To the Editor,
Stephen Hawking is universally acknowledged as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Albert Einstein.
And a couple years ago, when he was asked to name the most pressing scientific challenge facing humanity, Hawking promptly answered that it was the quest to produce commercially viable electricity from clean nuclear fusion – the same energy source that powers the sun.
Imagine a power plant much, much smaller than Burrard Thermal that could safely and cleanly power the entire Lower Mainland, and beyond, without any harmful emissions, radiation or risk of meltdown.
Unfortunately, commercially viable fusion power remains stubbornly elusive and the scientists and engineers working on the problem estimate that it will not be a reality for at least 30 to 50 years, if not 100 years or more from now.
That’s why the clean, renewable energy sources we can develop today are so important, because they are going to bridge us from a world dependent on dirty coal (the world’s major energy source for electricity generation today) to a world that might one day be powered by safe, clean fusion power.