The divine road ahead

Medieval-manI am a one- trick pony.

OK. A three-trick pony then.

I do not have the scary blades of Wolverine or Thor’s mighty Hammer.

And there is a lot of water between me and Igil Skallagrimson.

I am not even as good a poet. (You guessed that he was an exceptional Poet, right?)

However, I am not without my immodest strengths.

Star Trek alien head. Source: Oil Drum
Mighty throbbing brain of Star Trek alien head. Source: Oil Drum

The Lesser of the three is a Mighty Throbbing Brain. This sort of effect.

If I am to survive I had better put my Superpower to use.

We (A cluster of exceptional survivors and me) need a few favors from the Gods.

The first is a miraculous and bounteous source of portable energy.

If you are not a Deist please insert your fingers in your ears at this point and sing “La La, La La. I can’t hear you”, at the top of your voice .

Apparently Atheism is losing ground as such a source is in the offing. Gail Tverberg and I doubt that it will come in good time to do you any favors. (Evolution is such a ruthless process).

Andrea Rossi’s eCat has been verified by an argument of professors in Sweden and at Cornell University. From the report:

An experimental investigation of possible anomalous heat production in a special type of reactor tube named E-Cat HT is carried out. The reactor tube is charged with a small amount of hydrogen loaded nickel powder plus some additives. The reaction is primarily initiated by heat from resistor coils inside the reactor tube. Measurement of the produced heat was performed with high-resolution thermal imaging cameras, recording data every second from the hot reactor tube. The measurements of electrical power input were performed with a large bandwidth three-phase power analyzer. Data were collected in two experimental runs lasting 96 and 116 hours, respectively. An anomalous heat production was indicated in both experiments. The 116-hour experiment also included a calibration of the experimental set-up without the active charge present in the E-Cat HT. In this case, no extra heat was generated beyond the expected heat from the electric input. Computed volumetric and gravimetric energy densities were found to be far above those of any known chemical source. Even by the most conservative assumptions as to the errors in the measurements, the result is still one order of magnitude greater than conventional energy sources.

Well. That will give us some breathing space. (Please do not be tempted to include yourselves in the pronoun “Us”).

The next issue to be addressed is the need for artificial intelligence and robotics. I see that we are making steady progress. You might like to observe Big Dog. Primitive, but it has possibilities.

The next thing that you we will need is a really smart way of building huge structures. And here another apple falls into our laps in the form of 3d printing.
And God just keeps giving.

What we also need is a lot of living space while we wrestle this urge to breed and it’s commensurate exponential function, to the ground.

“Space is Big. Really, really big. If you thought it was a long way to the pharmacy that is peanuts compared to space.” (Apologies to Douglass Adams)

At L4 alone there is enough room for several orders of magnitude  more people than on the cramped two dimensional surface of this orb. Here is a graphic of what a Lagrange point looks like.

Lagrange Point Source: Wiki
Lagrange Point Source: Wiki

(You see that hole in the middle. That is the Gravity Well. You live at the bottom of it, poor thing.)

But how do we get there? We all “know” that it takes $$thousands of dollars to get even one pound out of the well, don’t we?

And just what will we find when we get there? The vacuum of space is no place for a trowel and mortar. But please- one issue at a time!!

Space elevator. Source: Wiki
Space elevator. Source: Wiki

How are we going to loft the remnants of humanity off the planet? Well there are several options available to us. Colossal Carbon Nano-tubes offer us a splendid means of taking the Elevator.

Or if a week of sitting around in a lift is just too boring, please consider orbital airships. At a cost of $1 per ton per vertical mile that might be within your our budget. (Wiki does fret about re-entry problems. There will be no re-entry. Unless you are a masochist of cause.)

But ponder this problem. Where are we going to get the materials? A hint: It will not be from the bottom of some gravity well. Gravity wells suck.

The God that gives, keeps giving.

The purpose of the Moon is not to help seduce maidens.

The purpose of the moon is to offer us the resources we need at just the right distance to encourage us into The Void.

“But,” we used to declare confidently “It has no water.”

When will we learn to keep our mouths shut? So now we have water at the poles. Someone else declared that the water at the poles was the greatest discovery of all time. He was right, because we now have run out of excuses.

What’s that I hear you think? We don’t have strong enough materials. See my point above about keeping our mouths shut. Only open them to give thanks.

Graphene, a layer of triple bonded atoms just one atom thick is capable of supporting an elephant. To get it to rip the elephant would need to stand on a pencil.

OK so now we have the Energy. Check.

We have the means to get into space in huge numbers. Checkᶩ (Did I mention the fact that the Orbital Airships are made of graphene? No? I did not think it necessary. Everything will be made of graphene.)

We are developing the robots to do the hard work on the moon and construct the habitat at the Lagrange points. Check

What are we still missing? Ah Yes. The Motivation. And here it is.

Standard run model from The Limits to Growth report.
Standard run model from The Limits to Growth report.

Do you see that Black line? That is Deaths.

Do you see that little wobbly bit a few years into the 20th century? That was the combined effect of 1st and 2nd World Wars, the Spanish flu, Stalin’s pogroms and the famine in China and India.

Now look a little further along the line. Do you see a subtle change?

If you don’t see anything odd, do not be alarmed. It does not concern you.

The Limits to Growth report. [.pdf] Standard run. (Also known as the Business-As-Usual run)

To tell the truth I am getting bored spoon-feeding you. Talk about pulling teeth!

What I will do instead is to give you your  homework. Here is a fictional story that I wrote for your amusement and pleasure. It is all about human relationships and sex, so there is something in it for the girls and the boys. (Sorry. No car chase.)

My story is called “The Breeding.” And if you are very good and read to the end there is a special treat.

Unconvinced? May I suggest you stare for a good half hour into your crystal ball.

Somebody please tell the Atheists they can take their fingers out their ears now.