Our standard of living is at risk because of our
dependence on imported oil. Fusion
power using the D-D reaction is the ultimate energy source because the supply
of deuterium fuel in the oceans is inexhaustible. Every gallon of water has the
potential of producing the equivalent of burning 300 gallons of gasoline.
The Earth has 326
million trillion gallons of water so the total equivalent energy is ~100
trillion trillion gallons of gasoline if all the Earth's D were burned in a
fusion reactor. The world is consuming about 84 million barrels of
oil a day in 2008. This is roughly equivalent to (84e6 barrels/day)(40
gal/barrel)(365 days/year) = ~1.5 trillion gallons of gasoline per year.
This means that the Earth's D-D energy could last at least 50 trillion years at
current consumption rates. Since the Earth is only expected to last
another 4 billion years, we could increase energy consumption per person more
than 10,000 times the current consumption rate and still have energy left over
at the end of the world 4 billion years from now. These numbers show why
we should be spending more money on D-D fusion R&D. Unfortunately nearly all the
R&D funding for this type of research was cut in the 2008 US budget.