be disappointed.  The world didn’t end December 21st as promised, and I’m still here to face the reality that is my life on this planet.  Oh well, it will end sooner or later, either collectively or for me alone, this journey.

I was thinking about why these end of the world theories are so popular, even when they’re totally absurd.  I think there is an appeal to not having to take the trip alone, to journey into the unknown with 8 billion other people is somehow less frightening than making the journey solo.  Of course, as a Christian, my home is for Christ to return and be pulled up into the heavens with Christ, but 2,000 years have passed without that happening yet, odds of it happening within my lifetime are slim.

But then what do odds have to do with it?  When you think of all the things that had to come together just right for life even to exist, let alone the intelligent complex life forms that we are, the odds are infinitesimal, yet, here we are.

It does seem to me since we don’t know how long it will be, and just out of respect for the creator, we ought to be taking better care of this planet than we are.  We’re here now, for how long we don’t know, so best make the best of what we have.

When I think back 40 years ago or so, I expected we would have either nuked ourselves out of existence by now, or we’d be far more advanced in every way, socially, technologically, spiritually, than we actually are.  While technology has improved in some areas, computers for example, it’s stagnated or deteriorated in others.  It’s almost impossible to get a decent stereo or guitar amp anymore for example.

And personal freedom, hell you can’t play music anymore without getting in trouble for being too loud, you can’t celebrate the 4th of July anymore, fireworks are illegal almost everywhere.  And yea, I know people do anyway, but the point is what’s the point of celebrating freedom we don’t have anymore.  The constitution isn’t worth the hemp paper it’s written on these days.

Art Bell used to theorize that people died when things changed so much they could no longer tolerate it anymore.  At times I feel close to that point.

It’s The End of The World (As We Know It)

nibiru-earth-300x206 Finally, it’s just a few hours away, December 21, 2012, the end of the Mayan calendar, or at least the end of the current long count.  For reasons which escape me many believe that’s the end of the world.

By which method?

Nibiru

A hypothetical planet that orbits our sun with an extremely elliptical comet-like orbit which crosses the Earth’s orbit causing all sorts of mayhem on it’s close approach, not visible yet.  If it were a comin’ we would have seen it by now.

Pole Shifts

There are two varieties, physical pole shifts where the actual land that was over say, the North pole, suddenly ends up at the equator, and magnetic pole shifts, where the North and South trade places, they threaten our doom, but really are they feasible and if so how threatening are they?

Magnetic

As it happens, magnetic pole shifts have occurred many times throughout Earth’s history and there is no relationships between pole shifts and mass extinction events.  Suggestions that we will die from radiation exposure if the magnetic field suddenly disappears during a pole shift are erroneous.  The Earth’s atmosphere is sufficiently thick that it provides adequate shielding even when no magnetic field is present.  It’s not 100% shielding, but it’s sufficient to limit the level of radiation to which we are exposed to safe levels, unless you’re flying in an aircraft mostly above the atmosphere.  Frequent flyers may get cooked.

Other things that might get cooked are our satellites.  There is already some indication that a magnetic pole shift is under way.  The rate of movement of the North magnetic pole has increased dramatically over the last 100 years and moving itself from Northern Canada towards Siberia, currently averaging 30-40 miles per year.  Also, there is a secondary north pole in the South Atlantic that is nearly as strong as the South pole, and largely cancels the magnetic field over that region. Over that area where there is no significant magnetic field to protect overflying satellites, several have suffered early radiation induced deaths.

So if the field continues to weaken, other similar anomalies pop-up, what we’re likely to see are several effects.  An increase in Aurora over lower latitudes as lines of force and charged particles from the sun that follow them, enter the atmosphere at non-traditional places.  An increase in power line problems as magnetic fields in flux induce huge currents of very low frequency and cook transformers.

Some species of migratory animals which rely on the Earth’s magnetic field for guidance may find themselves in trouble if the change happens too fast for them to adapt.  It could play havoc on human navigation with our GPS satellites cooked and compasses pointing to random locations.  We might have to go back to older technology such as Loran, which relies on fixed point radio transmitters on Earth, or even navigate by the stars.  A rapid pole shift could get exciting but it wouldn’t spell the end to our species.

Physical

There is anecdotal evidence of a physical pole shift in the Bible, where the day was extended, Joshua 10:13-14, and then there are the frozen Wooly Mammoth’s with bit’s of Apple still in their mouths in regions which are now arctic.  Something had to fast freeze them in order that they were frozen before they could even finish the Apple’s they were munching on.

