Wednesday, January 11, 2006

What You Should Know

The wonderful University of Colorado professor emeritus,
Dr. Al Bartlett, has always said that:

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race
is our inability to understand the exponential function."

So when you read a story like:

EIA: U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Increased 2 Percent in 2004

you should know that a 2 percent rate of growth means a DOUBLING of global warming pollution in just 36 years. You can try this at home. Divide any growth rate into 72 to get the number of years it takes to double the original amount.

A 10% growth rate equals 7.2 years.

A 5% growth rate equals 14.4 years.

So next time you hear
about how suburbs and cities and energy use
are growing at a "healthy" growth rate of, say,


you will realize that everything needed
to serve those suburbs or cities or provide that energy
must be doubled in . . . just 24 years.

This is something we should all know.



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