How much we spend on Valentines Day. You won’t believe what a cheap date Fusion is!
Rezwan Razani - February 14, 2015
Some people say the US Fusion program is too expensive. Compared to what? Americans spend 95% more than the fusion program on Valentines Day.
When you love someone, it’s worth it. Let’s show fusion the love! To begin with, let’s appreciate what a cheap date it is.
America’s Valentines Budget: $18.9 Billion
Happy Valentines Day, America! This year, you will express your romantic flair by whispering sweet nothings, and spending 18.9 Billion dollars:
According to the National Retail Federation’s Valentine’s Day Consumer Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, the average person celebrating Valentine’s Day will spend $142.31 on candy, flowers, apparel and more, up from $133.91 last year. Total spending is expected to reach $18.9 billion, a survey high.*
Well worth it, of course! Who can put a price on love.
Meanwhile Over at the US Fusion Program
The fusion haters say that “we spend “unfathomable” amounts of money on fusion.”
Is it unfathomable? The combined inertial and magnetic fusion program in the US was less than $1Billion last year. Compare that to the $18.9 Billion Americans spend on a single holiday - Valentines Day. That’s about 19:1, Valentines:Fusion. 95%:5%. Fusion is 5%.
Wait! You say. That’s just this year. If we add up all the money we’ve spent on fusion over the years - surely THAT is an unfathomable amount. OK then, let’s add it up.
Between 1953, when the fusion program started, and today, the TOTAL spent on fusion energy in the US, both Magnetic and Inertial was $26.9 Billion dollars (adjusted to $36.8 Billion) - Source: Fusion Power Associates.
Over a 61 year period, that’s an average of ~$600 Million a year in inflation adjusted dollars. This total includes NIF as well as Tokamaks and alternatives. Let’s round it up. $37 Billion TOTAL.
That’s just shy of two Valentines Days.
Will Fuse for Crumbs
Is that how much you love fusion? Two Valentines Days worth? Fusion scientists say they could get things done faster with some budgetary consistency, a commitment of another two Valentine’s Days worth over the next two decades. Can we make it happen?
How much love does the renewable community expect from the world? 1.4 Trillion - yes TRILLION - a year, for the next 30 years - per the CERES Clean Trillion initiative. Fusion is asking for 0.1% of that. Do the math. That’s crumbs.
Fusion AND Valentines
This isn’t a zero sum situation. Don’t get the idea that we want couples to give up their romantic extravagances or renewables to be underfunded.
We’re just trying to put things in perspective.
America can afford to show love with candy, flowers, cards and getaways, and it’s good for the economy. America can likewise afford fusion - it’s 5% of Valentines - and it’s likewise good for the economy, plus it has a colossal upside!
And remember, if we get fusion to work, there won’t be a zombie apocalypse, wherein civilization crumbles and Shane sleeps with your wife.
In sum, energy breakthroughs ensure a brilliantly sustainable future with plenty of romance to spare.
Spread the word. Fund fusion. #FusionValentine