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View Diary: The Wisdom of Deathbed (Nuclear) Conversion (39 comments)

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  •  Even if we assume that we could meet the 1/3 usage (0+ / 0-)

    target, that does not solve the problem.  It might be possible, but that still means the US needs very large scale energy production.  If we get rid of fossil fuel powered vehicles, then we have to substitute for that energy, either with a new demand on electricity generation for transportation, or by using biofuels, which must compete with food production.

    But the real problem is that the rest of the world wants something approaching the US standard of living.  Who are we to say they can't have it?  Even if that means just 1/3 the energy usage per capita of the current US, there are so many more people that we will still face resource exhaustion and climate change if fossil fuels are used.  An entire world using energy per capita at 1/3 the current US rate would still use 6 or 7 times the total current US energy usage.  The problem of resource exhaustion and climate change is a world wide problem, but aspirations to raise standard of living is world wide too.

    Greatly reducing energy usage is extremely important, because the costs of energy will go up once we are not just scooping it out of the ground.  But we still have to produce a lot of energy.

    The only ultimate long term answer to resource exhaustion is for the world population to be reduced.  We can only hope that the reduction comes about by a voluntary reduction in world wide birth rate, rather than an involuntary increase in the death rate.

    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." Bertrand Russell

    by Thutmose V on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 02:35:39 PM PDT

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    •  about transportation: "give a hoot, telecommute!" (0+ / 0-)

      An enormous amount of transportation and energy usage in buildings (heating & cooling) is devoted to moving people back and forth so they can sit at a desk and use a computer and a telephone.

      The insanity of that is right up there with digging holes and filling them in again five days a week.  

      Speaking from expertise: I designed one of the technologies used for telecommuting.  

      There is no good reason whatsoever (though plenty of bad reasons such as bosses who want to "see" their employees, even though that's possible via telecommuting also) that all information-handling jobs ("using a computer and telephone") can't be put on a telecommute basis.  The savings of energy and raw materials will be absolutely enormous.

      ----

      As for "everyone else wants what we have," the answer is, they can't have it, nor can we any longer.  "Want" is equivalent to "wish for," and "wishes" are meaningless in the face of natural law including the finitude of Euclidean solids such as planets.

      Population reduction will come, the only question is how much suffering occurs along the way, and how that suffering is distributed.  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 05:47:49 PM PDT

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