[ExI] Malthus and Marx

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Sat Jul 18 18:26:38 UTC 2020

On Sat, 11 Jul 2020 at 21:01, spike jones via extropy-chat
<extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> Nuclear power is looking more attractive over time.  Those of us who do calculations have concluded that in the long run, it must be nuclear.  There is no substitute.
> Recall a discussion in this forum 25 years ago, a thread which was called something like “Is technology infinite?”  That discussion focused on energy generation tech.  We have an underlying assumption that technology would always come along, progress would be made, everything will be OK, but even then, we already had a good example of a technology in which astonishing investment had been made and technology didn’t come: nuclear fusion.  Today we have tokamacs in operation, but fusion didn’t come.
> We have had progress in energy generation, but we still rely on coal, natural gas, falling water, wind and solar.  Technology improved but a quarter of a century later I will still argue as I did then, that technology advance is not infinite.  At some point we really do get to the point we have discovered everything there is to know.
> The implications of that notion are appalling.
> In the meantime, nuclear fission will need to carry part of the load.
> spike

The latest estimates for world energy consumption
(for 2019, before Cov19) were -
As an overall share of energy consumption, oil remained on top with
33% of all energy consumption. The remainder of global energy
consumption came from coal (27%), natural gas (24%), hydropower (6%),
renewables (5%), and nuclear power (4%).
>From BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2020.

That 4% nuclear power comes from about 450 nuclear power stations.
For nuclear power to make a significant impact it will require
building thousands of nuclear power stations. This will take many
years and cost trillions of rapidly devaluing currency.
In the current environment it will take a huge change for this to
become acceptable, if it is even possible.

Let's hope for nuclear fusion, or some other innovative energy source to appear.
And quickly as well. would be nice!


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