“Power is our only lack. We generate all we can with the materials and knowledge at our disposal, but we never have enough. Our development is hindered, our birth-rate must be held down to a minimum, many new cities which we need cannot be build and many new projects cannot be started, all for lack of power.” — E.E. “Doc” Smith, Skylark Three
Poverty is ameliorated by cheap energy. “If you want to improve the situation of the poorest two billion on the planet, having the price of energy go down substantially would be the best thing you could do for them.” (Bill Gates)
Additionally, energy consumption Granger-causes real GDP per capita and vice versa in the long run, which implies that an increase in energy consumption leads to an increase in economic growth and vice versa.
If, as is perfectly possible, we are short of energy two generations from now, it will be through our own incompetence. We will be like Stone Age men freezing to death on top of a coal bed (Arthur C. Clarke)
See: Jevons Paradox
Excerpt from Where is My Flying Car:
Ergophobia technically means a neurotic fear of doing work. But the term comes from the same Greek root as ‘energy’ and you will find that physicists use ‘work’ and ‘energy’ to mean the same thing. So I feel justified in using the word to refer to the almost inexplicable belief that there is something wrong with using energy
The Nuclear Regulatory Commision (NRC) found that there is no evidence of a carcinogenic effect on humans for accute irradiation at doses less than 100 millisieverts (mSv). Yet, the same NARC also sets the limit for public radiation at just 1% of that number at 1mSv. This is like setting a speed limit of one mile per hour because people have died doing 100. Yes, nuclear today is expensive. Shipping would be, too, if trucks had to operate with a speed limit of one mile per hour.
Energy Source Mortality Rates:
|Coal (world average)||170|
|Coal (US)||150||Over 10k/yr|
|Oil||150||Air pollution (e.g. LA smog)|
|Solar||0.44||Falls from rooftops|