I posted about this on facebook, but i'll post it here anyway because I suspect it will be discussed for more than a day here.
I personally regard the human race as being in the early times of the first stage of an energy crisis. There's a lot of us in the world, and even is we cut out energy use in half, we'd still have to increase how much we generate if we wanted to give people in the poorer areas of the worlds a better lot in life. With fossil fuels being finite and the population of the world continuing to increase that seems unlikely.
I learnt about how much money it would take to allow everyone in the world to have access to less than half of the average american. The total amount of energy needed for that to become true would be for the human race to generate 30 terawatts of energy per year which is double what we currently generate. So we'd have access to half the amount of energy of the average american but need to double how much we generate.
When looking at all the forms of energy generation we have, we are screwed. They are either finite (fossil fuels) or produce far to little energy to do the job. Even Nuclear fission (the form of energy that produces the most energy that won't run out) falls way too short. We'd need to build a new power station every week for 25 years to produce 5TWs of that 30TWs.
The only thing we have going for us is that we might get nuclear fusion working. If we did then that'd be the human races get out of jail free card since that produces a hell of a lot without polluting the hell out of our planet to do it. We would have gotten our hands on the method used for 99.999999...% of all energy generation of the universe. The human race will have solved the energy problem.
The problem is that it currently hasn't been perfected yet. The world currently spends 1 billion pounds a year on the research effort, that's less than the cost of 7 jet fighter planes. The UK last year spent more money on mobile ring tones than on research and development to trying to get nuclear fusion working. So my hopes are not high that this is going to be figured out in time to save us all from what I believe to be a particularly unpleasant world war 3 when resources run low (That's my prediction for what the countries of the world will do.)
Do you guys think that more needs to be spent on nuclear fusion research or invest more money in technology we know to be working and bite the bullet and just build an obscene amount of it all?
I'd like to believe we can maybe cut down how much energy we need to use. The average american sits at 10KW the worldwide average is 1.7KW and some areas of the world are less than that. That power usage isn't merely electricity. That's includes number of calories used to keep them alive. To even get everyone on 5KW would require a massive amount of extra energy generation. But perhaps maybe you guys think there is other ways of reducing energy usage?
PS. Some info in this post from the documentry I linked above and some here.
PPS there is possibly spelling and grammar errors all over this. I haven't proof read it because I need to go shower. I may come back and fix it when I get the chance. Hopefully it makes sense until then.