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Greg Boyles

Fortunately, most countries are nowhere near their maximum sustainable population sizes.

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You should be more careful making blatantly spiteful threads; you tend to make embarrassing mistakes, like blaming people for statements they did not make.

 

Now, I suppose I should adjust the statement I made that you seem to take offense to. There are wildly varying estimates of the maximum sustainable population of Earth, depending on the underlying assumptions used. Certainly present resource usage is not sustainable for decades or centuries. However, there are a number of industries waiting for another Green Revolution moment:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Revolution

 

For example, some estimates of sustainability predict the depletion of fossil fuels removing a prime energy source, but new alternative energy sources and the discovery of new fuel reserves have rather disrupted those estimates. Similarly, clean water supplies are only becoming cheaper; medicine is becoming more widely available; new crops and agricultural techniques will only increase yields; and new technology is getting more energy-efficient, not less.

 

There may be some resources we use unsustainably and are not making progress towards improving upon; perhaps you had some examples in mind. Do you have any further information on the subject?

 

Also, is twelve hours too long to wait for a response? I have a full-time job to attend to.

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There really is no need to start new threads for things like this. They just drown out legitimate debate threads and force them to page 2.

Edited by bob000555

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You should be more careful making blatantly spiteful threads; you tend to make embarrassing mistakes, like blaming people for statements they did not make.

 

Now, I suppose I should adjust the statement I made that you seem to take offense to. There are wildly varying estimates of the maximum sustainable population of Earth, depending on the underlying assumptions used. Certainly present resource usage is not sustainable for decades or centuries. However, there are a number of industries waiting for another Green Revolution moment:

 

http://en.wikipedia....reen_Revolution

 

For example, some estimates of sustainability predict the depletion of fossil fuels removing a prime energy source, but new alternative energy sources and the discovery of new fuel reserves have rather disrupted those estimates. Similarly, clean water supplies are only becoming cheaper; medicine is becoming more widely available; new crops and agricultural techniques will only increase yields; and new technology is getting more energy-efficient, not less.

 

There may be some resources we use unsustainably and are not making progress towards improving upon; perhaps you had some examples in mind. Do you have any further information on the subject?

 

Also, is twelve hours too long to wait for a response? I have a full-time job to attend to.

 

I assume you are referring to solar voltaics replacing fossil fuels for example. However there is a flaw in this notion that renewable energy source like this can replace fossil fuel energy and be sufficient to sustain the current population at its current rate of energy consumption.

 

I have previously found a website (which I might be able to find again) where they did a bit of maths to determine the viability of solar voltaics repalcing current annual oil consuption of the US.

 

I don't recall the exact figures but they calculated that it would take an area roughly the size of Malaysia packed solid with solar voltacis to entirely meet the USA's current annual energy consumption as oil.

 

That's a lot of silicon Cap and a awful lot of energy to manufacture it and the panels and then install them all. Then of course they will have to be kept dust free and any damaged by storms or terrorists etc will have to be of course replaced. Similar situation with wind turbines and solar thermal.

 

Including all this the EROEI of solar voltaics, solar thermal and wind energy is very low compared to fossil fuels. And we all know that when we are low income earners we don't have an awful lot of surplus income to enable us to live a rich and varied life. Compare that to the energy required to build a deep sea oil rig and the amount of surplus energy it generates over its life time.

 

So renewable energy source may well be a viable source of energy in the future, but not for the current number of us and not at our current level of our consumption.

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I would like to see the calculation, but I also think the premise is flawed. The goal isn't to replace all oil consumption with solar; not all oil consumption is a candidate to be replaced. But still:

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_the_United_States#Current_consumption

Oil is about 12 PHw, or 12 x 10^12 kWh. Solar can generate more than 1 kWh/m^2 each day in the southwest, and there are 10^6 m^2 in 1 km^2. That gives about 33,000 km^2 of area; which is roughly one-tenth of Maylasia. (Maylasia being slightly larger than New Mexico) It's also roughly the area covered by buildings in the US.

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I would like to see the calculation, but I also think the premise is flawed. The goal isn't to replace all oil consumption with solar; not all oil consumption is a candidate to be replaced. But still:

 

 

http://en.wikipedia....ent_consumption

Oil is about 12 PHw, or 12 x 10^12 kWh. Solar can generate more than 1 kWh/m^2 each day in the southwest, and there are 10^6 m^2 in 1 km^2. That gives about 33,000 km^2 of area; which is roughly one-tenth of Maylasia. (Maylasia being slightly larger than New Mexico) It's also roughly the area covered by buildings in the US.

 

And you would have to add another lot of solar panels to cover coal consumption and that would probably be an even larger area.

 

At some point renewable energy will have to entirely replace oil because oil production is believed to have peaked a decade or so ago and is expected to rapidly decline in the coming decades as demand rapidly increases with the global population peaking at 9-10 billion. And the oil companies themselves, or elements within them, that are increasingly saying this.

 

And when cheap oil is gone we will no longer have the industrial might to pull off such a massive transformation in energy infrastructure. And let's also remember that cheap coal is also dependant upon cheap oil - all the extraction equipment runs on diesel fuel.

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In your previous post you seemed very down on solar. Now you seem pro-solar. What's your position?

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In your previous post you seemed very down on solar. Now you seem pro-solar. What's your position?

 

I fully support all forms of renewable replacing fossil fuels.

 

 

But I implacably stand against dim wit politicians and business leaders using renewable energy technology as a propaganda tool to help prop up their fairytale of perpetual economic growth in the face of declining fossil fuels.

 

 

 

And I am implacably against any scientists that aid and abet dim wit poticians and business leaders in their fairytale when most of them clearly know better.

 

 

 

By all means develop the technology, but publicly contradict the poltical and business establishment on the issue of continued growth.

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