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Posted Tue Nov 24 2009: from Science Daily:
Is Global Warming Unstoppable?
In a provocative new study, a University of Utah scientist argues that rising carbon dioxide emissions -- the major cause of global warming -- cannot be stabilized unless the world's economy collapses or society builds the equivalent of one new nuclear power plant each day.... "Stabilization of carbon dioxide emissions at current rates will require approximately 300 gigawatts of new non-carbon-dioxide-emitting power production capacity annually -- approximately one new nuclear power plant (or equivalent) per day," Garrett says. "Physically, there are no other options without killing the economy."... That "constant" is 9.7 (plus or minus 0.3) milliwatts per inflation-adjusted 1990 dollar. So if you look at economic and energy production at any specific time in history, "each inflation-adjusted 1990 dollar would be supported by 9.7 milliwatts of primary energy consumption," Garrett says. Garrett tested his theory and found this constant relationship between energy use and economic production at any given time by using United Nations statistics for global GDP (gross domestic product), U.S. Department of Energy data on global energy consumption during 1970-2005, and previous studies that estimated global economic production as long as 2,000 years ago. Then he investigated the implications for carbon dioxide emissions.
[Read more stories about: anthropogenic change, global warming, carbon emissions]

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