Apparently, for a few hundred years, the total energy demand of humanity has risen steadily at about 3 percent per year. We’ve gotten more and more out of that energy, with quality of life for increasing numbers of people rising even faster. But even if you assume energy use will grow at a slower 2.3% indefinitely, Murphy says (and I ran the calculations as well), we start to hit some silly quantities over the coming centuries. In 1400 years, we would be consuming all of the energy that the sun produces (in just 400 years, it would be all of the solar energy hitting the earth).

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