[FoRK] Malthusian machinations

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Thu Jun 17 05:14:59 PDT 2010

On Jun 17, 2010, at 6:06, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:

> On Thu, Jun 17, 2010 at 12:15:41AM -0500, Jeff Bone wrote:
>> Three choices today:  public sector, private sector, or none at all.
> I think there's a great case to be made that energy falls
> under infrastructure, and infrastructure should be
> ideally owned by end users or municipalities, with
> actual operation sometimes outsourced to the private sector.

That's fine if you're 100% locally self-sufficient.  Obvious goal- 
state, but we're clearly not there yet. The necessary investments to  
get there (ie cost-effective fabbing of efficient-enough solar film,  
the necessary research and infrastructure retooling, etc.) don't seem  
practical on that scale, so how do you fund it?

Too, who gets to define the extent of a municipality and / or its  
power to force the issue.

Austin's one of the (at least would-be) greener places around on this  
front. Huge subsidies were being offered last year for all kinds of  
not-yet-efficient-enough half-measures.  Once the costs of those  
subsidies started to roll in, they got scaled back fairly quickly...

I don't see how you get there without either letting those evil old  
"profit motives" Ken likes to bemoan drive things OR introducing some  
even more egregious confiscatory / punitive / authoritarian  
measures...  And I'm not convinced either would actually do the trick.

Municipalities don't build and launch your orbital harvest facilities  
either at today's cost structures, though if you take away the R&D  
costs somehow there launch and operation are probably not too far  
off.  But if municipalities do it then you're probably talking geosync  
rather than LEO, and that's more complicated and expensive still.


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