sendler2112 wrote: ↑
Sep 13 2019 6:55am
At the opposite pole of the StarTrek future that you irrationally envision can facilitate a continued human trajectory of "Green Growth" at business as usual economically healthy 2-3% rates to avoid a crash. This continued exponential growth would see the size of the human economic endeavor doubling again not once, but twice in the next 50 years. And 8 times larger by 2100! This is absolutely absurd to me!
Thisis energy consumption in Germany from 1990 (reunification) to today. Despite rebuilding the East German infrastructure and economy, a still slightly growing population and the largest trade surplus in the world for products, our primary energy consumption has fallen and is now on the level of the 1970th.
(Keep in mind that for primary energy consumption solar and wind is counted as 1kWh for 1kWh electricity produced, but coal or nuclear is counted 3kWh for 1kWh electricity produced)
If you look at the end energy consumption you notice that the biggest consumers are heating rooms and driving cars.
For both sectors using oil or natural gas is still dominant and for both cases we gain better efficiency by factor 3 if we just switch to elecritcity based systems like heat pumps and electric cars.
So I believe that it will be possible very soon, to lower end energy consumption by up to 50%, IF oil and gas stops to be so cheap than today.
Of course Germany is a mature economy with infrastructure already in place and Nigeria for example is not. On the other hand per capita energy consumption in US is twice as high compared to Germany for little real benefit.
So I belive that a high quality modern life is easily possible with lower energy consumption than we use today and I belive that this amount of energy can be supplied by 90% solar+wind and 10% rest (gas, water power, biomass, etc...) without even to have high costs.
Yes it will not work a 2 USD / gallon of fuel, but as the world can show you the price of gasoline is not related to quality of life.
This world will be able to feed 10 billion people with a healty diet without destroying or last remaining natural habitats.
Yes, this is different from the standard western diet with much less meat and sugar than today. I assume we could get used to it. The benefit would be to gain around 20 healthy years per person in average. The largest reasons for becoming ill now are based on the stuff we eat and the amount we eat.
This is the world I want to have.
People that have well insulated houses in moderate size that are heated with electricity, people using a reasonable amount of cars that are using electricity, a industry similar to that we have now in the 1st world (we do not need more products than we produce today per 1st world person. I now own 10 pairs of shoes, there is no reason and no benefit for life for the average person to own 20 pairs, 40 pears or 80 pairs of them).
People that eat mainly healthy food.
Electricity that is produced mainly by wind and solar power (and for some countries maybe nuclear reactors, but I do not want a million of Bill Gates' nukes sitting everywhere in Afghanistan, Sudan, Lybia, Syria and so on)
So how much power do we need to power a world with 10 billion people that way? 10TW 20TW?
I think that will be enough. A huge amount of primary power today is wasted for inefficient technologies when you turn coal to mostly heat in power plats and oil to mostly waste heat in cars. This is very easy to change with technology.
I belive that this can be done with solar, wind, electric cars and some additional technologies like electrolysis and synthesizing kerosene from green gas...
Mainly what I am working on is spreading awareness that once you gain an understanding of the scale of the energy footprint of modern human civilization, which you angrily refuse to accept to your core,
I do not refuse the energy consumption of today (which would be stupid) but I refuse your doomer approach that this energy can not be provided by sun and wind. Of course it can. This is where you are constantly spreading wrong assumptions and wrong numbers. see for example the "Lithium problem". There si no more problem with Lithium for a future 100% RE world than there are problems with copper in the world of today.
the nearly 1:1 relationship of energy/ material throughput vs economy,
many countries have already proven that this is not true.
the physical constraints of remaining resources, it must become obvious that a whole new world socio-economic system that equitably spreads human wellbeing while undergoing rapid degrowth is required.
Constraint fo resources?
If we can do this shit with our remaining resources we can build our green economy ten times with the remaining resources
Even the IPCC is starting to grasp this while mainly focusing on the environmental waste aspects of our conundrum without even really considering the source/ economy pressures we are under. Which I would argue will hurt us much sooner than climate change.
We have much more fossil fuels than we are allowed to burn.
This is one reason why it is super stupid to still burn coal.
If we burn all of that stuff we weill end up in a +6K or even hotter world.
The last time this happened to the world was at the end of perm when the Sibirian trap super vulcanoes emitted this amount of CO within maybe 2000 years.
We can do that in 200 years.
In those times that amount of CO2 triggered the largest mass extinction in the history of our planet killing 95% of all species in the than poisonous seas and 75% of all species on land.
It was a +15K world at the end of that climate event.
If we repeat what the Sibirian trap has done to Earth atmopshere many million years ago we most likely will experince the same result.
