Re: Fw: Energy article from BBC news

From: Stein A. Stromme <stromme@mi.uib.no>
Date: Mon Aug 02 2004 - 13:04:23 EDT

[John W. Burgeson]

| >>, it is
| quite conceivable that the world population might stabilize at say 15
| billion or so. With sufficient energy at hand, water, food etc might
| turn out to be workable problems.>>

You left out the first line of what I wrote, slightly changing the
hypothetical drift of my post. It went like this:

    *Provided* that a solution is found for the energy problem, it is
    quite conceivable that the world population might stabilize at say
    15 billion or so. With sufficient energy at hand, water, food etc
    might turn out to be workable problems.

| See my earlier reply to Walt on this. I think what you have written is
| wishfull thinking.

It most certainly is, of course, since it is hard to imagine a
"solution" of the energy problem. My point for Wally was that it is
very rational to focus on the energy situation, which is the key to
everything.

| To sustain our planet indefinitely at the present technological state we
| would have to see a population reduction to between 10 and 50 million
| people.

But why assume the "present technological state"? Certainly we would
need to advance.

As Glenn has argued somewhere, a given level of technology *requires*
a certain population size; at least I think his argument can be
interpreted that way. My guess is that a population size of 50
million is too small for humanity to be able to sustain even the
present technological level.

| Will it happen?
|
| Unfortunately, it will happen. And it will not be pretty.

No argument here.

SA

-- 
Stein Arild StrÝmme            +47 55584825, +47 95801887
Universitetet i Bergen                  Fax: +47 55589672     
Matematisk institutt               www.mi.uib.no/stromme/         
Johs Brunsg 12, N-5008 BERGEN           stromme@mi.uib.no
Received on Mon Aug 2 13:37:30 2004

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