Energy Leadership Lecture Series: Thom Mason
Science for the Energy Challenge
May 22, 2008 | 2:00 PM | ESB 2001, UCSB
If we are going to successfully tackle the problem of energy, broadly defined as providing enough energy to support higher standards of living for a growing fraction of the world’s growing population without creating intractable conflict over resources or causing irreparable harm to our environment, then substantial advances in the state of the art in energy generation, distribution, and end use are required.
It seems clear that the linked problems of energy, environment, prosperity, and national security are part of the political debate. It is less clear whether there is an understanding that making full use of today’s best energy technologies is highly desirable, and this by itself falls far short of what is needed.
Without a significant and sustained effort in basic and applied research and development, we will not have solutions that lead us to a desirable future. It is in this context that the role of a National Laboratory, like Oak Ridge, working with the academic and industrial research communities takes on a significance that is of similar scope to the national security drivers that gave rise to the Laboratory system in the first place.