Many people have the opinion that “fusion is twenty years away, and it’s been like that for decades.” That is partially true. For decades, there have been small advances in fusion research. That is no longer true. The reason for the lack of progress is not the science, but how the research was funded. A few large projects with continued delays and budget overruns captured the majority of funding for decades. One lab was dismantled because of lack of funds before completing its research goals and another was canceled for demonstrating an ineffective approach. It’s tough to advance research of any type when a lab is shut down for a year or more before funding was restored, which was a recent issue with the MIT Alcator-C.
Meanwhile, many small private research teams spend years working to achieve government or other research grants for a fraction of those amounts to fund an experiment that may take weeks or months to complete. They work on a shoestring budget, achieve sufficient scientific success to publish in scientific journals. Then start the cycle again developing another round of tests to complete years later.
Massachusetts is on the leading edge of Carbon Tax law. Our state is positioning itself to be the first state in the union to pass a Carbon Tax into law in the country. Other regions of the world have passed Carbon Taxes with mixed success. In British Columbia, Canada, it has been effective and popular. An ineffective Australian Carbon Tax faired worse and resulted in political upheaval. Where an unpopular Carbon Tax was passed and resulted in the conservative overthrow of the progressive movement. The conservative landslide promised and delivered on repealing the Carbon Tax.
The buildup to the Climate March was enthusiastic. I was on one of two busses from Framingham in the Metrowest area of Massachusetts. I knew of at least another half-dozen sites throughout the region. We met people from all over the country, and saw some of the international groups who attended. We congregated as a group through the mass of four hundred thousand protesters and the hundreds of thousands of spectators along the way.
Lawrenceville Plasma Physics (LPP) started a crowd source funding campaign at IndieGoGo. Eric Lerner, President and Chief Scientist at LPP researches electrical power generation directly from fusion energy and without steam or neutrons. Anyone who believes that fusion energy can phase out carbon fuels should support this campaign. Developing fusion technology is a legacy for future generations.
We must phase out the Carbon Fuel Colossus that powers our civilization and poisons our planet. It is top dog in our modern times and its fall will be tragic for some, joyous for others. Let’s hope it doesn’t take down our civilization with it.
There is a Carbon Fuel Colossus
that powers our civilization and poisons our planet
. It is top dog in our modern times and its fall
will be tragic for some, joyous for others. We must make sure it does not take down our civilization with it.
I wish you the best when you go to the creationist museum. Please don’t spend too much time defending evolution. Most in the audience will have already made up their opinion long before they enter that room. Some people in that room will think you’re going to burn in hell. I assume you may not think highly of their beliefs either. You need to explain how creationism is incorrect, and provide convincing scientific evidence to have creationists question a core belief. The best way to have them question this is to show evidence of civilization that is over 10,000 years ago. The compelling issue of this evidence is its location. They’re all deep under the ocean and scattered around the globe.
I applaud George Will’s December 22nd proposal
to fund fusion research. The response from conservatives on the Washing Post web site was expected, refusing to spend a penny. Progressives argued for research in other areas of Science. Quite frankly, Mr. Will is willing to make a funding exception for his alma mater Princeton University. Meantime, MIT can’t afford
to run the Alcator-C
fusion lab since 2012.
1978 Proposal for fusion energy funding vs. actual
Last weekend, I bumped into Senator Markey at a charity event. I asked him a question about Hydrogen Fusion research funding
at MIT, which had been cut again because of sequestration. He commented that the Department of Energy
does not want to fund fusion research. I also contacted with a small independent fusion research team based in New Jersey called Lawrenceville Plasma Physics
. Their response after sharing the funding link was DOE has a policy of not funding fusion research. MIT's research lab is top in the nation and can not get funding while small independent teams won't apply for grants. The Department of Energy Portal
doesn't list fusion! Doesn't this contradict the Obama administration"all of the above
" focus on energy?
Sandy Hook Green / White Duck in front of Candlelight vigil members
On the evening of May 14th, 2013 First Parish Framingham (MA) Unitarian Universalist church, jointly with Citizens for Sensible Gun Policy, hosted a Visibility & Candlelight Vigil on the fifth month anniversary of the Sandy Hook, Connecticut massacre. This visibility & candlelight vigil was in memory of the twenty children and six adults killed in that tragedy and thousands of unnamed others who have died from gun violence in the short five months since that event.
One of the issues with Cape Wind, the off-shore wind farm in Massachusetts, is their cost of electricity. Depreciating the cost of a wind farm over 30 years still required special payment terms to compete against the low-cost coal and natural gas power plants in the free market power grid of Massachusetts.
When libertarians claim “let the free market decide” they refuse any support for advancing technology with alternative energy incentives, regardless of the long-term non-economic gains such as cleaner air and less use of water to generate electricity. Phrases like “cleaner air” or “less clean water used” have no value in the equations of libertarians and free market economists.
Mankind’s first fuel was wood. This was the fuel for tens of thousands of years. Wood is a decentralized, or distributed fuel. People can get their own wood for fuel. This is how wood is used today in second and third-world countries.
Then there were fossil fuels, which lead to industrialization and centralized fuels, where a deed or mineral rights can result in considerable wealth from energy.
A lightning rod for what is wrong with the Republican Party
Figure 1: Fusion Funding Plan Projections, 1976
The following petition has been submitted to the White House web site:
Increase spending on Hydrogen Plasma/Fusion Energy Research by $100 Billion over ten years
Republicans think government can't do great things. Governments can manage resources effectively, and coordinate through economics of scale. Government works and proof is around us, every day. Saying the government can't do great things is unpatriotic. There is a long and respectful history of successful government investments in science. We've landed on the moon for Christ's sake!
In a Democracy, the relationship between the people and the government isn’t “us” versus “them.” We the people are the government. We agree to live within social norms, and the government is our investment in the common good and our future.
Government is all of us.