[FoRK] Malthusian machinations

Dave Kammeyer kammeyer at kammeyer.org
Wed Jun 16 14:41:35 PDT 2010

On Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 3:08 PM, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:
> So:  you think Eugen's a troll, and he probably thinks you (and maybe everybody else that's weighed in on this) are delusional and pollyanna.

No, I don't think Eugen is a troll.  He sounds like a troll.  I'd love
to hear new information or analysis, but Eugen would rather call my
ideas dangerous and leave it at that.

I'd like to keep this thing on facts, so here we go:

The world currently consumes about 500 quadrillion BTU of energy per
year, which, as a rate, is about 15TW.  An average sized nuclear
reactor produces 1GW of electricity, so we would need 15000 nuclear
reactors to meet the energy demand of the world.  This is an
overestimate, because generally processes powered by electricity are
much more efficient than processes powered by fossil fuels. If we
figure 3-4 gigabucks per plant, we're looking at 50 terrabucks to
entirely replace the energy production capacity of the planet.  This
is assuming no economies of scale, which there surely would be with so
much production.

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