A cockup waiting to happen................

Light sails + fusions engines look good, shoudl be able to get 0.7 - 0.8 c with that combo. I suspect the first trips will be similar to the Mayflower voyage, ie no one expected them to come back.

I think the first extraterrestrial colonisers woudl not expect to return, but set up a permanent colony and stay there.

and how the hell would that help with earth's energy problem exactly?

The better solution long term is we invent a way to get off this planet and spread ourselves across the galaxy. Thats means more technology, not less.
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joe-90 said:
And that means we are stuck on this planet as the Laws of Science won't let us get off it.

I'm not aware of any law of science that says we can't get off this planet. :eek: :eek: :eek: .

There's a law that says that energy can't be created out of nothing. It's sometime disputed, wrongly, with the counter claim that you can get energy out of mass. It's already in there, trapped in some way inside a nucleus, just like the energy inside a TNT molecule or a compressed spring. If you released a compressed spring, I'd be very surprized if its mass didn't go down. :) :) :)

There's another law that says disorder is always increasing. That's because there are many, many more disordered states than ordered ones. Anybody who regularly cleans a house full of teenagers knows that one. :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:

There's a law that says that a massive particle cannot be accelerated beyond the speed of light because its momentum (NOT its mass) would become infinite. That one may be true except for one thing; it's possible that gravity alone might accelerate a massive particle through the light barrier. We will only be able to test this theory when we figure out how to generate gravity to order - and I'm not holding my breath. I suspect that the so-called weakest known force will prove to be the toughest nut to crack. ;) ;) ;)

But the Starship Enterprise doesn't travel faster than light. It travels at sub-light speed through compressed - that is to say warped - space and that's theoretically possible, though the energy requirements are extreme.

Sorry Joe. You're right about oil running out. There's also an outside chance that we are heading into Mad Max territory, but I'm going to side with Lincsbodger on this one. I used to hear people predicting disaster back in the sixties. If it wasn't CND warning us about nuclear armageddon, it was the likes of Mary Whitehouse telling us that we were all going to HELL! :evil: :evil: :evil: We humans are nothing if not resourceful - and we're still here. :D :D :D

We won't last long enough to find that out. We are way overpopulated and resources are low. There is no 'magic' waiting in the wings. We don't need it 10 million years on - we need it ten years on. The clock will soon strike midnight and Man's reign on Earth will be over.
I think we should all have steery carts. If everyone in the developed world had a steery cart instead of a car they wouldn't need any oil, and they could each employ a couple of ne'er do wells from the undeveloped world to push them around in shifts.
Obama stopped the planned, put a man back on the moon, because of the costs involved,so the likelyhood of any space travel away from the earths orbit is a probaly no no,so start building coal fired power stations theres still plenty of coal left or build nuclear stations or the third option import our elecy from the continent,if the third option is to expensive then do a proper costing of the coal v nuclear options.If the enviromentalists don't like either option then let them get there own funding (not government)and if wind or wave power is truly proved to be more cost effective and enviromentally friendly then we could buy in at a later date.
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In a typical British winter, electricity demand peaks at around 59 gigawatts. Last year, 45 per cent of that was met by North Sea gas, 35 per cent from coal, 15 per cent from nuclear.

By 2015, we shall need around 64 gigawatts - but by then four of Britain’s ten elderly nuclear stations will have shut down, and North Sea gas production will have fallen by two-thirds from its 1999 peak.

We shall breach every international agreement if we remain big coal-users without using costly and unproven carbon-capture technology to clean it. At least a quarter of our generating capacity will have gone.

Read the energy report published two months ago by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE). This presents a terrifying picture of government inertia and folly.

It says: ‘In technological terms there are no choices to be made.’ In order to keep the lights on and meet commitments to a low-carbon economy, ‘the demand is so large that every available technology will be needed as quickly as possible.

‘With over 80 new nuclear or CCS [Carbon Capture] power plants required - around two per year - along with vast increases in all forms of renewables, building the system would require an enormous effort, probably only achievable by monopolising most of the national wealth and resources.

So the Lib Dems had better stop ****ing about, otherwise they may well keep there 'principles' on green energy while we shiver in the dark and industry grinds to a standstill. Remember the Winter of Discontent - when the TV went off at 10 PM by order to force everyone to go to bed and stop using electricity, and factories were on 3 days weeks cos they only had power 3 days in 5 ? We need nuclear power, **** loads of it. and pd ****ing q.
So here we are, almost 14 years since the above was posted by Linksbodger and progress is slow