Flibe Energy in the UK, Part 8: Friends of the Earth

On Thursday, September 15, we had an opportunity to present on thorium and liquid-fluoride reactor technology at the offices of Friends of the Earth in London. We were accompanied by Baroness Worthington and several members of the Weinberg Foundation, Laurence O’Hagan, John Durham, and Joanne Fishburn.

We were introduced by Craig Bennett, who recounted the events of the Weinberg Foundation launch a week previous, and encouraged the group to keep an open mind about the potential of thorium technology to fight climate change.

My presentation focused initially on the role that thorium had played in sustaining life on the Earth for billions of years, specifically how the decay of thorium heated the interior of the Earth. This in turn led to the generation of the magnetic field, which protects our atmosphere from being blown away by the solar wind. It also leads to plate tectonics and the movement of oceanic plates subducting under continental plates, which cause the recycling of carbon dioxide through volcanism. Without carbon recycling, life would have sequestered all of the carbon away as carbonate rock billions of years ago, and the Earth would be dead in yet a different way.

Now, thorium can come to our rescue yet again to help us replace carbon-generating electrical power sources, which may be threatening the Earth’s climate. Using thorium as an abundant, natural fuel, molten-salt reactors could be developed that would enable power to be generated on-demand, 24-hours-a-day, without concern about sunlight or winds. Sufficient thorium exists on this planet to enable us to generate the power we need for billions of years.

I also talked about how prominent individuals like Dr. James Hansen had endorsed the use of thorium and the liquid-fluoride reactor as a potential non-carbon energy source.

At the conclusion of the presentation, there were a number of questions from the group and also called in from other locations, but the mood of the room was open and friendly and interested. I was very pleasantly surprised.

After the presentation, I was interviewed by Julian Rush of the BBC for his radio program “Costing the Earth” (which later aired on February 28, 2012).

That night, I enjoyed London’s best fish-and-chips at Toff’s of Muswell Hill, and I felt like our mission in London was nearly complete.