Good post OP.
"Helium-3 is considered as a long-term, stable, safe, clean and cheap material for human beings to get nuclear energy through controllable nuclear
fusion experiments," Ziyuan added. "If we human beings can finally use such energy material to generate electricity, then China might need 10 tons of
helium-3 every year and in the world, about 100 tons of helium-3 will be needed every year."
That makes me think of a few things:
1. There was a post on here recently comparing the backgrounds of the current Chinese leadership with the USA (Bush I think) government. In a
nutshell, the Chinese leadership were heavily weighted towards not just engineering but also power generation, chemistry, advanced mineral, geological
and electronics sciences...whilst the USA appeared largely lead by legal and financial bods.
2. China's recent ban on exports on their (current) monopoly (c. 90-95% of currently operational mines) of rare earth metals/minerals. These are not
only vital to the manufacture of many electronics and mobile computing/communications equipment, but also best in class motors, generators,
batteries...the kind of stuff that a nation wanting large scale use of electric cars/vehicles would need. Besides being worrying for a vast array of
western* electronics companies and whole economies (Japan*, USA, European tech' co's) it struck me that this may also be an indication of their
intent/realisation about the direction they want to direct their internal market/growth (i.e. into their next leadership cycle starting 2012) and
So perhaps they have ring-fenced their rare earth resources not simply, or primarily as a weapon, or a short term blow to their competitors? Perhaps,
which I understand is characteristic, they are looking at a longer term plan? They could steal a considerable lead and obtain the most auspicious
position from which to fulfil the construction of a (perhaps the world's first) next generation (electric) transport (and weaponry) infrastructure,
whilst the west takes a few years to organise (and/or fight over) alternative sources of rare earth metals.
China has oodles of coal in house to help push forward design of infrastructure designed for an emphasis on electrical power, is still in the early
stages of (re)building much of it's core/urban infrastructure, massive copper mines secured all over the globe etc...and I have to say, if the weights
stated in the article for Helium 3 are accurate, I certainly wouldn't put it past them to get that off the moon. I appreciate they may have to do
vast processing on the moon to extract those weights?
3. What ramifications, if any, could there be for earth of altering the mass or balance of the moon via mining?
4. Could this be where China begins/attempts to exert their influence in terms of debt ownership, and perhaps the current issues with Iran and
Pakistan** (**who China helped develop/test nukes with I think? - Wonder how those allied tankers have all been located so well?) to clear a path for
their lunar/terrestrial development plans whilst twisting the arms of western powers struggling to hold onto middle eastern oil supply?
edit on 9-10-2010 by curioustype because: ** added to clarify grammar/details