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Where energy production does not have intolerable externalities, and flows abundantly to every mothers child.

Well, I don't have much time for utopians, especially when they don't have any viable pathways to propose. It may be that there is a vast conspiracy of dark powers who are preventing us from benefiting from too-cheap-to-meter fusion or thorium or whatever power. But I have a problem with suspending disbelief on such theories. On balance, I think it's likely that such technologies are actually quite hard, and will turn out to be quite expensive anyway.

The reality is that cheap energy has been overwhelmingly fossil. With the exception of hydro, which is intrinsically limited, it seems likely that sustainable energy sources are fairly expensive overall. Getting to sustainability will be hard graft.

I was more of a science fiction fan when I was younger.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Jul 26th, 2013 at 07:02:49 AM EST
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Is it true that sustainable sources are expensive?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Jul 26th, 2013 at 07:09:53 AM EST
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.. Expensive is a relative term. Try looking up the inflation adjusted price of electricity for any locale which has been electrified for a long time. You do not have to go back very far before you get numbers that are a lot higher than current renewable, even including pumped storage, let alone the cost of nukes.

Electricity is valuable because it is a huge multiplier on human effort - lighting, cooling, mechanization, ect, ect.
 I am not assuming power to cheap to meter, I am assuming that people will pay the meter.

by Thomas on Fri Jul 26th, 2013 at 07:21:45 AM EST
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Oh well, there you go. We agree. Renewables are not expensive (historically speaking). This is a clear indication that we can, indeed, go renewable without breaking civilisation, and without needing "free energy" pipedreams.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Jul 26th, 2013 at 09:43:46 AM EST
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