X-Message-Number: 31787
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2009 18:05:43 -0700
Subject: Closed comments? (LMU)
From: Keith Henson <>

Dear Dr Spencer:

Provacative comment/question you made here:


"I can only conclude that some politicians actually want global
warming to be a serious threat to humanity. I wonder why?"

Comments seem to be closed on your article of today or I would have
commented there.

I have seen this as long ago as 1975 when Dr. Peter Vajk and I were
nearly thrown out of a Limits to Growth Conference in Houston for
suggesting that power satellites could change the models they were
using to predict disaster.  And it happened as recently as July of
last year when Dr. Hirsch like to burned my ear off for suggesting
there might be a large scale solution to the energy problems--which
did not involve a major die back of the human population.

"Increased demand will lead to higher prices, and as long as the free
market is allowed to work, new energy technologies will be developed."

Of course, lower prices for energy, even the prospect for them, will
lead to higher demand and larger markets.  There is little doubt we
need lower cost energy souces, and even if CO2 isn't contributing much
to the climate, it *will* acidify the oceans.

If you work the math, it would take 300 TW-years to turn 100 ppm of
CO2 into synthetic oil and pump it into empty oil fields.

That would be 15 TW over two decades.

"Space Solar Power is one of the very few renewable energy options
that is both scalable to the levels we need (the Geostationary Belt is
thought to be able to support enough satellites to produce 177 TW),
and be able to provide 24-hr power (not just when the Sun shines or
wind blows). It also appears to be the most benign of any of the major
energy options."

I discussed a specific point design that could lead to power at a 1-2
cents per kWh and synthetic fuels at a dollar a gallon here:


Some of the comments were so negative that they inspired this

"If you take a few minutes to read this blog, and again the comments,
you find the dissonance on full display. On the one hand you have a
person saying that there may be an energy answer after fossil fuels.
On the other hand you have lots of people not only saying it is not
possible, but directly arguing that a human die-back is more desirable
than cheap energy."


As interesting as the technical discussion on climate change and
solving the energy problems are, I think your question at the end of
your article is more provocative.

Keith Henson

PS.  If your question of "why" _can_ be answered at all, the
understanding will come out of evolutionary psychology and perhaps
fMRI.  Thus some of the cc'es.

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