By Colin Mason
Has the longer term a destiny? Are we bringing background to an finish? looking at anyone of numerous person yet severe developments means that, with out fast and confident motion, heritage could have just a very brief approach to run. if it is the expansion of worldwide inhabitants, of greenhouse fuel concentrations and the accelerating fee of weather swap, the operating down of oil and ordinary fuel reserves, becoming shortages of unpolluted water for agriculture, and household use, or the expanding hassle in controlling epidemic illnesses � we face a mounting international difficulty that would height in below a iteration, round the yr 2030. Taken jointly, those tendencies aspect to a probably apocalyptic interval, if now not for the planet itself then definitely for human societies and for humankind. during this compelling ebook, and replace to The 2030 Spike, Colin Mason explains in transparent and irrefutable phrases what's going � principally under the skin of our day-by-day or weekly information announcements. the image he paints is stark, and but it's not bleak. Being forewarned, we're forearmed, and he attracts on his personal wide political event to explain how a lot we will do as participants, and peculiarly jointly, now not simply to stay clear of quandary yet to engineer thoroughgoing swap which may bring in surely sustainable and helpful choices to the way in which we are living now.
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Additional info for A Short History of the Future: Surviving the 2030 Spike
However, commercial production, while considered feasible, is not likely for several decades, with tentative price estimates of $4 to $6 per thousand cubic feet. If new areas of sustainable energy production could be created in the poorest nations of the world, so giving them a source of income, several major objectives would be served. The use of hydrogen as a fuel is one suggestion. The developing countries in the tropics that have deserts – among the poorest of the poor – could be economically transformed by new energy industries based on hydrogen.
The new designs, still in the research stage, use over 300,000 billiard-ball sized ‘pebbles’ made of 24 IS THERE A CRISIS? uranium and graphite which fuel the reactor, greatly reducing the risk of ‘meltdown’. However, unless all of these are perfectly shaped they will jam – such a jamming caused the West German government to close down its programme in 1986 as too dangerous. Graphite is inflammable – it has been involved in a number of reactor accidents in the past, so there is a fire risk. Because of a requirement to be open to natural convectional air cooling some pebble bed reactor designs have no containment vessel, giving easier access to sabotage or terrorists.
Other 2030 drivers. Will it really happen? Can it be avoided? The answer to the first question is probably yes, and to the second, probably no. Refusal by the US and Australia to sign the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on climate change and the massive and increasing use of coal-fired power stations in China and India make continued high rates of carbon dioxide emissions almost inevitable. In any case, it is now generally acknowledged that the Kyoto target of reducing greenhouse gases 5 per cent by 2012 from 1990 levels is grossly inadequate – as much as 50 per cent would be necessary to check global warming.