What is the final outcome of green energy?

There has been a large amount of discussion which includes good information and downright lies about green energy.

In your opinion, what does the final outcome of green energy look like? Not the journey, what is the final destination?

Here is my wild opinion:
The final outcome is similar to ‘Back to the Future’ where energy is created by placing matter (lol, banana peels in the car to produce energy). Yes, this is oil as banana’s are hydrocarbon based, yet it is based on the principle that GigaJoules of energy can be created by destroying atoms. The downside of this is that sooner-or-later matter on earth will eventually disappear since humans appetite for energy will increase. Maybe we will eventually remove the matter from another planet, star, or moon to satisfy humans thirst for energy?

What is your final utopian green energy picture look like?

Well if you’re going to worry about matter on earth disappearing, you may as well jump ahead to the heat death of the universe. :slight_smile:

I imagine if we don’t kill ourselves off first, we’ll be using solar energy, but in space. I don’t know if we’ll be living in space and using it there, or beaming it back down to earth, or both. Maybe eventually something like a dyson sphere/ring.

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Yes, I think you are right @BillG.

So I guess the definition is somewhat obscure. The ‘green-energy’ question could be guessing at the final destination for mankind.

My Physics professor was able to teach students to think for long-term-goals. If humans know the final destination, then we have to eventually work towards the goal - which may take lifetimes. The good news is that we will have a goal. As of today, there are too many definitions of ‘green’ and getting into the political realm makes this discussion even more messy and corrupt.

My guess is that your final outcome is that humans will be space dwellers? I am not judging right or wrong, just trying to understand your position :slight_smile:

I don’t know if it’s utopia but solar, wind and battery is much more capable than many seem to believe.

Hi @SteveW,

My interpretation of this type of utopia is solar, wind, and battery mining? Everything is electricity? Would everyone live inbetween the north-pole and equator so that we can have low housing energy use (maybe we don’t need houses?). Just asking for the final human utopian green energy final outcome.

Watch the video :wink:

Hi @SteveW,

Ok, I watched the video…This talks about disruption, which is nice. My question is, “What is the final outcome of green energy”? I see this as a transition… In your opinion, what is the final outcome of green energy? What will humankind look like?

Sorry, I am looking for the final goal, not the transition, as there may be other technologies developed (I hope so) which are better than solar, etc. Maybe there will be a sand battery (just making this completely up) which will solve all of our energy concerns. What is the final goal, utopia? What will humankind’s energy use look like at the end?

My definition of “green energy” is “sustainable energy.” Both in terms of not using up the source, but also not killing ourselves off in the process of using it.

As far as the final outcome for people, we show no signs of limiting our population growth and the planet can only sustain so many people, so there’s only one place to go if we can figure out how to get serious numbers up there. I suppose by the time we could build a dyson anything we could probably figure out how to terraform Mars, so perhaps we’d end up there, but knowing us we’ll just fill it up too.

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This is a great explanation. My deeper question is then ‘how’ can we do this.

So far, all energy types (green or not green) seem to have side effects. Fusion is nuclear, meaning it rewrites DNA. Solar requires mining, mining is not good since resources are finite. Oil is somewhat green, as trees and animals create oil, but this resource is also finite. What is an energy source that doesn’t kill ourselves in the process?

Taking a page out of the Dr. Who movies, maybe using gravitational energy near a black-hole event horizon will not use the source? Not sure what the final answer is, just asking. So far, every energy source seems to have a downside. What energy might have no bad effects, such as killing ourselves or using up the source?

If we’re just floating ideas I would suggest algae and/or bacteria as possibilities.

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It isn’t seen as green (or hasn’t been), but I actually see nuclear as a good intermediate step until we find the long-term solution. You can get a lot of energy from a pretty small footprint. We just need to be smart with the plant designs, and have a good place to store the waste. Understandably, nobody wants it in their back yard, but smaller “neighborhood” reactors that can be decommissioned and left in place safely at their end of life may be a good start.

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Not a utopian picture, which is the problem. A green world means almost everyone uses public transportation and does not fly transcontinental on a whim and alters their diet to be sustainable and a bunch of other things that people basically can’t be arsed to do.

Heck, I’m struggling with aspects of this. My wife and I are traveling internationally way less than we want to / are accustomed to, which is to say, not at all, and we miss it. We are not abstaining entirely for climate-related reasons, but it’s influential in our thinking.

I think I have mentioned on this site before a great cartoon that captures the problem – a politician asks a crowd, “who wants change?” and they go wild with applause. Then he asks a very slightly different question: “who wants to change?” and everyone is mute and looking for the exit. I think that captures the basic human problem. We want green energy if it doesn’t inconvenience or limit us in any way. The same for a lot of other noble things like universal healthcare and higher education as a human right (you can tell I’m writing from the US, lol) and even world peace and tolerance and so on. As a species, we talk a good game but want any fixes to be painless (for us at any rate) and not to involve examining or revising whatever assumptions we’re married to or making any hard choices at all.


Here’s an interesting prediction for the future of transport.

Disposal is a massive issue. I have worked on a few projects where disposal of nuclear materials is complicated. The half-life of these materials is quite long, up to millions of years (Radioactive waste - Wikipedia) . Trying to get government approvals is like walking a tight-rope between safe disposal, inexpensive disposal, public outcry, and political problems.

This seems to be the issue, you said it well.

The evolution of humanity includes transportation, computers, cells phones, and nobody wants to part with these luxury items. When an insignificant country like Canada does something, we are a rounding error - so what we do doesn’t count.

Well yeah, obviously that needs to change if we’re going to make it work. And transportation of the waste is one of the biggest problems. That’s why if we can get smaller reactors that can be left in place safely it might work. But like you said, everything about the approval process would need to be changed, as would public perception. So it’s pretty much not going to happen in my lifetime.

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pubic PUBLIC transportation ≠ rural population :slight_smile:

EDIT : auto destroy in action !

We shouldn’t take that as a reason to not try

That’s quite a typo!

I had to read your comment several times to see what you meant

I hate auto destroy and probably should just turn the thing off as it means I DON’T go reread, which I should, since I dont make mistakes which get underlined in red any more :slight_smile: