[p2p-research] Is there any point to staving off industrial apocalypse

Paul D. Fernhout pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com
Sat Aug 22 22:38:08 CEST 2009

Ryan Lanham wrote:
> http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2009/aug/17/environment-climate-change

The blind arguing with the blind, just assuming apocalypse is likely 
technically, and wondering if it is good or bad.

The Guardian has an average daily circulation of about 360K copies per day.
"The Guardian had a certified average daily circulation of 358,844 copies in 
January 2009 – a drop of 5.17% on January 2008, as compared to sales of 
842,912 for The Daily Telegraph, 617,483 for The Times, and 215,504 for The 

So, about one million copies every three days. I'm assuming it has about one 
hundred sides of paper each about a meter square (probably less, but I'm 
working with round numbers). So, the Guardian prints about one hundred 
million square meters of content every three days. Or, if this was done 
using Nanosolar or First Solar at 10% efficiency through their printing 
technology, the Guardian would be producing about 100 watts per sq meter 
times 100 million sq meters, 10 gigawatts worth of solar panels every three 
days. Now, the world uses about sixteen terawatts of power for all purposes. 
And solar panels only work on average about one sixth capacity due to 
climate and clouds, so we need about 100 terawatts of panels to produce all 
power from solar.
So, in about 30,000 days, or one hundred years, the Guardian by *itself* 
would have produced enough solar panels to power the entire planet. But 
instead they choose to print articles about how we are doomed. :-)

And if the Times, the Daily Telegraph, and the Independent were to help out, 
with about 5X the circulation of the the Guardian, this would be cut down to 
saving the planet in about fifteen years, just from the presses of four big 
British newspapers.

Look, I linked to a solar plan that would power the USA from renewables for 
only US$420 billion in costs spread over forty years assuming current 
technologies. That is less that half of one years National Security budget 
in the USA. These problems are all solvable technically and economically.

But how can I solve the ironic problem of a small newspaper that could print 
enough solar panels instead of paper to power the world in 100 years to see 

--Paul Fernhout

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