There isn’t a lot of geological evidence for anything rapid; slow continental drift yes, but not in a few seconds or minutes massive drift.  Once you get to a depth of around 500 miles, the mantle is not really in a solid state, more of a super viscous liquid state.  So things can move, but slowly, because the viscosity of the material is very high.

So I’m not holding my breath for the world to end.  I won’t be losing sleep over it tonight.  In fact, I’ll be losing sleep over the fact that it won’t end and I’ll wake up and still have to deal with the realities of life tomorrow.  But those of you who believe it will, write me a check and drop it in the mail, tonight.

The Future Looks Rosy And Warm, And a Bit Shaky, and The Water Tastes Funny

Things are sure looking a lot different today with respect to peak oil, between drilling down and getting to the really deep and seemingly abundant oil, in places like the Gulf of Mexico, where the pressure is huge and bad things happened, and Fracking technology, it looks like we’ve got another 20-25 years before we really have to face the big crunch from a supply standpoint.

I was really hoping oil would price itself out of the market, as painful as that would have been, and we’d move on to something sustainable, or at least less environmentally destructive. But now it looks like we’re going to keep altering our atmosphere and changing the ocean chemistry until every living thing in it, save for some acid loving oxygen hating bacteria that will kick out hydrogen sulfide in great abundance, dies.

It bothers me that they won’t tell us what chemicals they use for fracking.  Guess as long as they get the oil and natural gas and people can go back to driving their Hummers, it really doesn’t matter.  Hell, if you can afford a Hummer you can afford bottled water and the rest of us can just die.

Hello world!

Hello folks. Google discontinued FTP Publishing after they took over blogger and I finally got around to upgrading our web server so we could run modern applications like WordPress and imported my old blogs into WordPress.

Unfortunately, only the bare text appears to have been imported, all the nice markup and everything else has been stripped.  But after I learn how to work this puppy I’ll get that stuff back in.

LED Street Lighting – Seattle

I’ve read about the development of LED street lighting by Cree and a number of other manufactures and was curious just how well it actually worked.

Recently, I had the opportunity to see it in person. In Seattle on 10th Ave E between Harvard and Roy there is a section of street lighted by LED lights. It is both whiter and considerably brighter than the high-pressure sodium vapor lamps used elsewhere. I would have taken pictures but couldn’t find any place to park.

However, suffice it to say that LED’s are definitely up to the task. I worry a bit about the relatively broad spectrum and bright light, while visually better, might create worse light pollution and interfere with night sky viewing to a greater degree.

Simple Technologies That Can Help

As we transition from hydrocarbon fuels to renewable sustainable energy sources one of the issues we have is that many sustainable energy sources are intermittent. The sun only shines during the day, wind blows when it wants to.

With hydrocarbon fuels, many power plants can’t be readily throttled to adjust to variable energy demand. Coal for example, the thermal mass of the units make it impossible to throttle them up and down rapidly. Yes, you can dissipate excess thermal energy in a cooling tower instead of generating electricity but you’re still burning the coal and producing carbon dioxide.

The variability of sustainable sources isn’t introducing a new problem even though the existing industry suggests that it is, because already the load varies considerably being about 3x greater in the day than in the night, and the grid accommodates that variability by wasting huge amounts of energy at night.

In the southern US and much of the industrialized world; much energy is used for air conditioning. A company called “Icebear” makes an air conditioning unit that has a 500 gallon water tank with copper coils. It runs the compressor at night, freezing the water, then pumps a coolant through the coils in the daytime to get rid of heat by melting the water. This shifts the electrical load from the day, when demand is high to night, when demand is low.

I can see where a similar strategy could be used for heating, using eutectic salts or some other phase change medium to store heat in a similar manner.

Now it occurred to me, if we could do this we could take it one step further with smart-grid technologies and have these things come on and “charge” if you will, whenever there is surplus power. That would allow a larger percentage of wind and solar power to power the grid by automatically kicking in demand when there is surplus and using stored energy when there is not.

Now I can also see how this could be accomplished for heating by using eutectic salts to store heat;

Future Forums

The best possible world involves engaging all human beings, allowing everyone to live a productive life and contribute to our civilizations future. That means getting everyone thinking and communicating.

There are a couple of annoying limitations to the blog as a medium. First, it tends to be one-way. Sure, you can post comments and I encourage you to do so, but a lot of people don’t follow the comments.

Second, it doesn’t really support organization the messages by topics, it’s just one linear thread with the most recent post at the top.

Forum software addresses these issues. Much more fully interactive, you can post topics the same as myself and we can organize the topics in a way that keeps related material together. There are also good facilities for pointing to additional resources, including still images or videos, etc.

