Ithaca Environment

Friday, December 30, 2005

Sobering Information About Energy Consumption

Jeff Dukes, professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts, works in the areas of the impact of human activity on the environment. In Burning Buried Sunshine, a research article on the rate at which humans are consuming energy, he concludes:
The fossil fuels burned in >400 times the net primary productivity (NPP) of the planet's current biota.
In other words, the fossil fuel we burn each year took 400 years to produce through biological processes. This fact argues that even if we ended our dependence on fossil fuels and exclusively turned to renewable fuel sources (burning wood, ethanol, biodiesel), the world's plants are nowhere close to being able to meet our demands.

Jeff Dukes

Visit his homepage.


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