[ExI] Cost of synfuel was Air-powered cars

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Thu Jun 12 13:15:54 UTC 2008

On Thu, Jun 12, 2008 at 7:25 AM, hkhenson <hkhenson at rogers.com> wrote:
> At 02:41 AM 6/11/2008, Stefano Vaj wrote:
> It's not entirely obvious that fusion reactors on earth make a lot of
> sense.  They might, but tapping the natural one could be a lot easier.

Mmhhh. In principle, fusion reactors would not be so different from
other termoelectrical reactors.

Surely some  severe inconveniences might come up in the future, but I
cannot really imagine why and how they would be worse than those
related to the burning of fossil fuels or to nuclear fission. The
physical process behind fusion is well understood, and what really
remains are AFAIK engineering and implementation problems.

The problem with natural reactors is that they are not at hand, and
planets, especially those with an atmosphere and a day-night cycle, do
not seem the best place to exploit them. Their are instead fine - as
BTW artificial reactors would appear to be - in space or in Dyson

> It depends a great deal on how the economy is organized.  If everyone
> uploads and only travels by optical fiber, an energy budged of  a
> hundred watts per person might be plenty.  It's a very different
> situation where people want to eat well and travel long distances.

I believe that information and energy are ultimately going to be the
only to real, fundamental resources, but I am not sure that you can
reduce everything to the first. Whatever energy efficiencies you may
achieve, more (exploitable) energy will forever allow you to do more
things, all the rest being equal.

> Assuming things didn't change a lot, about 1/3 of our energy is
> transport fuels.  That's huge, but well within what you can do with
> power satellites.

The beauty of abundant, cheap energy is that it both allows you to
synthesise fuels, including very traditional ones, *and* make them
much less relevant, since energy may be stored in plenty of other

Stefano Vaj

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