30 years away
August 29, 2011 1 Comment
As the joke goes, nuclear fusion is 30 years away…and always will be. An article on the €15bn International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) which is being funded by an international coalition, including the EU, the US, China, India, South Korea and Russia,
…Yes, €15bn is a lot of money to be spending building ITER. But, by comparison, the global cosmetics and perfume industry is worth some $170bn a year…
Another comparison is that the EU pays out c€50bn in subsidies on the common agricultural policy. Every year. Who/what organisation/entity is the biggest recipient of subsidies in the UK? Answer under the fold…
A: The Queen.
From the same article,
Last year, when asked to name the most pressing scientific challenge facing humanity, Professors Stephen Hawking and Brian Cox both gave the same answer: producing electricity from fusion energy … Cox is so passionate about the urgent need for fusion power that he stated that it should be scientists … who are revered in our culture – not footballers or pop stars – because they are “literally going to save the world”.
From the NYT earlier this month,
When asked to name a scientist, Americans are stumped. In one recent survey, the top choice, at 47 percent, was Einstein, who has been dead since 1955, and the next, at 23 percent, was “I don’t know.” In another survey, only 4 percent of respondents could name a living scientist.