So Joe is pushing “flow batteries” and his main example uses Vanadium which is…toxic.
There are some large deserts available and a couple thousand square miles of Solar Thermal Mirror Fields would generate enough electricity to help address climate change. Not toxic. No exotic technology. Molten salt is a pretty good option for storage. C’mon Joe. Or are you just trying to make it all about cars?
I am not so concerned with the big battery in my electric car. I am more interested in…bumper cars. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/12/worlds-first-electrified-road-for-charging-vehicles-opens-in-sweden
It seems so simple but of course it is not. Just cover the deserts in mirrors and towers and accept transmission losses from power lines and electric avenues and we will be on our way to cooling down our overheated planet, right? The problem is this western standard of living I have enjoyed for half a century. The rest of the human race wants that and will not accept living in squalor. And they should not. The feedback loop that defeats building more “renewables” is the carbon we have to release to make those renewables. Renewable energy is not building renewable energy- coal is burned to make windmills. We cannot seem to catch up with demand as billions in the undeveloped world demand more energy. The only escape from this cycle of more carbon to create more carbon-free energy is carbon-free power from off-world.
The solution was found in the 1970’s by a couple really smart people. The two key figures were Gerard Kitchen O’Neill, who died in 1992, and Peter Edward Glaser, who died in 2014 (some months before I started this blog). Glaser held patents on the space solar power satellite while O’Neill promoted space colonization using artificial hollow spinning moons (and building solar power satellites with lunar resources). No carbon will be coming here from the Moon.
I came up with the Parker-Dyson-Spudis Continuum to explain the only practical path to interplanetary travel so perhaps I could assemble another such device explaining how to save the world from climate change. How about the “Keynes-Glaser-O’Neill Continuum”? And why not a third one to explain why we need to figure out how to freeze people without damage to avoid certain extinction? The Fyodorov-de Garis-Varki Continuum”? The KGOC is fairly easy to understand while the FdVC is not so simple. I will explain.
John Maynard Keynes https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Maynard_Keynes -“Keynesian economists generally advocate a managed market economy – predominantly private sector, but with an active role for government intervention during recessions and depressions.”, is the person who best represents the antithesis of the present Neoliberal world economy. The free market will never enable a project such as space solar power simply because the requirement for short term return on investment will not allow it. Greed and a short lifespan mean we cannot, under a free market system, accomplish anything beyond a few years. Keynesian economics enables public works projects like space solar power which in turn are the economic engines that make space colonization possible. And if we do not go into space we will, sooner than anyone thinks, go extinct.
There are no insurmountable technical obstacles to space colonization: the stumbling block is psychological. And that brings us to the difficult-to-understand Fyodorov-de Garis-Varki Continuum.
Fyodorov advocated radical life extension, physical immortality and even resurrection of the dead (which he called “The Common Task”), using scientific methods. This founding father of Russian Cosmism had direct contact with early rocket theorist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, who visited the library where he worked over a 3-year period. He was also known to Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. As a Christian and a futurist I believe I have a profound understanding of Fyodorov’s worldview. Considering the human preoccupation with religion and the lack of any reconciliation between spirituality and science, I also believe his ideas are key to any future human progress.
Hugo de Garis explains, “Intelligent machines (or “artilects”, a shortened form of “artificial intellects”) will be far more intelligent than humans and will threaten to attain world domination, resulting in a conflict between “Cosmists”, who support the artilects, and “Terrans”, who oppose them (both of these are terms of his invention).” The beauty of Hugo’s vision is the intrinsic capability of “Godlike Massively Intelligent Machines” to effect The Common Task. Artificial Intelligence is the only path that will take us anywhere near bending the laws of time and space. Resurrection is essentially about time travel and while we lack the intelligence to build a time machine to rescue those already dead, a GMIM will figure all this out.
Ajit Varki describes, “-an evolutionary mechanism to explain the emergence of behaviorally modern humans and some of their unique behaviors including an extended theory of mind and a tendency to deny reality.” This mechanism could be that filter in the Fermi Paradox keeping intelligent life from surviving long enough for us to detect it. The only way to transcend this program of self-destruction is an indefinite lifespan. Freezing human beings without damage, “the great rescue”, is the immediate and most practical method of integrating the ideas of The Common Task, Transhumanism, and The Survival Imperative.
The difficulty in comprehending the Fyodorov-de Garis-Varki Continuum is the seeming cognitive impossibility of it all. We cannot imagine doing what God is supposedly going to do for us, we cannot imagine a god-like intelligence so far above ours anymore than a insect imagines what we are thinking about, and we cannot even accept the idea of death. Wasting billions on consumer goods instead of research on how to freeze and thaw fragile microstructures without damage is…stupidity. And it is, of course, suicide. How to escape stupid-world is the trick. That is the FdVC.
In regards to The Survival Imperative there is one more person that needs to be mentioned and that is Kevin Parkin. https://thesis.library.caltech.edu/2405/1/Parkin-Thesis.pdf
With a large enough space solar energy infrastructure the immense energies of the Sun can be utilized to beam propel a miles-in-diameter Bernal Sphere on course for another star at a significant percentage of the speed of light. Upon arrival, centuries later, nuclear devices used in a pulse propulsion system would slow the starship down. This is the “Slow Boat” humankind is most likely to use in our first voyages to other solar systems. How quickly we can launch such missions may mean the difference between the survival of the human race and extinction. It is hoped we survive long enough on Earth that the most likely second generation “Fast Boat” would follow: a proposal to create an artificial black hole and using a parabolic reflector to reflect its Hawking radiation was discussed in 2009 by Louis Crane and Shawn Westmoreland. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_hole_starship
We have these YouTube celebrities getting a million views babbling about flow batteries for their electric cars. As I have said many times on this blog, any extraterrestrials observing our certain path to extinction would simply shrug and say, “too stupid to survive.” I wonder if some UFO pilots were actually having that conversation while watching the F-18s off San Diego chase them.