Reality Blind - Vol. 1

also first made its big debut as a heat and radiation weapon. The problem is that, while controlling a fission reaction is relatively easy (knock on wood), nobody has yet been able to get any significant energy out of fusion other than in a bomb. That’s because fusion requires something like the conditions at the core of a star, and those conditions are hard to maintain in a machine not meant to destroy itself. Of fusion, it has been said, “it’s the energy source of the future, and always will be,” and there’s quite a bit of high-tech reasoning behind this assessment, none of which will be unpacked here. There are many projects experimenting with sustained fusion power, and they tend to be enormous, high- tech, costly, and mostly ineffectual. They’re nowhere near “energy break - even”; the point at which you’d get as much energy out as you put in, (EROEI 1:1), and much farther from producing useful amounts. Moreover, current designs are huge and exotic and would simply take too much time, energy, materials, and tech to build out and replace coal, even if a working prototype had a “eureka” moment tomorrow. This is a hotly debated topic, and you should feel free to Google it. But if so, think about the “reality tests” discussed earlier, and be alert for narrative fallacy and arm-waving. There is also a less-hotly- debated approach known as “cold fusion” which is represented by several approaches. The reason these approaches are less - hotly-debated is that many fly in the face of current theory and have never been conclusively shown to produce any energy. (T hough this hasn’t prevented some from being sold and raising venture capital; 200 remember the “tragedy of the energy - investing commons”?) Still, there is energy “in there”, and it is not entirely impossible that some approach might be made to work; it’s just such a “hail Mary” pass at this point that it represents more of a lottery ticket than a road forward. ( disclaimer: DJ had many discussions with physicist Robert Bussard on a plan to fund and build a larger demonstration prototype of his polywell fusor. Those discussions ended when Dr. Bussard died in 2007. The project seems to have continued to some degree since then, with no exciting results. 201 )


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