>If you have a better way to get humanity off fossil fuels, don't keep it to

I have actions that, given historical precident, have a much better chance
of suceeeding.

>Make a good case that it's cheaper and I will support that instead of
working on power satellites 
>and laser propulsion.

I'm not sure if you will like my case because it's not a quick fix.  But,
we've been trying quick fixes since the oil shock of 1973, almost 40 years
now, and haven't made any significant progress.  So, I'd argue we need a
plan that will work in the long run as well as remediation in the short run.

Short run: give nuclear power a level playing field...the same safety
requirements as any other industry, and allow the testing of new safer,
cheaper designs in the US and Europe.  Practically speaking, it is unlikely
that the Communist party/the government of China is a good source for
innovation.  Princelings tend to not want to vary from the tried and true
much.  So it is up to Europe and the US to do this. (I've had experience
both with Chinese tech. goods and as a potential vendor for China and you
can see the fingers of the Communist party holding back the wheels of
progress in both cases).

Short run: improve fuel efficiency standards.  Add a tax to gasoline and
electricity.  Have rebates for low income people to balance the tax.  If
they spend it elsewhere, find.

Short run: build a natural gas infrastructure for truck transportation in
the US.  The decline in US emissions to 1992 levels (even though the
population increased 23%) is mostly due to the switch to natural gas from

But, the critical area is the developing world.  China puts out more CO2
than the US and EU combined, and the new coal plants on order from China and
India will add this amount again.  So, we need to make nuclear power cheap.
It may not be enough to be as cheap as coal, and in that case the west could
switch but India and China would be far less likely to.  In the west, the
small difference in cost would not be a barrier.  The difference is larger
in India and China because coal is very cheap with no pollution control or
mining regulations.

Mid term, offer subsidies for synthetic biofuels that do not displace
cropland.  Right now, several companies are in pilot to initial commercial
appplication.  I'd give this field the highest chance of working: say 25%
chance of being close to competitive with gasoline while using concentrated
waste CO2, sunlight, bioengineered life forms, and brackish water.

Then, the goverments should support research in areas that would allow for
alternative energy in decades.  This would be developing our knowledge in a
lot of different fields so someoone could put the knowledge together to
develop either a power source or effective power storage.

They include

Plasma physics
Mesoscopic physics
Synthetic biology
Material sciences

And more engineering oriented, but still experimental:

Development of capacitance
Development of compact accelerators

This is not exhaustive, I'd welcome suggestions.  It's putting governments
back in the business of funding fundamental research at, say, 1% of GDP.
There will be scores of possibilities that all have a 1%-2% chance of
working.  And when one does, venture capital and small companies can be the
mechanism for picking winners and losers.  The government's job is to
prepare the field.

Dan M. 


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