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Sustainable Energy - Without the Bullshit

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Stephen Stretton.

Energy and Climate change – they’re in the news, they’re ‘huge’. Consumption is huge. Economic growth is huge. Our population density is huge. CO2 emissions? Huge! Potential of renewable power? Huge! Nuclear power? That’s huge too – and hugely costly to clean up… How to fix all these problems? Well, if only everyone turned off their mobile phone chargers, we’d be well on our way to a solution. Oh yes, and let’s remember to drive hydrogen-powered cars, like Arnold Schwarzenegger. That’ll help. And don’t forget magnetic levitation, that’ll eliminate friction. And if you must burn fossil fuels, good old B.P. can neutralize your CO2 emissions if you pay them just 6 euros per tonne.


“Every little helps!”


To understand these ‘huge’ issues, we need numbers, not adjectives. And we need numbers that are simple, human-sized, and memorable. No millions, no billions, no Terawatt hours, no exajoules. In this talk I’ll present simple back-of-envelope calculations to see how our energy consumption stacks up compared with conceivable sustainable production.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Zero Carbon Society series.

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