Will Capitalism Make Us Carbon Free at Last?
The running joke in discussions of nuclear fusion is that we're about 50 years away from it being a reality ... we are always 50 years away from it being a reality. As Edward C. Morse, a nuclear physicist at the University of California, Berkeley, says in Dino Grandoni's recent piece for The New York Times, every couple of decades there is a push to realize fusion technology, resuscitating the same techniques and expecting different results, only to see the latest attempt fizzle and die down once again, going dormant for the next couple of decades. The latest wrinkle in this cyclical story of the bright, shiny future that will be provided by abundant, cheap nuclear fusion fuel is the presence of Silicon Valley and venture capital. This time, it's not the U.S. government stepping in and building big, shiny new labs in which to unleash the perfect future of humanity, or even individual universities and their quest to get there first. This time, it's the Jeff Bezoses and Paul Allens of the world, the lords of Silicon Valley and their venture capital alter egos, who are going of save us all from our fossil-fuel-burning selves and the planet with us. Will the result be different this time? Will the difference of bigger pockets and smaller bureaucracies be enough to solve a puzzle that we've thus far only seen finished by Tony Stark and the Avengers? We'll wait and see, or hear about it again in 20 years.
Read the full story over at The New York Times.
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