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The Earth’s the Limit (2): Peak Oil—Peak Energy?

[First part]

During the last years, humanity has consumed about 500 exajoules of energy per year (an exajoule is a million million megajoules, or 1018 joules). As usual, levels of energy consumption vary strongly from country to country. While the average consumption per person is about 70 GJ (gigajoules), the inhabitants of Bangladesh, Eritrea, and Senegal use less than 10 GJ on average.

At the other extreme, the inhabitants of the United Arab Emirates and Iceland use 450–500 GJ per year, while per-capita usage in the small emirate of Qatar is a whopping 900 GJ. Germany uses about 180 GJ per person—more than twice the global average. Other Middle European countries are similar, while the United States and Canada use twice as much (330–350 GJ).

Is it realistic that in the future, everybody will reach the consumption level of Germany or the USA, or even more? Vollständigen Artikel lesen »

Kategorien: Commons, English, Reichtum & Knappheit, Theorie

31. März 2010, 18:11 Uhr   12 Kommentare

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The Earth’s the Limit (1)

The vision of post-scarcity is a popular but controversial meme in the debates of peer production. Post-scarcity envisions a world where everything is free as in free beer, where no payment or accounting is requirement for anything you use. Post-scarcity ideas usually rely very strongly on advanced technology, postulating that almost everything can be automated—or at least, everything that’s not fun and pleasant to do. Post-scarcity theorists also believe that advanced technology can provide enough natural resources and enough energy in order to satisfy everyone’s needs and wishes, possibly through extracting resources from space or through speculative future technologies such as nuclear fusion power.

A weak form of post-scarcity thinking is present in one of the founding documents of the free software movement, Richard Stallman’s GNU Manifesto (“weak” because there are still necessary tasks that are neither fun nor automated away):

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Kategorien: Commons, English, Reichtum & Knappheit, Theorie

9. Februar 2010, 19:34 Uhr   6 Kommentare