What appeared as just background doom mongering seems to be coming to pass. The end of our civilisation is looming in the form of climate change and the long prophesied energy crisis.

The first and most effective step toward CO2 reduction is improved efficiency. A combination of nuclear and renewable energy is the accepted solution to the energy gap left by fossil fuel. In the short term we need to reduce carbon emissions. In the long term we need to access carbon free energy with minimum radioactive waste.

We can burn the old tyre nuclear fire with ease but it produces a poison that lasts 100,000 years and it stinks. We can make the damp firewood burn but it takes more energy to dry it out than we get back by burning it, so it is pointless.

he problem is this: to harvest the Helium 3, tens of thousands of tons of lunar soil need to be processed by hundreds of tons of machinery.The cost in financial and environmental terms would be too high if we use conventional rocketry as the basis for such an endeavour. A much more efficient way of accessing space must be found.

Enter HYPACC 2! The majority of the materials needed would be tough machinery and fuel, capable of withstanding the G-force of a super-gun. All the soft and human resources would have to employ more conventional means of reaching orbit and beyond.

Near space could provide all we need in energy and minerals to allow every human on the planet to live a western lifestyle without harm to the environment.

If we had a huge supply of carbon free energy we could actually stop global warming. If we used some of the energy to turn salt water into fresh and then used it to irrigate desert the additional biomass (largely in the form of fertile soil) created would reduce carbon levels in the atmosphere, slowing the warming process. The beneficial side effects are as obvious as they are numerous.

The billions wasted on conflict over scarce resources could be used to encourage resettlement in newly irrigated regions. Famine would be a word only used in an historical context. Conventional nuclear power would be obsolete thus eliminating the prime source (and excuse) of fissile material and radioactive waste.

It will take global collaboration on a scale never seen before and employ many militaryclassified technologies. Cooperation is the only viable strategy.

"100 tons of He3 would provide enough energy to supply the entire world
for a full year."
However, there is another option on the cusp of current possibility that would render conventional nuclear power obsolete.

Although virtually absent on planet Earth, Helium 3 abounds in the soil of our moon. 100 tons would provide enough energy to supply the entire world for a full year.
Helium 3 is like dry firewood (two protons instead of one). It burns with minimal pollution and produces lots of heat but we have to go to the moon to get it.
A moon map of how to find Helium 3 is discussed by BBC News Online Science Editor Dr David Whitehouse Moon map aids discovery
It is all down to the amount of energy you get from splitting neutrons from protons. I look at it like this: Imagine we have two local types of fuel: Old tyres (conventional nuclear power) and damp firewood (ordinary helium).
About 25 tonnes of He3 would power the United States for 1 year at our current rate of energy consumption.

To put it in perspective: that's about the weight of a fully loaded railroad box car, or a maximum Space Shuttle payload.
To quote Martin Luther King Jr. “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as foes.”
Pandora’s box has been open for longer than we realise but we must remember that the last thing to spring from it is hope.