TED Conversations

Skye Kelly

Executive Director, Heal One World

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Can we expect emerging countries to curb their energy consumption, even though we had decades of flagrant use?

China, India and other emerging countries- from 3rd to 1st world in a flash- are beginning to start using resources the way we have here in the USA for decades now- some are just "basic" like indoor electricity and city infrastructures, to more grandiose things like air conditioning, SUV's and sky scrapers. With their immense populations all looking for the western way of life, mcdonalds and all- can we try and hold them to any consumption standards? To reduce fossil fuel consumption in particular. To learn from our mistakes? Should we offset them by making deeper cuts at home? Even if it is more costly upfront- how can we have them see that renewable energy may save a lot in the long run? Do you know of some countries at the forefront? I know of Germany, but in the emerging sector? It seems these countries maybe the tipping point for many issues regarding sustainability?

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    Sep 29 2012: Shawn, I appreciate your thoughts on the thorium reactor. The downside to this technology (LFT reactor) is that the waste products are even more reactive and radioactive than the technology we are currently using... Which is why that technology was abandoned, it's also somewhat more difficult reaction to damp when things go Tango Uniform... With all said I think we as a nation and as a world are better off developing liquid metal batteries (for slack generation periods) and solar or wind as a power source. If/when the battery technology gets there (prototypes have been built on a small scale... 50 watt-hour level.. needs 500-1000 watt-hours to be a viable solution, we could then have a distributed network for power....Much like the WWW is a distributed network for data.

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