Black Tablecloth Trick
Rezwan Razani - July 08, 2013
At the Fusion Energy League, we regularly contemplate big, hairy, epic changes in energy in the world. Let’s make fusion happen. Let’s get to a zero carbon footprint. Let’s replace fossil fuels with nuclear fission, fusion and renewables.
Wait, What? Replace fossil fuels?
Can you imagine actually replacing fossil fuels with nuclear and renewables? That means effectively removing most fossil fuels from the playing field and replacing them with said nuclear and renewables. The fossil fuel industry isn’t going to stand for that. That’s major upheaval. Not until every last drop of ROI is harvested. Think of the special interests you’re up against, the pension plans destabilized, the investments upset, the discombobulated jobs. This is major economic churn.
But does it have to be churn?
There is a way to pull a tablecloth off a table while everything remains stable and steady on top. Can we do that with our big hairy fossil fuel replacement goal? Think of fossil fuels as a black tablecloth under our gleaming cities and stable lives. Now pull that oily black fossil fuel tablecloth out from under the world. And we want the world - our institutions and sanity - to remain fairly stable. How do we pull off that trick? (No, seriously, I’m asking.) FYI, inertia is on our side.
But did they really do this? Is there a sheet of glass under all the table settings? Then again the sheet would move, no? In any case, it works as a metaphor.