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Saturday, August 09, 2014

Forward To the Good Old Days

Our current societal discontent will be seen by historians of the future as the Bad Old Days which preceded the Good Old Days. That's because we are living in an era of unsustainable crimes against nature. We stick straws in the ground and suck fossil fuels out of it. That's when we're not leveling mountains to extract coal. We burn those fossil fuels and expect that we can continue to do so forever on a finite planet. Maybe historians will call these days the Stupid Old Days. Humans are incredibly stupid.

What else can you say when we despoil our nest so badly? We have the technology to eliminate all burning of fossil fuels, but the rich and powerful are fighting tooth and nail to protect their “property.” Who gave them the right to decide whether their fellow humans would die of pollution? Or, in the long run, die of Climate Change? These are the people who will find themselves on the business end of the pitchforks that the people will use to exact justice.

But, this is an optimistic article. The future holds great promise of eliminating fossil fuels used in powering our society. Those fossil fuels, probably better called fossil resources since we won't be burning them, have great uses outside of energy. The reason we will eliminate fossil fuels is not because the politicians will suddenly wake up and realize the burning of fossil fuels is a suicide strategy. No, the politicians won't have anything to do with it. The reason we will stop burning fossil fuels is simply that it won't pay to do so. Alternative energy is available cheaply today and will only get cheaper because the energy is available for free. We simply need to develop the pot to catch all the free energy that's available to us.

Of course, we're talking about the free energy from that fusion reactor that's located 93 million miles away from us in the sun. As much energy as we need in one year falls on the Earth from the sun every hour. All we have to do is to create a pot to catch it. And, we know how to do that already. If we need more free energy, we simply will send more satellites into space to capture the energy that isn't going to land on Earth in the first place. The sun puts out enough energy in one hour to meet human needs for several millenia. And, it will continue to do so for billions of years. Enough time for humanity to destroy itself, of course. At least on Earth. Maybe not on Mars if Elon Musk has his way.

But, historians of the future will definitely see humanity emerging from these Bad Old Days into the sunlight of the coming Good Old Days as long as we delay our inevitable demise due to stupidity.