Thoughts on Long-Term Energy Supplies: Scientists and the Silent Lie

by Prof. Al Bartlett

This article was originally published in the July, 2004 issue of Physics Today.

Excerpt from the article:

The most sacred icon in the "religion" of the US economic scene is steady growth of the gross national product, enterprises, sales, and profits. Many people believe that such economic growth requires steady population growth. Although physicists address the problems that result from a ballooning population - such as energy shortages, congestion, pollution, and dwindling resources - their solutions are starkly deficient. Often, they fail to recognize that the solutions must involve stopping population growth...
Physicists understand the arithmetic of steady, exponential growth. Yet they ignore its consequences, including the first law of sustainability: "Population growth or growth in the rate of consumption of resources cannot be [indefinitely] sustained."...

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