The ever improving lot of mankind is not over and if you go by resources, the resources will last longer than there will the humans as you know them
Yes fossil fuels we use today will be used up, but there are some technologies that will take their place that have very long lives.
Space based solar power could provide a hundred times the energy the world uses today.
Gas hydrates(methane ice) could provide the world with 30,000 years worth of hydrocarbons at current usage.
Hydrogen fusion would give us unlimited energy for ever.
A one mile wide asteroid would provide 2 yrs worth of iron , nickel, precious metals, and other resources. There are thousands of these.
If we can't build up we can build down in developed areas. I saw plans to build cities as deep as a mile underground. You could fit 100 million
people in the space we now house 1 million.
The problem is not resources for future growth. It's concensus on direction and need. It's what your willing to pay to bring those resources
We will go to space for space-based solar(100X our current energy needs). We will use solar, nuclear(7,000 yrs worth of uranium) to make all the
hydrogen we need. if nuclear fusion comes online our energy problems would be solved. There are (if you include Gas Hydrates) 30-40,000 yrs worth
hydrocarbons and carbon asteroids would extend cheap hydrocarbons another 100,000 yrs. Metal asteroids(once cheap metal is used up here) could be
brought into orbit processed in space and a wire run to Earth and then it's just a reel it in operation. Nuclear desalination plant could provide
water. Underground cities could provide space for 100X the current population of Earth to live happy productive lives.
The only thing we have to fear is lack of imagination and leadership.
The info on these avenues to a more vibrant future are all over the web. There are cycles in energy, as one becomes too expensive others are brought
online. We're not about to run out. Energy will just be a bigger part of the budget for awhile.
Space-based solar power was the main reason Pres. Bush is pushing for a new space initiative. It would make America a net hydrogen(energy) exporter.
Were this to happen in the next 30 yrs the hydrocarbons in coal reserves in the U S would last 1000's of years(used for making things rather than
burning) not 300 yrs.
This would take a continuous, consistent leadership on energy development.
There are some long term trends in the world and one is that in 100 yrs the people of india and china will be living at the same level as we do now. I
don't know what level we will be at by then. We will probably have lives like the Jetsons. Eternal health, vacations on the Moon, etc.
The resources are there to mine and develop. Who will get there first?
The Europeans are about to invest $billions in fusion research.
U S is going back to the Moon to develop Solar potential.
A private company added up the worth of one 1 mile wide metal asteroid and came up w/ a $5 trillion figure if 50% of the material brought back were
used for orbital solar satelites.
The Chinese want those same resources that is the reason behind their space program.
A little friendly competition?
Space-based solar power:
ITER fusion research:
Deep underground cities:
Value of ateroids:
"In particular, the asteroid Amun, a mountain of natural stainless steel mixed with precious metals, contains 30 times as much metal as humans have
mined and processed throughout history, Lewis said. The smallest of dozens of known metallic asteroids, it would be worth at least an estimated $20
trillion based on current market prices. "
You have to look around. There is an element that would like to put the scare in people, but the real reason for the current crisis in energy is the
enviromental laws in the US has made it impossible to build new transmission lines, nuclear power plants, oil refineries, etc and to upgrade these
same facilities. They are pumping enough oil. We just can't process it fast enough.
When the hydrogen economy starts to kick-up you'll start to hear about plans for nuclear water-cracking plants to provide the hydrogen. They will
build these in every city w/ good water resources.
[edit on 9/8/2005 by bodebliss]