To neglect this and continue promoting a green growth as usual imperative (2 billion, 60 kWh electric cars! = 120 TWh of batteries! Absurd! Which still leaves just 1 car for each 5 people to share.) just leads us higher up the Seneca Cliff to delay a bigger fall.
you can argue if the average car need a 60kWh battery but let's use that numbers:
120TWh of car batteries should be doable
Let us assume 240Wh per kg (not counting the battery housing and to give a nice round number) this would translate to 500 Mio tonnes or 500 billion kg of car batteries in 2050
Which resources do you think will prevent humanity to build that amount of batteries?
Much better to wisely accept our opportunities and constraints with an informed systems view to bend back down to a sustainable civilization. Western lifestyle throughput must diminish by an order of magnitude over the next 200 years
We don't have 200 years.
Energy consumption in 2050 (that's 31 years) should differe very siginificantly from today. If we want to limit global warming to +3K (which means around +4-5K on land masses and maybe +7K in arctic regions and means the extinction of tropical reef, severe drought in many regions, longterm rising of seawater level and flooding of coatal cities) the todays 1st world countries need to limit CO2 emissions to maximum 1t CO2 per person until 2050 (and most of the is from agriculture and some industrial processes).
From todays point of view a +2K world is not possible anymore, even if we shift huge amounts of resources into climate change prevention tomorrow.
So what exactly do you want to tell people in China, India and so on? They should accept to life like medieval peasants again because some US guy tells them there are not enough resources in the world for them to have their 1st car?
This is your plan? Really?
while we accept billions of climate migrants and use our remaining energy bolus to mitigate and build out what we need to survive. And skip some of the intermediate steps that will prove to be still unsustainable.
I doubt that migration over continents will be a solution to climate change. Just the opposite. It will cause wars and destroy resources for nothing good.
You didn't answer my question and try to make it sound like I am the only one. Do you also mock 350.org, FridaysForFuture, Sunrise Movement, Extinction Rebellion, ect, for using words like "emergency", "catastophe", "collapse"?
I can't say anything about them because I only know the names of those. Afaik they are radicals. I'm an engineer. My focus is on energy technology. Others have different skills and can focus on social aspects, political aspects (how to distribute resources, especially the remaining CO2 "budget" between countries), nutrition, birth rates and so on....
I prefer to argue with people about real solutions, I don't want to waste to much time with people that do nothing else than to complain.
And again they are only half informed as to the complexity of our conundrum and are primarily focused on the environmental problems with little awareness of the looming economic/ resource limits to growth.
I guess so. I have little clue about economic aspects and all I do is look at the past and I don't see that energy efficiency is harmful to countries/societies and ultra cheap energy is beneficial, rather the opposite.
I doubt that your prediction of killing(?) mostof the world population and going back to small farming will benefit the economy in any way and I assume that economists will be happier with a prediction of 2 billion electric cars until 2050 compared to a shrinking car production. But what do I know?
What I DO know a lot about is energy technology. I earn my money with consulting in that sector (incl. advice for politics), so I better do.
PS: contrary to most of those that claim that we need to "downgrade" our lifestyle for sustainability I never owned a car (most of my girlfriends did), I life in a flat, I only heat one room in winter and I fly rarely. Since 2019 I even reduced meat consumption to around 300g/week. i ride to work on my (electric) bicycles every day no matter the weather.
Still I do not force on people that they have to give up their car (I want less cars in our citites, but this is a different thing) and I abyolutly will not force people in China or India in a lifestyle without a car. This will never ever work.
Absolutely acknowledging that no car is the best car in ecological perspective (and living that life myself, not just preaching it!) i do not predict a no car world, because cars are super practical for many people and billions of people reach for their first car in their life. You have to accept that if you want to change the future for the better.
Of course this is not opposing better public transport, more room for bicycles and less need/distances for every day commuting. All of this id additional to better cars.
Some with electricity. There is nothing against stoping to waste that in huge amounts,, but this can and will only happen if electricity is expensive. As long as it stays cheap as dirt 95% of people will just waste it as they do today.
If electricity is allowed to cot more it is no problem to produce it by solar and wind.
Some with heating buildings. We have many old houses in Germany that consume 3000lif oil every year just for heating. ( i assume many US americans will just laugh about that number usiing even more).
This is rediculous. Using precious oil just to heat the air. Why do people this? because still oil is cheap as shit.
If oil would cost 2-3€/l noone would waste it that way and use it for such nonsense. If oil would cost 2-3€/l on the other hand you can make it from water, electricity and atmospheric CO2 over and over again, as long as the sun allows life on Earth.
If you ask me if I prefer a technological world like today where I would have to pay 0,50€ for 1kWh of electricity and 3€/l of oil I would take that world over any world that would force me sitting on a donkey and planting potatoes for my living with a precious bee wax candle of my wooden desc.
I don't want to go back to the year 1900 and neither does most of the rest of the world population.