Go to http://www.eskimo.com/~nanook/future/forum and take a look. Sign up to participate. It’s free.

Drilling For Energy at Yellowstone

One of the big arguments of the anti-environmentalists, oil company lobbyists, or what have you, is that solar and wind, the most commonly mentioned renewable energy sources, aren’t available 24×7 (at any one location). They can’t provide so called “base-load” power.

On the other hand, we’ve got this rumbling at the east side of the Yellowstone caldera, possibly the world’s largest super volcano, and it’s threatening to awaken. We know there is a huge pool of magma, scientists say 4 miles or so down.

It’s powering geysers and hot springs all over the park. At times the land has become hot enough to set vegetation on fire and kill animals in the area.

Seems to me Yellowstone is situated pretty good to supply electricity to the nations grids; extend the eastern grid over with some high voltage DC lines, and tie it into the western grid.

Then build some BIG geo-thermal plants; the more heat we can remove from that potential disaster the better. If Yellowstone has a major eruption, the US is largely toast and a good portion of the worlds population will starve to death. The present day economic grief will seem like a picnic.

We don’t have to drill all the way to the magma, just down to rock hot enough to turn water into superheated steam to run turbines. The more heat we can extract the better. Chances are slim that we’ll make a big impact on a heat source of that size even if we power the entire country off of it; but if it slows the potential for an eruption at all great, and if not it’s still non-fossil fuel renewable energy that can be obtained without any technological breakthroughs. It’s heat the would have escaped anyway so might as well have it do some useful work while making it’s escape. Any volcanic gases vented would have vented anyway.

Global Warming

Last winter was the coldest winter on record in North America. Last night, the temperature plummeted to 13°F here in Shoreline Washington (13 miles north of downtown Seattle). For this area that’s not unheard of but it is extremely rare.

Global Warming portrayed in the popular media is a gross over simplification. There are natural causes of climate change and there are man-made contributions. The relationship between the two is extremely complex and poorly understood.

Popular media would have you believe two things about the relationship between natural changes and man-made changes that are completely wrong. First popular media would have you believe that man made changes are much larger than natural changes. Second, that our scientists and climatologists actually have a firm grasp on the subject.

In actuality neither is true. Climatologists have developed computer models that fit past data. On the basis of the past fit they claim that their model is correct and therefore will make correct predictions of future changes.

This is wrong, and here is why. There at least a dozen competing models that fit the past to present data but they all predict different future climates and they can’t all predict different things and be correct. In addition, past computer models haven’t predicted present conditions accurately. There is no reason to believe that magic happened and all of the sudden their computer model accuracy has tremendously improved.

With respect to the relationship between natural changes and man-made changes, there is a 22 year solar cycle in which the suns magnetic field goes from north at one pole to very little field to south at one pole to very little field and then back to north again. When the polar fields are strong sunspot activity is high, and during the reversal process, sunspot activity drops, usually.

There is about a .3°C difference in Earth’s temperature between a normal solar peak and solar low. But there is also a great deal of variability between the intensity of the individual cycles as well as some long term cycles and some unexplained solar vacations. The sun normally goes from peak to low to peak every 11 years, taking 22 years for the magnetic field to return to it’s original polarity but there is a peak and low every 11 years. By contrast, a steady warming relating to increased carbon dioxide levels appears to be only about .1°C per decade.

So during during the portion of the solar cycle where the activity is on the upswing, the planet seems to be warming really fast and people will say things like the oceans are going to rise 200 feet by next week and the pretty soon wood frame houses will burst into flames from the heat. Then we get into a cooling part and eventually people aren’t so convinced.

In truth though, man-made warming even though it’s a smaller scale than natural changes, is unidirectional whereas natural variation is in part cyclical and in part chaotic. I want people to understand that what I am saying here is that even though nature makes bigger chances, nature makes them in both directions so over the long haul it averages out, but man is affecting the climate in one direction only, so over a long enough period of time our contribution, if left unchecked, will indeed be catastrophic.

The sun and it’s vacations are of particular significance right now because we’re now in a 50 year low in terms of solar activity, and historically when it’s done this in the past it’s gone into a long term minimum pattern and temperatures across Europe have fallen as much as 8-13°F during these times. The growing seasons shorted, people starved, and it looks like that’s where we are headed now.

But now we’ve got an additional danger. If people are lulled into thinking, ah global warming is all bogus, and they easily could be since the complexities were never really explained and things were exaggerated significantly for political reasons, then they’ll start burning coal like there was no tomorrow. After a decade or two when we’ve got the CO2 levels up to 500ppm, and people are croaking of asthma and cancer at even faster rates; the sun will re-establish a more normal pattern and global temperatures will go through the roof overnight. Then we will have really big problems.

There are other factors. It was once believed that there were around 20,000 under water volcanoes. We now know there are more than two million. We do not understand the scale of the impact that these have on global climate and ocean temperatures and currents but I have reason to believe they are substantial.

Another source of heating that until recently was grossly underestimated is the effect of currents induced in the Earth’s crust by solar wind particles interacting with the Earth’s magnetic field. It used to believed that that energy was on the order of only a few tens of gigawatts, but we now know it is vastly larger and that the torque it imparts to the Earth’s crust is substantial and may be even enough to affect geological activity.

The fact of the matter is climate is naturally variable, change is the norm and occasional periods of unusual stability are the exception. We need to adjust to this reality and burning fossil fuels not only exacerbates the problem but also will never provide us with the amount of energy we need to survive extreme climate changes which will occur, with or without our input, nor will fossil fuel energy scale to the levels needed to alleviate global poverty, and that’s something I really want to see happen.

Nature has provided us with abundant energy resources that are much less environmentally damaging but generally a lot less convenient than fossil fuels, not just sun and wind, although those certainly exist and we should utilize them to our maximum advantage, but there is also geothermal, ocean wave, tide, thermal, and currents. There are forms of hydroelectric generation that can make energy from the natural flow rather than requiring the water be damned up.

There are advanced fission reactor designs that can not only provide more than 100x as much energy from natural uranium as conventional plants, but can do so without producing the long term actinide (transuranic) wastes of conventional one-pass boiling water or pressurized water reactors. These plants can also use the actinide wastes of conventional plants as fuel. This is a far better option than burying this waste at Yucca mountain because it converts it all to short-lived fission product wastes that will decay to a natural level (the same level of radioactivity as the ore from which it was mined) within 300 years rather than 50,000 years.

Of the fission products, there are only a couple of isotopes with significant half-lifes, and those can be destroyed using accelerator technology completely eliminating the long-term waste issue.

These advanced reactors also eliminate plutonium in the end product, and even as an intermediate product it is never in a state where it can be used for bombs, thus significantly reducing it’s potential for terrorism uses. Because it is present with other actinides and isotopes of plutonium with much shorter half-lives, it is too “hot” to be made into a bomb, any attempt would result in premature reactions that would fizzle, and any terrorist attempting to make a bomb out of the stuff would die of radiation poisoning in short order. This stuff would be processed in integral recycling facilities onsite and re-used as fuel rather than being shipped, stored, or buried.

Fusion is the real holy grail, and it is reachable today; we spend less on fusion research in a decade than we do in oil imports in a day. That is the only reason fusion isn’t online producing power for us today. In spite of oil company claims to the contrary; we’ve solved the big scientific problems. We know now how to adequately confine the plasma, we know how to make superconductive magnets that can achieve the necessary strength, and we have a pretty good handle on what materials will work for the diverter.

The US has withdrawn from ITER, I wish I could say that I disagree with this but I don’t, I think ITER is a waste of money. Originally, it has several goals, one was to develop the necessary superconductor technology but the Chinese couldn’t wait 12 years for ITER to be built so they built EAST with superconductive magnets, they worked. What EAST doesn’t accomplish is commercial power levels.

The British established the superiority of the spherical or short-aspect-ratio Tokamak over the convetional Russian Tokamak design. The spherical Tokamak achieves a confinement product approximately 3.5 times better then conventional designs, and this is another reason I believe ITER was a bad design, it was not a spherical Tokamak.

The British team the designed START and MAST went on to design a spherical Tokamak power reactor. It would produce approximately 600MW of power, and cost less to build than a fission reactor of similar size. Both START and MAST outperformed their design objectives so there is every reason to believe this power reactor would be equally successful.

ITER by contrast would have cost ten times more and even though it should achieve commercial power levels and be useful for material engineering tests, it is not an economically viable design for a commercial power reactor.

There are also even more promising newer designs that should be explored, the Bussard Polywell reactor, the levitated dipole, and some newer Z-pinch designs that can operate reiterively and do not destroy their electrodes with each firing.

We need to fund these projects fully and bring them online, but in the meantime, we need to pursue clean renewable alternatives, and in my opinion advanced fission reactors are also necessary to deal with the transuranic waste we’ve already accumulated from conventional reactors rather than burying it and creating a disaster for future generations to deal with.

We need to do these things now. Climate change and major Earth changes are already underway, we need to gear up our ability to adapt in real time to these changes. Instead of fighting nature; we need to find ways to work with nature and be what we are, a part of nature; not something set against nature.