I would like to pose a question. Will the implementation of Obamacare have a positive effect for the development of cold fusion, a negative effect, or a negligible effect?
I have been reading the Daedalus issue on ‘the alternative energy future, vol 1,’ (no mention of cold fusion so far:-( ), and one thing that it goes into is that we do not pay the true cost of an fossil fuels economy. It divides costs into two categories, private costs and external costs. Private costs are the costs to fill up the car, or to heat or, especially now, air condition our homes. External costs are the costs to the standard of living and to the economy primarily from pollution, or other ecological effects (I would include bat kills from windmills). The intermittent nature of wind and solar also is effectively an external cost, making those options less economical.
True costs are basically private (or overt) costs plus external (or implicit) costs. The Daedalus issue says that in order for alternative energy to be more competitive, we need to assess the costs more fairly. That is the case for renewables, and it is also the case for cold fusion. Cold fusion is further away than renewables, but a better understanding of the costs of a fossil fuel economy but also of renewables, will make a better case for cold fusion. Pollution is a cost, but so far its effects have been externalized, charged to individual suffering from ailments instead of being included in the calculation.
If the government takes an active hand in healthcare, then all of a sudden the external costs from pollution suddenly become a great concern. Health care costs are growing, but one way a government can limit its expenditures in this area is by tackling sources of pollution. This is, from my limited understanding, some of the thinking over in Europe. Pollution becomes very much a public concern through healthcare. Healthcare could add a whole new dynamic to the energy equation, making expenses reflect true costs.
But I am not sure whether that will be how Obamacare will work. Will there be that kind of overt need for the government to limit costs, or does the individual mandate obscure the issue. Will that dynamic occur, or for that dynamic is a single payer system necessary? Therefore, I ask myself will Obamacare have a positive, a negative or a negligible effect on cold fusion?
But the reason why I bring it up, is to show how something as different as healthcare might cause a domino to fall, starting a chain reaction which will lead to greater attention to cold fusion. Ultimately, everything in the world is related, its just a matter of how we can best make the connections.