I’m not much of an environmentalist, but recently a few news stories about ways to solve the energy crisis have caught my eye.
For the sake of clarity, and most definitely not to insult the above-average intelligence of our Collective readers, I’ll state the basic problem: We can’t figure out how to produce enough energy without totally depleting the planet of all its natural resources.
Though we’ve come up with a few “sustainable” solutions, such as harnessing the power of the sun, wind, and waves, so far nothing we’ve come up with has managed to come close to producing enough energy to meet global demand.
And unless somebody figures out pretty quickly how to fuse atoms in a safe and cost-effective way, this situation is likely to continue for some time.
So I was quite surprised, astonished really, to see on the television that someone had come up with the idea of putting solar panels on the moon.
On the one hand, this sounds like a great idea, since the moon is constantly and exclusively absorbing the rays of the sun (it hasn’t got a lot else to do) and solar panels could cover much larger areas on moon than they could on Earth, since after all we have to find a place for people to live too.
As long as they could figure out how to relay the energy back to the Earth, we’d be set. And, to earn even more points for the saving-the-Earth team, this particular scientist had the idea of using the dust found on the Earth’s surface to make the solar panels, which capture the sun’s energy. Potentially a very ingenious way to provide the energy required by the approximately 7 billion people on the Earth.
On the other hand, we might end up with the moon looking like a disco ball.
Maybe the more relevant questions is who actually gets claim to the moon in the first place?
In my brief research into the matter, I found that there are already several countries, including Japan, seriously considering lunar solar panels as an energy source.
If you thought the Senkaku/Dioayu Islands dispute was a major breakdown in international relations, just wait to see what happens on the moon.