Erle Frayne D. Argonza
Large swaths of lands in Asia were recently flooded, which paints a gloomy landscape in China, India, and Pakistan. Flooding, however, doesn’t kill civilizations, and floodwaters should be viewed on the positive side as providing, after calamities, much needed water and energy source.
As history has shown, it is the sudden absence of water, via large-scale calamity, that had killed many civilizations in antiquity. For as long as we have plenty of water reserves in the planet, civilization will continue. As energy source, water has provided hydro-electricity, geothermal (heated water from underground sources), and fuel cell medium (electrolysis).
The present onrush of waters could, in fact, serve as blessing to crack the news of a new form of energy: fusion nuclear energy. Talked about for decades as mere theory in classroom chemistry and physics and in coffee shops, fusion energy is now becoming more of a reality each day.
China unquestionably leads in the research & development efforts on fusion energy. Sometime in mid-2008 yet, the news leaked out to the world that China’s research scientists were able to make a breakthrough in the research phase of fusion energy. As per information leaking out, China is ahead of the rest of the world by at least a decade.
Reports had it at that time that a commercial breeder plant was still around ten (10) years in the offing. That means the earliest time for the release of such a breeder plant will be around 2018 yet. A tedious process indeed it is to perfect a model for commercial usage, but time runs fast these days, so let us anticipate the formal release of the first prototype just couples of years away from now.
The era of clean energy will surely receive a boost when fusion begins to roll, and by next decade we can safely forecast that fossil energy will rapidly decline in importance leading to its demise before 2030. I just wish the time table for burying fossil energy could be shortened, and like everyone else who is tired of the machinations of the oil oligarchs and financier-speculators in spot markets, I could hardly wait to offer dirges to fossil fuels.
[Philippines, 30 August 2010]
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