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Speculations

Maybe’s and What-if’s?


What Will PV Cost in 2020 and 2030?

Written by , on March 10, 2013

A number of methods for predicting the rate of technological development have been developed. The most famous of these is Moore's Law, named after Intel's co-founder Gordon E. Moore who in 1965, wrote that the number of components in integrated circuits had doubled every year and predicted that the trend would continue. The prediction has […]  Read more »

Perennial Grains – The Next Agricultural Revolution?

Written by , on July 14, 2010

A group of 29 scientists have published an article in the prestigious Science journal arguing for the development of perennial grain crops which have been described as potentially "the biggest agricultural revolution for 10,000 years". Currently, most grain grown around the world has to be replanted after every crop. 70% of all cropland is used […]  Read more »

Daylight Saving Causes Global Warming!

Written by , on November 9, 2008

It's an old joke – If we have more daylight then we have more sunshine so, naturally, the world will get warmer. It seems obvious that, in reality, daylight saving will reduce our need for lighting and, therefore, our electricity consumption. So obvious, in fact, that until now it seems that nobody had bothered to […]  Read more »

Is This 1929?

Written by , on October 10, 2008

The stock market crash of 1929 is generally taken beginning of the Great Depression. In fact, the stock market significantly recovered within a few months. The real problems started when consumer confidence failed in the early 1930s, leading to a downward spiral in consumption, production and employment. There have been comparisons between 1929 and the […]  Read more »

Energy Potential of Croplands

Written by , on June 12, 2008

How much of the world’s energy consumption could be produced from agricultural biomass? Currently about 14 million square kilometres of land is being cultivated. There is about another 4 million square kilometres of crop and pasture land which is not being used. If energy crops were planted on the abandoned land they could produce about […]  Read more »

Why Is the Price of Oil So High?

Written by , on May 25, 2008

For over 100 years up to 1970, the price of a barrel of oil was remarkably stable at between about $us21 and $us25 (adjusted for inflation). Contrary to general belief, the formation of OPEC in 1960 did not lead to an immediate increase in oil prices – in fact, prices declined throughout the sixties. What […]  Read more »

Life Expectancy and Population

Written by , on May 16, 2008

Before the modern era, life expectancy was no more than 35 years and as low as 20 years in some places. By 1900, life expectancy in the United States had increased to 47 years (which is the current life expectancy in Nigeria). By 2000, it was about 77 years in the United States and more […]  Read more »

What’s It All About?

Written by , on April 25, 2008

So this is the twenty-first century! It doesn’t seem to be quite what we were promised. We were supposed to have unlimited atom-powered energy – not to be running out of oil. We were supposed to be cruising about in flying cars – not getting gridlocked in traffic. And they told us that all sorts […]  Read more »