Scientists at the University of Utah have recently confirmed my sneaking suspicions that this whole “environmental” malarky is all a bit too much of an effort. In fact, they’ve gone on to say that basically we’re all fucked and we can’t do much apart from revert back to hunter gatherers and wander around forests covered in our own poo.
Tim Garrett, an associate professor of atmospheric sciences says in his new paper released last month that “stabilization of carbon dioxide emissions at current rates will require approximately 300 gigawatts of new non-carbon-dioxide-emitting power production capacity annually – approximately one new nuclear power plant (or equivalent) per day.” Garrett says, “Physically, there are no other options without killing the economy.”
Ha! He thinks the economy isn’t dead… silly bofffin.
At the heart of this research is the concept that civilization is like a “heat engine” and that conserving energy doesn’t reduce energy use, but spurs economic growth and more energy use. “Making civilization more energy efficient simply allows it to grow faster and consume more energy.”
To be fair, I’m paraphrasing and the outlook isn’t quite that bleak. Interesting stuff, though, and well worth a read if only to play a brutal hand of Devil’s Advocate at your next vegan dinner party. I’m off to smash open some fridges, warm up the world, and get my bronze on. Nothing cheers me up like a good tan.
In other science type news:
Meat grows in lab. Cows now fun and ethical to punch.
Solar powering the whole world. In pretty and easy-to-understand picture form.