Homeless In Japan, Renewable Energy Reality Check
Homeless, jobless forced to take refuge under Golden Arches (Japan)
“It takes 1,000 yen ($11) or so if I sleep at an Internet cafe,” a 37-year-old woman said. “I can stay at a McDonald’s for 100 yen over a cup of coffee.”
Experts who have considered the difficulty of powering the world without fossil fuels or nuclear power have come up with mind-blowing numbers. In an article published in Scientific American in 2009, engineer Mark Z. Jacobson and research scientist Mark A. Delucci tallied up what it would take to power the whole planet on renewable energy alone by 2030: billions of rooftop photovoltaic systems, millions of jumbo-size wind turbines, hundreds of thousands of wave devices and tidal turbines, tens of thousands of concentrated solar power plants and photovoltaic plants, thousands of geothermal plants, and hundreds of hydroelectric dams. But the construction work doesn’t end there, because population and living standards are expected to continue rising after 2030. At best, such a plan simply kicks the can down the road.
<Ricefarmer>At last some realistic thinking! I’ve repeatedly said that running industrial civilization on renewables is a pipe dream, especially under the infinite-growth paradigm. Renewables will help ease our transition back to a pre-industrial lifestyle, but they won’t save industrial civilization or the consumer culture.</Ricefarmer>
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