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How much fuel does it take to power the world?

27 Sep 2017, 14:01 UTC
How much fuel does it take to power the world?
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Artificial lights strongly overlap with the concentrations of Earth’s population, showing the locations of light pollution, but also showcasing how widespread our energy use is. Image credit: Data courtesy Marc Imhoff of NASA GSFC and Christopher Elvidge of NOAA NGDC. Image by Craig Mayhew and Robert Simmon, NASA GSFC.It’s currently billions of tonnes of fossil fuels every year. With new (or existing!) technologies, we could literally change the world.“In terms of weapons, the best disarmament tool so far is nuclear energy. We have been taking down the Russian warheads, turning it into electricity. 10 percent of American electricity comes from decommissioned warheads.” -Stewart BrandOver the past few centuries, the quality of life for the overwhelming majority of the world has increased precipitously. Amenities brought by the widespread availability and distribution of electricity have brought us into the industrial and then the information age. Every day, billions of people access computers, lighting, rapid transportation, phones and innumerable other technologies and conveniences made possible only by using energy. Yet at its core, the energy we access and use simply arises from the conversion of some sort of potential energy. While there are renewable sources such as hydroelectric, wind, and solar, most of ...

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