If you don't think the moon qualifies as random crap, we've got a whole shelf full of useless moon rocks that would beg to differ. Or at least they were useless, before we figured out they could produce safe, clean nuclear energy.
Most nuclear power plants run off fission--splitting the nucleus of an atom to "poop" electricity, if you will--but the real technology everybody wants is nuclear fusion. That process of binding atoms together would be safer and cleaner and provide a mind-boggling amount of power.
Right now fusion is usually attained using deuterium, extracted from seawater, and tritium, the stuff from Spider-Man 2. Yes, tritium really exists. And it glows, proving once again that the science we learned from comic book movies is completely accurate.
Fusion doesn't work all that well right now, as you can probably guess by the fact that we're not using it yet. Fusion power plants are thought to be at least 40 years away, and even then fusion from these elements produces secondary radiation, which creates waste and significantly shortens the life of the components in the reactor.
A much safer and cleaner option is Helium 3, which creates an incredible amount of energy with no radioactivity. Although there are only a few hundred kilograms of the stuff on the Earth, Helium 3 is found in large quantities in moon rocks. Helium 3 is so potent that experts estimate that one space shuttle load would provide electricity to the entire United States for a year.
And They Get Energy from this... How?
The lab at the Fusion Technology Institute in Wisconsin developed a basketball-sized fusion device which runs on Helium 3. It can produce one milliwatt of power on a continuous basis.
OK, it would take about 5000 of these to run a light bulb, but still. Baby steps. The project has proven that your Mr. Fusion Home Reactor isn't completely in the realm of fantasy.
So, What's the Problem?
Well, first of all, the Helium 3 is ON THE MOON. Mining is going to be difficult and expensive, unless you could somehow get a ragtag group of offshore oil workers to complete basic astronaut training and fly out in desperate mission to save humanity. Though they may find they have company once they get there.
In a revamped, There Will Be Blood-y version of the Space Race, China and Russia have both announced plans to build lunar stations and begin mining Helium 3 on the surface of the moon.
Of course, there should be enough Helium 3 on the moon to power humanity for thousands of years. But we'll probably go to war over it anyway, just for the hell of it.
Now meet the celebrities who will undoubtedly be on board with every single one of these ideas, in The 7 Most Retarded Ways Celebrities Have Tried to Go Green. Or check out more retarded ideas to save this doomed planet, in 5 Ways People Are Trying to Save the World (That Don't Work).
And visit Cracked.com's Top Picks to see our own idea for generating alternative energy (hint: it involves boobs, friction and our faces).