How did we manage to become this many?
We discovered a magic energy source. Fossil Fuel. To be precise, Oil. And the oil is going away.
Numerous sources are adamant that Peak oil has been reached.
None of this should raise eyebrows by now.
But what is the connection between Oil and population?
“In their refined study, Giampietro and Pimentel found that 10 kcal of exosomatic energy are required to produce 1 kcal of food delivered to the consumer in the U.S. food system. This includes packaging and all delivery expenses, but excludes household cooking).20 The U.S. food system consumes ten times more energy than it produces in food energy. This disparity is made possible by nonrenewable fossil fuel stocks. “
In other words each calorie of food we eat is produced using 10 calories of oil.
We eat oil.
This has enabled us to breed prolifically.
Now, if we never found safe nuclear energy the Business as Usual scenario of the Limits to Growth team would play out.
And this is what the Business as Usual graph looks like.
So what would happen if we had copious amounts of energy?
Well for starters we could extract phosphorus from ocean water.
Phosphorus is one of the limiting factors, due to its position in Adenosine triphosphate, ATP, the energy carrier of all living organisms. It so happens that all the rich deposits of Phosphate are depleted. Lower grades of ore require more energy of remove the “other stuff”.
We could also continue industrial farming which is now in jeopardy because we shan’t have anything to fuel our Headers.
All this too has been modeled by The Report.
Here is what happens if we double our resource base.
Look what happens to pollution. Look too at the steep downward slope of population. This is not ideal.
Now that we have an infinite amount of energy, population pressure is going to force us to leave this gravity well. We have to cut the umbilical cord.
But all is not Buck Rogers of Hollywood, or even Star Wars. As a matter of fact Hollywood is not an authority on the colonization of space.
Dr Gerard K O’Neill is or rather, was.
He asked his students “Is the surface of a planet the right place for manufacture?” “No.” And took it from there.
This is what they proposed.
We are going to do what we have always done when we have used up the possibilities of one geographical location.
We are going to move on.
This time we are going Up.
Love it or hate it, we have no choice.
15 Replies to “The Ramifications of Free energy.”
We don’t even need to take the hydrogen and nickel out of earth’s gravity well to make space colonies with 10,000x the surface area of earth. There’s plenty of nickel (iron –nickel asteroids) and hydrogen (in the form of ice) in the asteroid belt.
O’Neill and his collaborators were unaware of Cold Fusion. They were assuming that all energy would need to be solar.
The environments that we build in space will be restricted by the laws of physics and the limitations of our imaginations.
In the interest of maintaining an already stretched credibility the fact that there is no practical limit on the number and type of habitats that can be manufactured was left out.
The title “ramifications of free energy” is definitely not what I expected it to be about.
You also forget how much easier space colonization would be with a free energy supply. Or anything of significance about the colonization for that matter.
Dias, It is not my intention to force an Ideal on anyone. We all discover our own preferences in life.
The article is an attempt to understand the implications of free energy and where it will lead us.
There are all sorts of inputs that could divert the natural direction of the future.
In the interest of brevity a lot has been left out.
Or we can kill 99% of population if people wont wake up to share every thing equally that is what is going to happened.
We can produce our own food on our own farm like space ship in abundance will you join us or you will starve to death.
I am also disappointed in this article, which is a rehashing of the Peak Oil argument. It would be better to assume that the “deep black” US Department of Defense free energy devices were to be declassified and proceed theoretically from that starting point. How does free energy change people’s lives beyond the electrical bill for their house? How does this change the battery industry back to a generator base instead of trying to improve battery technology for cars and appliances beyond the limitations of today? How does free energy mean desalination plants worldwide can run 24/7 and provide drinking water for Third World countries, and air conditioning and heating for remote locations? How does electrifying our transportation fleet mean no more smog above our cities, ever? How can we reduce crude oil use to only plastics and fertilizer by using free electrical energy and transportation by free energy? How free energy can open up remote locations to colonization and settlement, while at the same time reducing manufacturing costs of a new aerospaceplane fleet to go back into space? How solar and wind power are pitiful backups to true free energy devices? How governments will not be able to control their populations if everyone had free energy and could move around as they wanted to?
All the things you say are true, and they all add to population growth.
I invite you to watch Professor Bartlett’s video “The most important video you will ever see.”
Arithmetic, Population and Energy.
I am familiar with mathematical exponential growth, so the video (which I have watched) is already known. Reality is different from pure mathematics. Manufacturing efficiencies increase over time. All historical fiat currencies have collapsed over time. Population growth is not the problem: megalomania is the problem. Educating and civilizing populations always reduces their primitive population growth. The problem is undereducated, underemployed populations being forced to live in squalor in order to control them and promote an ideology while the elite live like kings. Free energy would lower cost-of-living expenses and open up new possibilities, such as colonizing other planets. Undersea cities. Orbital cities, the greater infinity. Free energy makes turning raw ore and resources into manufactured goods lower as well.
Thank you for following the link.
I would never sabotage myself by defending any model of Reality. After all, they are disposable models.
I also hold the opposite view to myself’ not to be agreeable, but by following the best information available to me.
Professor Hans Rosling is my favourite statistician. He demonstrates entertainingly in this TED talk that the population problem is being addressed.
This is good news. Even without Cold Fusion we will survive.
But Hans Rosling never mentions the role of cheap energy in his talks.
I hold that cheap energy is a fundamental ingredient in our ability to provide the good life.
With the orders of magnitude of energy that Cold Fusion delivers it is inevitable that we will design our own customised environments on a grand scale.
After all, is this not a measure of wealth?
Wow. I love the idea of a space traveling field of food. I definitely want to munch on my way to Mars.
But I believe that cold fusion technology will alter our lifestyle so dramatically, that we will change as humans and our minds will operate with a new mental imprint.
We will remove hydro-electric dams, and restore our waterways. We will selectively mine with an ultra-clean footprint. We will allot wildlife the space to live. We will allow the oceans to recover fish stocks. We will have the energy to recycle everything, and end pollution.
I’m not kidding!
We will make our Earth a work of art unparalleled in the universe. Then, we will travel amongst the galaxy proud to say “Nice to meetcha! We’re from Earth!”
“Make our Planet a work of Art”
That there is a poster, madam.
I have a special treat for you
Rendezvous with Rama
Please, wide screen and good sound system.
We will design our own worlds and they will be beautiful.
That video is awesome. It just makes me ……. silent.
I wish all the world could feel this beauty.
GREAT idea for poster. I’ve been thinking about a new sticker, perhaps that would be a good avenue.
A new era of clean safe energy has begun. Thanks to all the hard working and dedicated chemists and physicists who continued to investigate the mysteries of Cold Fusion when they were ridiculed and ostracized by the establishment physicists and Skeptics. The world is desperate for abundant green energy to fuel our industries and transportation. Andrea Rossi and Sergio Focardi are now ready to demonstrate their Energy Catalyzer (e-Cat), nickel-hydrogen reactor capable of producing thermal energy. Thanks to all the scientists who continued the investigation of Cold Fusion. For more information see, 60 minutes show and this BBC show about cold fusion.
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