Less than 10% of our brain, less than 1% of energy sources

With my past two post comparing the contributions of CO2 and amount of sun activity measured by the amount of sunspots, where it is quite debatable what is influencing globalwarming has brought in more questions, and more answers as well. I was honestly quite surprised people were placing comments and digging the story. And an interesting comment on the dugg post by M0b1u5 was about the Kardashev scale. His comment was so different and had a link that seemed irrelevant I was not clicking on it as it looked liked spam. But after reading all other comments where many of them had some valid points, I decided to look at the Kardashev scale. As M0b1u5 mentioned in his comment:

Yeah, nothing like facts to really screw the pseudo-religion of GW. Err, Global Warming, not Dumbya.
Not worth spending a single cent to even try to prevent global warming.
Get used to it. Spend the money adapting to it – Because we are not yet a Type I Civilization!

Without any knowledge of what he was really talking about, I took a better look into it. The Kardashev Scale maybe quite mathematically hard to grasp for the non-mathematician.

Kardashev Rating is equal to logarithm to the base 10 of Power in Watts, minus 6 all over 10.

Where K is a civilization’s Kardashev rating and W is its power output in watts. Note that Roman numerals must still be used for the integer part of a civilization’s rating, while the fractional part is written in decimal. And from here, all sorts of complicated exponential and logarithmic graphs can come out after doing from projects over time.

Kardashev Scale Projections

All these lines barely make sense to me and may also not make sense to you, but basically the purpose of this scale is to provide a general method of classifying how technologically advanced a civilization is, first proposed in 1964 by the Russian astronomer Nikolai Kardashev. It had three categories, based on the amount of usable energy a civilization has at its disposal and increasing logarithmically:

  • Type I — A civilization that is able to harness all of the power available on a single planet, approximately 1016 W. The actual figure is quite variable; Earth specifically has an available power of 1.74×1017 W (174 peta watts). Kardashev’s original definition was 4×1012 W. (Kardashev had originally defined Type I as a “Technological level close to the level presently attained on earth”, “presently” meaning 1964.)
  • Type II — A civilization that is able to harness all of the power available from a single star, approximately 1026 W. Again, this figure is variable; the Sun outputs approximately 3.86×1026 W. Kardashev’s original definition was 4×1026 W.
  • Type III — A civilization that is able to harness all of the power available from a single galaxy, approximately 1036 W. This figure is extremely variable, since galaxies vary widely in size. Kardashev’s original definition was 4×1037 W.

Just reading by definition, a civilization is more advanced if it can harness all sources of energy better. Since most of out energy is really based on fossil fuels. Burning of oil basically which is nothing but decomposed organic matter over millions of years underground and in the burning process gives of CO2. Even if we have electricity, the majority of electrical power plants are still powered by natural gas, also a fossil fuel derivative. And there are tons of other energy sources but man has not yet found the best way to maximize it usage which include sea, air, solar, geothermal and many other alternative sources of energy. The more we can learn to use these, the more civilized we get in terms of technological advancement. The less we get to use and maximize the energy sources, the larger population increases, the more fossil fuels we burn, the more CO2 we create in the air, the more we cause globalwarming assuming CO2 is the real cause of globalwarming.

World Energy Consumption

As population increases in a civilization, so does the required energy consumption. And if all just depend on fossil fuels to burn as the primary source of energy, we are using less than 1% of the total energy sources in the world. Problem is we cannot seem to harness the other energy sources to convert the energy into some useful and able to put into storage for later use. Humans are known to only use 10% of the full capacity of the brain (Where many modern psychologist have already debunked this also.) Maybe if we learn more to use energy more effectively we could probably get to be a Type I Civilization. Below are previou, current and projected energy production values computed by the International Energy Agency. And even by the year 2030, based on the projections, we still seem not to be a Type 1 Civilization.

Year Energy production Fractional Kardashevscale equivalent
exajoules/year terawatts Quads/year mtoes/year
1900 21 .67 20 500 0.58
1970 190 6.0 180 4500 0.67
1973 260 8.2 240 6200 0.69
1985 290 9.2 270 6900 0.69
1989 320 10 300 7600 0.70
1993 340 11 320 8100 0.70
1995 360 12 340 8700 0.70
2000 420 13 400 10000 0.71
2001 420 13 400 10000 0.71
2002 430 14 410 10400 0.71
2004 440 14 420 10600 0.71
2010 510 16 480 12100 0.72
2030 680 22 650 16300 0.73

With all this energy consumption by then, I wonder how much CO2 and other greenhouse gases will be in the atmosphere and how much would it be contributing to the global temperature? Some say it may be CO2, some say it may be sunspots. But our role here is for you to be aware, that is our objective in the GlobalWarming Awareness2007 movement. So appropriate action may be taken for the future of our world.

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