Whimsical illustration of a contained fusion explosion driven by a particle accelerator. Even though the National Ignition Facility failed to ignite a fusion explosion with their giant laser, the particle accelerator approach still has great potential to ignite these explosions and produce vast amounts of energy.

Contained fusion explosions could potentially solve the world's epic challenges of energy, the economy and the environment. With the failure of the National Ignition Facility to ignite a "fusion pellet," the 50 year laser fusion program at Livermore Lab has clearly demonstrated the limitations of the laser as a "pellet driver" for energy production. Fortunately, a much more promising driver technology has been waiting in the wings: The particle accelerator.

The 21st century can and must be marked by the world's transition to nuclear fusion energy. It is, contrary to prevailing "wisdom," the only currently available solution. Specifically: a complete energy solution that uses existing (or doable) particle accelerator technology to ignite, contain and harvest the energy from clean and safe nuclear fusion explosions, and produces vast amounts of low cost energy and energy products.

I'm not asking anyone to believe any of this; not right away. The scientific evidence is there, as strong as ever (though a bit faded and dusty from 34 years of neglect) and it will come out eventually -- starting now, if I can help it. Though it may seem too radical or too big (given the size of our problems, how can any solution be too big?), the science clearly points to this technological approach as "the best bet" for near-term fusion energy.

Note: I believe that the scientific evidence also makes a strong case that this technology will produce highly economical energy, and will quickly establish itself --globally -- as the new baseload source of electricity and liquid fuels. If I didn't believe this, then I wouldn't bother with it in the first place; for I reject the notion that a combination of expensive energy technologies can somehow solve our problems -- no matter how "green" they appear on the surface. A true energy solution must be environmentally sustainable, but it must also create real wealth -- tangible, material, renewing, rejuvenating wealth -- on a scale that raises living standards throughout the world, allowing all of us to benefit from what modern technology and "civilization" have to offer.

Paraphrasing Churchill, I believe we Americans will finally do the right thing -- having tried everything else.