I am honored to have this opportunity to introduce a program for the economic and environmental security for Earth, and especially for the United States of America, by meeting Earth's real electrical power needs. [...]
Solar power bases will be built on the Moon that collect a small fraction of the Moon's dependable solar power and convert it into power beams that will dependably deliver lunar solar power to receivers on Earth. On Earth each power beam will be transformed into electricity and distributed, on-demand, through local electric power grids. Each terrestrial receiver can accept power directly from the Moon or indirectly, via relay satellites, when the receiver cannot view the Moon.
See also: alt.pave.the.earth and alt.chrome.the.moon.
...so, last time I heard about this, if I recall correctly, the fact was brought up that we have no experience with what effect beaming megawatts of energy from orbit down to the surface will have on the top layers of our atmosphere, nor what it could do to our magnetic fields, etc ...
Ha, this doesn't involve beaming megawatts through the atmosphere, it involves terawatts.
Think of it, 20 whole terawatts, we might as well be burning baby seals for power! Bye bye ice caps! I mean, the sun only puts out, lets see, solar constant...radius of earth, that's only about 167,000 terawatts!
Oh. Wait a second.
Why not just destroy Belgium? It would far more environmental sense ...
Oh, wait, wrong argument. Erm, why don't we just coat the ice caps with silicon?
Now _that's_ an image to remember!
Didn't Tesla at one time propose electrifying the atmosphere to the degree that you could use any electric appliance anywhere without plugging it in?
Whose calling him mad now, Bwahaha?
"They laughed at me
at the Institute.
But I'll show them all."
Actually I think he figured out a way to electrify the planet, so you could run your toaster by just pounding a spike into the ground. I don't think he wanted to charge the atmosphere as well, but I might be misremembering.
I'm flashing back to an Asimov short, except that one was about robots, for whom focusing the beam became a religion.
:) I remember that one too. The robot was 'way better at it ... so they let it keep the religion and teach it to all the other robots so they could keep the beam aligned too, IIRC.
Yes! Beams of focused energy blasting down from the moon! So, when screening applicants to manage these transmitters: is mustache twiddling prohibited, or mandatory?