Date: 2015-05-04 11:33 am (UTC)
greylock: Raist (0)
From: [personal profile] greylock
I'm also a little disappointed they are concentrating primarily on producing fuel, mostly diesel, as far as I can see.

Sadly, there's just more of a ROI on that.
I'm not surprised they're keeping quiet.
I suspect the tech won't work.
The kinds of people investing in it.... worries me.
It suggests other, smarter people have doubts.

If we could move most mining and refining (and possibly some manufacturing) off Earth we would eliminate some of our planet's worst burdens.

I've researched a few articles on 'space mining' and there are a few issues.
The first is obvious. Do we really want to mine the moon, or asteroids? Do we trust NASA or anyone to move an asteroid into orbit? Because as soon as we can do that, we're pretty much in mass driver territory.

The second, the transportation costs are pretty rubbish for bulk commodities (iron ore and bauxite) because they are so common on Earth.
Even at the good old days of $150/tonne they're not viable.

The electricity goes to the wealthier members of those societies, not the poor, he was saying.

True, that. They're looking at electrifying in PNG (around Ramu) which could give three million people access to power (gas fired) using the income from PNG LNG. Which is nice.

China is closing down its coal-powered generators in Beijing and coal demand generally has fallen by about 10% recently, I believe.

I'd be wary of those numbers. Not the trend, but specifics.
China has all the benefits of 1960s era environmental issues, and a 21stC economy. Plus a central government.

I suspect a lot of people will do the same and the dopey power companies will suddenly find they killed the goose that laid golden eggs.

I consider grid connection a net social good. Not everyone will have renewables, and it's good to have redundancy.

You simply build down instead of up.

True, but you can only go down so far.

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