Energy Glut and LENR are Redefining Our Future
The future it seems just isn’t what it used to be, instead the of the great energy shortage that’s been predicted for the last few years the world seems to be facing an energy glut. We’re facing that glut in traditional energy sources like oil and natural gas even before low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) comes in.
The United States is now one of several countries that is actually producing more energy than it can use right now. The United States might actually become the world’s largest oil producer by 2017 and an oil exporter by 2030 because of better drilling technology and new finds like the Bakken Shale. Our neighbors to the north in Canada actually have more oil in their oil sands than the Saudis do. The US and Canada also have huge supplies of oil and natural gas.
LENR which will probably be far cheaper than either oil or natural will complicate the situation even more. It could make electricity cheap enough for governments or others to effectively give away. No it wouldn’t be free because taxes or some other mechanism would pay for the LENR devices. Or it could cut electricity bills by a third or half.
The energy glut will probably drive down the cost of oil and gas which is bad because it’ll encourage fossil fuel use and the generation of more greenhouse gases. Since so called green technologies such as solar and wind aren’t competitive right now if fossil fuel prices fall by 20% or 30% which is highly likely in the next few years there’s no way they can stay in the game. LENR seems to be the only new technology on the horizon that could effectively compete with oil, gas and coal on a price basis and drive them out of the market.
Therefore LENR might just be the only thing that’ll prevent global warming or at least mitigate its effects. My guess is serious efforts to restrict fossil fuel burning will fail unless government can come up with an affordable alternative. If a better alternative such as LENR appears government won’t need to do anything.
Yet LENR itself will make the energy glut far worse by providing almost unlimited amounts of power at a very low price. That of course will wreak havoc with the economy by driving down prices. Everything will get cheaper, people will buy and spend more and the economy will get overheated. Yes it’ll lead to a massive economic boom but it’ll also lead to a massive economic bust.
An example of what might happen can be seen in recent events in the natural gas industry where one of the largest US gas companies Chesapeake Energy almost collapsed because it produced too much gas. Expect to see a wave of hucksterism, hysteria, hype and get rich quick dreaming that’ll make the 1990s look tame in comparison.
From an economic stand point this means that the 21St Century will see a series of economic booms and busts. One boom and bust cycle will be created by the cheap energy created by LENR, another will probably be created by private space exploitation, and there’ll probably be a worse bust created by transmutation through LENR if it is ever perfected. Part of the reason why this will occur is that most resources will get dirt cheap at some point. Most commodities including energy, food, minerals, etc. even so called precious metals such as gold might be selling for pennies on the dollar at century’s end.
What this means is that our technological civilization isn’t about to collapse because of lack of energy as doomsayers like James Kunstler have been claiming. Instead it’s about to get far more energy and experience a spurt of growth that’ll make the Industrial Revolution of the 19th Century and the Technology Boom of the late 20th Century look tiny in comparison.
Part of the reason why this boom will be so huge is that the people of India, Russia and China will share in it this time around. Naturally this boom will mean a complete transformation of all social and political systems and a lot of upheaval. It is hard to see how the present political system in any country will survive. Part of the reason why such havoc will be wreaked is that the gulf between rich and poor will greatly increase as technology creates vast new fortunes. We’ll have more billionaires than ever before and large numbers of people angry at them.
That also means the central mythology of ideology of a lot of modern thinkers particularly on the left is deeply flawed or totally wrong. Their basic mantra is that technological, capitalist civilization cannot last because our resources are extremely limited and will soon run out. Even though recent news articles indicate that the reverse is true, our resources are far greater than we think. More importantly our capability to exploit those resources is increasing tremendously.
It is the energy glut not the energy shortage that is the big story of our age. When the history of our age is written that is the story the historians will concentrate upon.