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Power Technology

Limits On Growth of Energy Use and Economies 482

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-infinite-growth-sounds-fun dept.
snoop.daub writes "Dr. Tom Murphy, professor of astrophysics at UCSD, has a new blog called 'Do The Math,' and the first few posts are doozies. In the first, he shows the impossibility of continued exponential growth in energy use. Even if a new, 'free' energy source is developed, thermodynamic limits on efficiency mean that the heat associated with converting this energy into useful work will increase the temperature of the earth to unbearable levels within 300 years. In the second, he extends the argument to economic growth. The timescales there are faster, only 50-100 years. Fascinating stuff. Time to stop breeding, folks, or to get our butts into space."
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Limits On Growth of Energy Use and Economies

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @08:14PM (#36966804)

    Seriously, heat build-up was part of the reason for the multi-hundred trillion plus population of the Puppeteer's to move their homeworld into a further orbit.

    Then they learned that the whole galaxy was going to be exposed to a massive radiation wave caused by some black hole collapse in the galaxy's core.

    We should plan for that.

  • Simple (Score:5, Funny)

    by LoRdTAW (99712) on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @08:17PM (#36966838)

    Since we have an abundance of energy we can simply turn our air conditioners backwards and cool the earth back down.

It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C. - A.D. 65)