Re: Global warming, population, nuclear power

Ron Resnick (
Thu, 1 May 1997 10:56:12 +0300 (EET DST)

> > 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

Light distribution isn't constant over the planet - the poles are
different than the equator,etc. Or does this solar constant already
account for these variances and provide an average?

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

Does this account for institutional/industrial use? Perhaps *you*
don't personally use the energy, but what about the aluminum
smelter that made the foil in your pantry and the siding on your house?

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

As suspicious as Jim's initial claim was (solar is not enough),
this sounds equally unlikely (1/1000 is enough).

> gordon