According to this article, progress is being made in the development of fusion as a source of usable energy.
Dignitaries and top scientists gathered near San Francisco Friday for the formal opening of a massive new facility that they hope will accomplish what was once thought impossible — nuclear fusion, the Holy Grail of energy sources.The National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will focus 192 laser beams on a hydrogen pellet the size of a bead, heating it to incredible temperatures in an attempt to recreate the power of the sun.
Nuclear fusion has never been achieved on Earth, and critics argue the facility’s $3.5 billion price tag is a waste of taxpayer money.
“We don’t need this machine to solve our energy problems,” says Dr. Arjun Makhijani of the Institute for Energy and Environment Research in Takoma Park, Md. “The main thing the National Ignition Facility has accomplished so far is to burn a hole in the taxpayers’ pocketbook.”
We don’t need it. No fire-bringers need apply. One can imagine people such as these refusing the gift of Prometheus and betraying him to the gods for eternal punishment. “Be gone with you! We prefer living in our caves.”
All their efforts, so far, have failed to kill off nuclear fission power plants. But those plants were born in a better day, before environmentalists had any political power. Will the enviros, politically powerful as they are today, succeed in killing off nuclear fusion aborning? Is our civilization that far gone? If they don’t, it won’t be for lack of trying.