This page starts a description of what might have been for civilization right now, but it would have upset business-as-usual too much; so, just think of this as science fiction - which it unfortunately has become.
The primary concept here is of a highly efficient electrically powered payload transporter … ground to space and back … potentially buildable in the near future from existing materials. This could rapidly solve many of the severe problems currently faced by mankind, if properly done and utilized. But, it is not in line with existing corporate controlled paths; and clearly they rule, instead of humanity. The low transportation energy costs of about $2 per kg lifted from ground into GEO would have enabled some medium-power Solar Power Satellites built and operating in GEO by now, delivering gigawatts of clean electrical energy to a few rectenna sites around the world. The KESTS transportation system would then be switched to be powered by SPS beamed energy to a rectenna at the KESTS ground terminal acceleration site. so that it itself is thereafter powered by solar energy. Maintenance facilities built for them would have initiated passively-shielded manned presence in GEO, and from there the first of the electrically-lifted-access high spaceports to raidly expand low cost high capacity access to the rest of the solar system, large-scale. And soon the first of the solar-powered total-recycling plants built, using old-type mass spectrometer principles in the hard vacuum at GEO, to be able to take toxic trash of industrial civilization, and convert it back to pure elemental form again, for re-use insted of toxifying the planetary environment. It would probably take another 10 years to build the first of the medium sized 10,000-person rotating space colonies in GEO, such as modeled after the SP-413 NASA report, although the facility was originally envisioned for location at the L-5 point much farther away. Really low cost, high capacity, continuous operating transportation betweeen the equatoral earth surface and GEO, would have enabled incredible-seeming new kinds of civilization-nhancing faciliteies in GEO - but it did not happen. So, enjoy the envisions here, of what might have been; and some UTube videos about it all including actual sci-fi versions, are found by clicking on the graphic below. Enjoy!
This type of transportation structure, which is a quasi-elliptical-hoop around the planet, anchored on the equator, supported by internally generated centrifugal force instead of by strength of materials (unlike tether space elevators,) essentially being a synchronous electrical motor supported by its electrodynamics and also lifting captive spacecraft between ground and high earth orbit GEO using its own internal circulating high velocity armature mass stream energy, and eventually electrically powered by solar energy via a Solar Power Satellite it enabled built in GEO, and utilizing easily developed modifications to existing technology in the near future, could enable the feasable construction and use of such large scale facilities as Solar Power Satellites to cleanly power any and all nations, solar powered total recycling facilities to process toxic industrial trash back into pure elements, very efficient high level electrically accessed rocket spaceports for very large spacecraft construction and use, and even large passively shielded (by water ice) wheel-type space cities, as shown in the diagrams below. Bear in mind that the energy given to mass by moving it from the Earth's equator up into GEO is only $1.57 per kilogram or 73 cents per pound mass, at 10 cents per KWh. Click on the image below to access U-Tube videos about the concepts. And explore the many pages per the menu above, in this work-in-progress website. This project needs to be developed in parallel with ongoing chemical fuel conventional launch systems, even though those businesses would then move up into GEO facilities once this KESTS to GEO project is built scaled to sufficient capacity. Multiple paths to space provide for resilience.