Reply to post: Re: Poor choice of Emirates the opportunity to squeeze the hell out of Airbus.

Airbus warns it could quit A380 production

Alan Brown Silver badge

Re: Poor choice of Emirates the opportunity to squeeze the hell out of Airbus.

"don't forget the work into synthetic fuel production"

I'm not. It's unlikely to end up costing less than $300/barrel simply because if it's not done with algae then it's competing with food production (eg, jatophra) and there's not enough space in the agricultural market for that to be more than niche production.

In the long term we're going to need a nuclear economy - preferably molten salt for safety (20 years to commercialise) until fusion is ready (I think 100-150 years to commercialise, realistically) - and if you have molten salt nuclear tech then you have the heat to run a haber process to crack water to H2 and enough energy to tack on carbon atoms for easy handling whilst you're at it (ie, carbon neutral kerosene).

Carbon emissions are already well past the 2C tipping point and we're on track for 4C - the real danger isn't sea level rises though. People can move. Ocean acidification blowing the food chains apart and/or an anoxic event dropping global atmospheric oxygen levels down to 12-15% is the real thing to worry about. Our hungry brains can't handle low oxygen levels and our cardiopulmonary system tends to clog up if exposed to prolonged low oxygen levels, as the primary human body response is to increase haemoglobin levels by thickening the blood - which makes it much harder to pump around.

When you look at it that way, the chinese government's crash program of investigating every alternative to carbon and building a shedload of PWR/CANDU nukes in the meantime makes sense - whatever they find that works will need to be made available to developing countries at low cost as they can more than make up the any reductions the developed countries may make. Human nature means that when the shit hits the fan it will already be too late to make reductions vs going cold turkey. If/when LFTRs are ready they can eat the PWR waste.

It'd be even better and things would proceed faster if everyone put aside their differences and concentrated on getting LFTR/MSRs out the door asap. Whilst they have some downsides they're not as big a set of downsides as PWR nuclear power and we can't afford to sit around procrastinating.

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