Ten to the twelfth: A Check on the Earth-Carrying Capacity for Man|
Marchetti, C., 1979
Energy , 4 :1107--1117
Much has been said about the carrying capacity of the planet Earth, and with most contradictory results, as the arguments have too often been used in the service of prejudices. In this essay we have made a static cross-section of a world very heavily populated by present standards; examined with a system view the level of basic necessities plus luxuries for this population; and indicated the technology to satisfy them. Where problems of a global level appeared, a geo-engineering solution has been sketched. The result of this analysis is that from a technological point of view a trillion people can live beautifully on the Earth, for an unlimited time, without exhausting any primary resource and without overloading the environment. The global view of the problems and of their solutions makes the difference, and shows that most of the physical limits to growth stem from an inappropriate frame of reference.
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