Re: Global warming, population, nuclear power

Gordon Irlam (
Wed, 30 Apr 1997 15:05:53 -0700 (PDT)

> Solar doesn't
> cut it -- we already use more energy in a year than falls as sunlight in a
> year.

What is your source for this claim. It sounds bogus to me.

The Solar constant is 1366 Watts / square meter.
The Earth's radius is 6400 kilometers.
The population is around 5 billion I think.

1366 x 3.14 x 6.4e6 x 6.4e6 / 5e9 = 35 megawatts per person

Relative to most people, I lead an extremley affluent life style,
but still only probably consume perhaps 10 kilowatts.

Even at 10% efficiency, 1 thousandth of the Earth's surface should
thus be able to provide sufficient energy for all current needs.