This section aims to cover in depth the obstacles to the plan. It is important to cover this in detail because the plan raises the question “if this is such a good idea, why are we not already doing it?”. The obstacles listed below are mostly about how the public at large view the problems and solutions, very few of them are technical or physical in nature.

Global Competition 

When we look at the above possibilities we need to carefully consider the global competition we will have for these endeavors. What we decide to do must be world best if we are to have a chance of success. Already Russia, France, Korea and soon China are in the nuclear energy export business. We need to jump step them, and turnkey end to end nuclear power holds this promise.

Let’s look at the information technology startup scene as a simple and known example.

Get over here as quickly as you can. Don’t worry about being ready, feeling fully baked or whatever,” says Bugcrowd founder Casey Ellis. “Do whatever you can to get a ticket over here, stay in a hostel and do whatever you need to be here and experience the place.
— Paul Wallbank, The Australian, June 2016

If you are looking to make a global product, you will go where you have the most chance of early success, in the startup game, early money (customers or investors) is what drives growth at exponential rates, it’s the difference between building a company and building a huge company.

Peter Grant of construction safety service Safesite found social media was a good tool to prepare for the shift to the United States. “If you’re looking at moving at over, but generally speaking you need to make sure there’s a good product and market fit. You need to establish your networks over here, even when I was back in Australia at Muru-D, Twitter was a good way to establish communications.”
“Don’t wait until you get to America, engage with your community and your market as soon as you possibly can. Go onto the webinars, know the language, know the language, know the players — it’s a big country so there’s lots of players. Just start to get involved as soon as you possibly can.”
Founded in Brisbane after Grant found most construction businesses monitored site safely with pen and paper systems, Safesite first moved to Sydney to be part of the first round of Telstra’s Muru-D program. In 2015 he moved to the US as most of the platform’s users were American based and has since set up a network of distribution agents across the nation.
— Paul Wallbank, The Australian, June 2016

The challenge is to ensure we create export industries that are globally competitive. Our track record is not good at doing this, mining and agriculture success was more a function of our location than any specific focus of our governments or industries over the years.

STEM Literacy

Poor science and maths literacy in the general population really makes discussion using facts and evidence difficult. We need to find ways to overcome the gut reactions that make use of the data but do not solely rely on the data and engage people in inventive and emotional ways.

By blanking out, I do not mean that they fall for one of the standard cognitive biases that push people into delusion and denial, simply that they decide that it is not advantageous to act on what you have said, even though they suspect that you may be right. Political information is not neutral. It always helps someone and hinders someone else. If you show that a conservative politician is corrupt or incompetent, conservatives worry that your work will help bring to power left-wing politicians who will raise their taxes. If you show that a left-wing politician is a charlatan, left-wing readers worry about the boost you are giving to conservatives who will reduce the welfare state on which they depend.
— Nick Cohen, You Can't Read This Book, 2007

Catastrophists: The Degrowth Movement

The idea that progress is bad and that to be truly virtuous we need to regress back into our pre-enlightenment or worse pre-agrarian ways of living, as hunter gatherers with no education, healthcare or understanding of the world and the universe we live in is one that has much wider acceptance than it deserves. This neo-Malthusian viewpoint is one of the most dangerous ideas to progress but it is unfortunately broad in its appeal and very difficult to decouple from people’s moral thinking. It is not based in fact but it does makes some of us feel good, like religion before it, it shares many of the same tricks.

These postmaterial values have given rise to a secular and largely inchoate ecotheology, complete with apocalyptic fears of ecological collapse, disenchanting notions of living in a fallen world, and the growing conviction that some kind of collective sacrifice is needed to avoid the end of the world. Alongside those dark incantations shine nostalgic visions of a transcendent future in which humans might, once again, live in harmony with nature through a return to small-scale agriculture, or even to hunter-gatherer life.
In preaching antimodernity while living as moderns, ecological elites affirm their status at the top of the postindustrial knowledge hierarchy. Affluent developed-world elites offer both their less well-to-do countrymen and the global poor a laundry list of don’ts — don’t develop like we developed, don’t drive tacky SUVs, don’t overconsume — that engender resentment, not emulation, from fellow citizens at home and abroad. That the ecological elites hold themselves to a different standard while insisting that all are equal is yet another demonstration of their higher status, for they are thus unaccountable even to reality.
— Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus

Thankfully we have many great thinkers, many of whom are quoted in this essay, that quickly and easily debunk this thinking. For a much more detailed dive into technology and its ability to make our lives better I cannot recommend more “Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper, How Innovation Keeps Proving the Catastrophists Wrong” by Robert Bryce.

Regardless there is a very large cohort of political and media support for this way of thinking, not to mention that it has now been commercialised in almost every sector. As an example, Australian Ethical Superannuation does not invest in fossil fuels but also does not invest in nuclear energy, the only technology that can displace fossil fuels. Clearly Australian Ethical Super is more interested in the ethics of customer acquisition than it is in the ethics of actually doing good.

Of all the obstacles this is one that will likely take the most effort to debunk, unfortunately like all the previous forms of spirituality throughout human history, ecotheology has a nice narrative, some core true believers and now corporate support. It will be hard, but it must be debunked.