Energy Growth

Energy Growth

If the CO2 content of the atmosphere continues to increase at the present rate then late next century it will probably have risen to around 8 times the present level. World energy consumption is growing at about 2% p. a. Remember that the Third World is trying to catch up the developed world in energy consumption and use. In fact half the worlds people average only 1117 the rich world average per capita use fall the people likely on earth late next century were to rise to the present per capita use levels in rich countries world energy use would be about 8 times its present amount. If India and China insist on pursuing the Western development model they will have to burn their large resources of dirty coal, causing a far worse greenhouse problem than we have now. We should be trying to convince them that it is a mistake to think of satisfactory development in terms of high levels of industrialization and consumption. But there is little chance of them listening to UB unless they could see that we in rich countries were making a big effort to reduce oil use of fossil fuel s. The atmospheric scientists have been telling us for years that if we are to stop the level of carbon in the atmosphere from any higher. It carbon inputs by 60 − 80%. If we were to cut them by 60% and share the quantity of energy between all the people we would have on earth by 2060 you and I would have to get by on only 1/18 of the energy we use now. Most people have no idea of the magnitude of the overshoot and therefore the magnitude of the reductions in resource use and in consumption that will have to be made if the problems are to be solved. The greenhouse problem provides strong support for the “limits to growth” argument. There is no plausible way of solving the problem without accepting drastic reduction in per capita levels of production and consumption and thus shifting to The Simpler Way, including a zero-growth economy.