Ramez Naam says: "Back in November, you posted about investor Jeremy Grantham’s argument that ‘we’re headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.’
"I have a rebuttal up at Business Insider, based on my new book on saving the planet [The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet], that I thought you might in interested in."
Tons of Energy Available What about the world’s energy supplies? Energy, as the late economist Julian Simon said, is the ‘master resource’. With enough energy you can solve a tremendous number of other problems. The flip side is also true. Spikes in the price of oil cause recessions.
Fortunately, energy is available in huge quantities. The total amount of energy we use every year – from coal, oil, natural gas, hydro, nuclear, and everything else – is dwarfed by the amount of solar energy hitting the planet each year. How dwarfed? The solar input is 5,000 times greater than the amount we use from all those sources, combined.
In fact, it would take only about 0.3% of the Earth’s land area to meet all of humanity’s energy needs through 2030 via solar power.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects