There’s a lot to hope for.
If you ask an anthropologist what causes human conflict she will probably say that the culprit is usually a limited essential resource. In our age of technologies a limited needed resource is energy. In an age of Peak Oil, when growing amounts of money are needed for oil discovery, extraction and refining and in a climate of increasing demand, we face increasing economic and political strife.
It’s been quiet on the energy front for a while but I noticed in 2015 there were some new fusion patents and more money has been going into more fusion research ever since then. There are two kinds of fusion: low energy nuclear reaction fusion (LENR) and torus produced fusion with hot plasma. LENR has an interesting side effect: room temperature superconducting. That can potentially revolutionize computer technology and energy technology. LENR also provides an avenue to recycle hot radioactive wastes left over from the twentieth century’s race to obtain the bomb and nuclear power. Researchers in torus hot fusion continue to scale down the plasma chamber in an effort to control the materials consequences of manipulating plasma. I’m hoping that fusion energy will help our economy gain a new prosperity as we continue living after Peak Oil.
Peak oil has had economic consequences because we see economic side effects from its rising costs. Oil and its products pervade our economy from pesticides to paints to fertilizers to heating homes and businesses to driving cars to making plastics and rubbers. Large sums have been loaned to shale oil companies in an effort to get more oil and there’s a cost for those loans which can really cut into a shale company’s profits in the unstable price environment of petroleum products. Political strife across the globe has many causes in the old oil economy. A new fusion economy could initiate new opportunities.
Fusion power would be a new technology that would create a new kind of energy marketplace. Some people would specialize in disseminating it. And fusion production would be cheaper than oil production. Saving money on energy would make food and travel and even heating and cooling buildings cheaper. Fusion doesn’t require a refinery system the way that processing oil does and that would save money. Fusion energy would reduce pollution. New jobs would come out of a new fusion economy. And it looks like there’s a less limited supply of what’s required for fusion energy production.
It may well be that every bad thing that’s come out of financialization has happened in part out of the need to maneuver within an environment of economic challenges caused by Peak Oil. If that’s true, then it would make sense that fusion energy could bring about a renewal of solvency in banking and in government and more political accord because of reduced strife for shrinking economic resources. This could help stabilize our fractious nation.That could encourage new economic successes in many areas, stimulating employment and helping people to live better lives. If more economic resources were available, a breakthrough in health, for example, in medical technologies like those for restorative medicine might get a boost. Many knock-on effects could happen in a new energy economy. People might live more peaceful and productive lives.
No doubt, a transition from a Peak Oil economy to a fusion energy economy would change today’s opportunities to different ones. But it seems that there would be more opportunities overall and that would matter to most people all around the world. Fusion energy might provide everyone with a new opportunity to grow.
If you want to learn about how we got to where we are in politics and if you want to understand better how economics and politics are connected, buy a copy of Political Catsup with Economy Fries, available at Amazon.com.
There’s a lot to hope for.