Peak Earth: Population, Climate, and Energy in the 21st Century
The number of inhabitants on Earth passed 7 billion in November, on the way to 9 or 10 billion by 2100. The energy demands of this growing population, together with exponential economic development, are significantly altering the natural environment. The steadily increasing use of oil, gas and coal is causing atmospheric CO2 to rise at an unprecedented rate, while these fossil fuels are becoming more expensive to extract. Alternative energy solutions have been slow to materialize, and those that do develop rapidly will encounter their own resource bottlenecks. On Earth Day, Kelemen will look ahead to consider the consequences of growth, discuss the potential for carbon management, and outline the current rush for commodities that are essential for a post-oil transition.