Re: photochemical advance

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Mon Dec 10 2001 - 11:26:33 MST

Eugene Leitl wrote:
> Problem is that out actual energy consumption is a far cry from the pure
> body metabolism (20 W for the brain). There are considerable
> inefficiencies present in our life support (food production,
> transportation, air conditioning).
> Of course, the energy footprint of the average consumer is more likely to
> increase. For every kW less thanks to Segway & Co quite a few 100 kW more
> for personal VTOL aircraft, hypersonic flight, orbital shuttles, and the
> like. The self-sufficient box on a field is not going to be the rule,
> albeit possible.

Actually, given that a) there is now nearly one automobile for every
American adult in the US (with an average powerplant of 100hp), and b) a
personal VTOL aircraft really only needs about 30 hp, we could convert
to VTOL flight and cut our energy use by 70%. Segway (and other electric
bikes and scooters) can actually make a significant contribution to
reducing energy consumption within urban environments. Why take a taxi
when you can rent a Segway? (What Segway truly needs is a MEMS type
hybrid power supply). Electric and hybrid vehicles reduce energy
consumption by an average of 33%.

Furthermore: it takes the same amount of energy to get into orbit as it
does to fly from NYC to Australia.

Where per capita energy consumption will grow most significantly is in
undeveloped and developing nations. Their impact on the environment will
also be greatest until they clear the $10K per capita income hump.

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