(Dirty energy is what we Earthlings use every day (even our clean energy is dirty somewhere along the line).
It takes about 2.5 seconds for light to hit the moon and return to earth (a lunar laser ranging experiment says so), meaning we have a massive chunk of mass floating around our planet not being used for anything constructive besides night-sky decoration. Sure, we land on it every now and then to practice planting flags and picking up rocks - but that's hardly helping us deal with our main problems back here on Earth, is it?
Humanity's pretty unadvanced for a space-race
As I see it, we have several profoundly ‘wrong’ things in existence in our societies:
Now, out of all of these, which do YOU think is the most important?
I know what I think.
Environmentalism. No, not because I’m a tree hugger or a vegan (I’m neither). Simple: all of the other issues (and a great amount of other conceivable problems and facets of our societies) are reliant on energy. How do we create energy? Simple – we provide energy most commonly through burning things, exploding things (fission) and/or letting nature do our work for us. All of these methods require a great deal of construction/raw materials to function, and generally are costly and ineffective.
Cold fusion was a nice idea/hoax, but doesn’t look like it’ll be happening soon. So what do we do? We can’t burn up everything and poison all areas of our planet, we live here! There is only one plausible solution – we beam energy to us, from the MOON! Ok fine, there are quite a few ways to generate energy.
Build a giant laser. On the moon.
The premise is, according to the research department of Shimizu – Japanese construction giant, to cover the moon with lots of solar panels. Then… use lasers to transmit the power to earth. Remember when I said 2.5 seconds for a round-trip to the moon at the speed of light? Yeah.
The moon’s face (facing the sun) receives 13,000 trillion watts (terawatts) continuously – this is apparently 650 times the current amount of energy needed by humanity to “continue to grow economically.”
The solar panels would be installed with government funding, and for the most part, maintained and controlled by a robot legion of workers.
(This always ends well).
The concept itself isn’t new, it was first considered in the 1970’s by NASA, except with satellites, not the moon. Technology was a limiting factor, as we’ve made a lot of progress. Can we truly use giant lasers to send energy however?
2 minutes on high. Cooked perfectly every time!
A standard laser conversion set up results in a loss of approximately 50% of the transmitted energy (changing things to and back from light is very inefficient, it seems). A better option is microwave transmission: despite health concerns, it is much more effective overall.
(Fun fact, the US has been wanting to use a ‘microwave weapon’, called the “Active Denial System” to disperse people for a while, allegedly it feels like being on fire, but stops hurting once the laser is off.)
So, clean, massive amounts of energy, floating around us at all time, going to waste. When every minute we lose 150 acres of rainforest to lumber harvesters, churn out black smoke into our air and power everything owned by citizens by igniting fuel to create controlled micro explosions (like cars).
Good thing we’re such an advanced species.
(Solar energy from the moon is optimistically projected to occur in the next 25 years, but even the man making that prediction believes it unlikely).