Most of my business focus is on renewable energy — an arena that, if successful, could conceivably create a world in which it matters very little how much energy we consume – or even waste. Some people say that that once all our energy comes from totally clean sources, we can use as much as we want of it with complete impunity. But I’m constantly reminded that this is a horribly shortsighted view.
In this fantastic interview, distinguished author and professor Vaclav Smil discusses the growth in our population and the effects that this will most probably have on the sustainability of our civilization. In short, he feels that he can make no real projections, because so much depends on the rapidly changing lifestyles of the large populations in China and India. In particular, he asks: Will they evolve to be like Americans and Canadians – or more like the Japanese? We Westerners waste about twice as much material and energy as the Japanese, and eat more than five times as much meat.
Great talk; I hope you’ll check it out.