So much you all don't understand is the scope of what the study of energy production entails.
You speak of minerals that only exist in one place or another. But if we had enough energy, we could just. simply. make them ourselves. And to food production. Do you really think that stopping the growth of the population is preferable to shrinking the surface area of the earth needed to grow enough food to a fraction of what it is now, and producing more output simultaneously? Why do you think the government subsidizes mass production? Sure it has led to major monopolies of agricultural technology, but the original intention was to make food cheaper. edit: And we don't have to worry about the GMOs anymore if we don't have to protect the plants from the natural environment./
With enough energy, we can make all this happen without expanding our ecological footprint. And how to do that, above all else, is to reduce, and eventually eliminate, the impact of digging our energy out of the ground.
Now don't take me to say that this crazy contraption here is the answer to all the problems. Realistically it's just another step in the long walk of achievements needed to get to that reality. But I think we can get there and I think this thing here, is just one of the most interesting steps I have ever looked at. Edited by un-midas touch - 10/27/15 at 12:34pm