Over on Slashdot, some MIT fusion researchers answer some community questions. If you're interested in the technology there's some interesting bits there and I recommend it.
But there's one piece that I want to quote, because the number in it really got me thinking:
front-paged with a title edit by afew
MIT Fusion Researchers Answer Your Questions - Slashdot
MIT Researchers: Questions 11 and 14 are similar and we have answered them together.
Now just recently I also saw this number in a diary by JakeS.
The discredited Daniel Cohn-Bendit made this statement:
If you enacted a 0.1% tax on every phone call happened in Europe, in addition to the tax on financial transactions, these could generate, according to calculations, between 50 and 80 billion euros per year that would go into Europe's coffers.
So - $80 billion eh?
Now the point of this diary is not to cheerlead for fusion - there are other energy technologies out there - for example:
A giant step has been made in what will be the world's largest renewable energy project. While previously just a grand vision for the production of clean energy in the Saharan desert, the project now has a core group of backers and a signed agreement between 12 companies wanting to move forward with the $555 billion renewable energy belt. The 12 collaborators signed articles of association last week for the DESERTEC Industrial Initiative (DII), which will work to bring more companies and groups on board as well as focus on regulations and conditions to get the project successfully completed and generating pure power from the sun.
Let me emphasise again - this diary is not going to be about choosing an energy option - so there's no need to go comparing an $80 billion apple with a $500 billion orange in the search for a cleaner energy source.
Rather, my point is to develop a sense of what kind of infrastructure and/or scientific investments we should be making.
It seems to me that one of the hidden tragedies of the neo-liberal revolution is that we have lost an understanding of how big investments are needed to move society forward.
An example would be Bazalgette's sewer system in London.
The curse of the neo-liberal revolution is that it has cut away at our sense of investment and cut away at the institution - government - capable of investments of this size...
The neo-liberal mindset is in the process of destroying our society's ability to progress...