"What is that sucking sound?" I asked a classroom of seniors at San Pedro High School in California. I had been invited to speak for their Career Day, Making a Difference In Our Youth. Upon the wall I showed a picture of a vacuum cleaner. A few giggles erupted through the room.
Over the almost 70-year pursuit of the fusionary holy grail, it's been fairly common for scientists working on the problem to say that they're about 30 years away from achieving a power plant based on fusion.
The future belongs to those seeking to integrate green and growth. This is how our national interests will be secured. This is where jobs will be created. This is where our national security can be best realized.
While nuclear energy in an ideal world would be an attractive option, reality is uglier. The problems greatly exceed the benefits. We need to shelve nuclear power as a viable option, and devote our attention to renewables.
We must stop putting carbon into the air in the first place -- not take it out afterwards -- and we must start moving towards a carbon-free chemical fuel -- hydrogen -- now to begin veering away from catastrophe.