Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos recently announced a wildly ambitious plan to ultimately put up to 1 trillion humans in vast cylindrical space colonies near the Earth.
But while the goal is over-the-top, the justification is both absurd and hypocritical. Bezos argued at length on Thursday in a major presentation at the Washington, D.C. Convention Center that we need such a future to save the Earth “if the world economy and population is to keep expanding.”
Bezos’s core argument is that this never-ending growth will drive an unsustainable doubling of energy use every 25 years that will lead to humanity running out of energy in 200 years. But the Amazon chief has apparently missed recent trends in population and energy efficiency that show the rate of growth of energy use has already slowed. Independent projections suggest Bezos is overestimating energy growth by a factor of three.
Even more important, long before the year 2219, much of the earth will be all but uninhabitable thanks to catastrophic climate change — driven in large part by a monomaniacal pursuit of growth at all costs. [Continue reading…]