Baseload power is a myth: even intermittent renewables will work

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Vested interests and their supporters in the big greenhouse gas polluting industries are running a fierce campaign of renewable energy denial.

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The future of civilisation and much biodiversity hangs to a large degree on whether we can replace fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – with clean, safe and affordable energy within several decades. The good news is that renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures have advanced with extraordinary speed over the past decade.

Energy efficient buildings and appliances, solar hot water, on-shore wind, solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, concentrated solar thermal (CST) power with thermal storage and gas turbines burning a wide range of renewable liquid and gaseous fuels are commercially available on a large scale. The costs of these technologies have declined substantially, especially those of solar PV. In 2012, despite the global financial crisis, global investment in these clean, safe and healthy technologies amounted to US $269 billion. Denmark, Scotland and Germany and several states/provinces around the world have official targets of around 100% renewable electricity and are implementing policies to achieve them.

The principal barrier is resistance from vested interests and their supporters in the big greenhouse gas polluting industries and from an unsafe, expensive, polluting, would-be competitor to a renewable energy future, nuclear power. These powerful interests are running a campaign of renewable energy denial that is almost as fierce as the long-running campaign of climate change denial. Both campaigns are particularly noisy in the Murdoch press. So far the anti-renewables campaign, with its misinformation and gross exaggerations, has received little critical examination in the mainstream media.

The renewable energy deniers rehash, among others, the old myth that renewable energy is unreliable in supplying base-load demand.

Renewable electricity is reliable

In a previous article for The Conversation I reported on the initial results of computer simulations by a research team at the University of New South Wales that busted the myth that renewable energy cannot supply base-load demand. However at the time of the article I was still under the misconception that some base-load renewable energy supply may be needed to be part of the renewable energy mix.

Since then Ben Elliston, Iain MacGill and I have performed thousands of computer simulations of 100% renewable electricity in the National Electricity Market (NEM), using actual hourly data on electricity demand, wind and solar power for 2010. Our latest research, available here and reported here, finds that generating systems comprising a mix of different commercially available renewable energy technologies, located on geographically dispersed sites, do not need base-load power stations to achieve the same reliability as fossil-fuelled systems.

The old myth was based on the incorrect assumption that base-load demand can only be supplied by base-load power stations; for example, coal in Australia and nuclear in France. However, the mix of renewable energy technologies in our computer model, which has no base-load power stations, easily supplies base-load demand. Our optimal mix comprises wind 50-60%; solar PV 15-20%; concentrated solar thermal with 15 hours of thermal storage 15-20%; and the small remainder supplied by existing hydro and gas turbines burning renewable gases or liquids. (Contrary to some claims, concentrated solar with thermal storage does not behave as base-load in winter; however, that doesn’t matter.)

The real challenge is to supply peaks in demand on calm winter evenings following overcast days. That’s when the peak-load power stations, that is, hydro and gas turbines, make vital contributions by filling gaps in wind and solar generation.

Renewable electricity is affordable

Our latest peer-reviewed paper, currently in press in Energy Policy journal, compares the economics of two new alternative hypothetical generation systems for 2030: 100% renewable electricity versus an “efficient” fossil-fuelled system. Both systems have commercially available technologies and both satisfy the NEM reliability criterion. However, the renewable energy system has zero greenhouse gas emissions while the efficient fossil scenario has high emissions and water use and so would be unacceptable in environmental terms.

We used the technology costs projected to 2030 in the conservative 2012 study by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE). (In my personal view, future solar PV and wind costs are likely to be lower than the BREE projections, and future fossil fuel and nuclear costs are likely to be higher.) Then, we did thousands of hourly simulations of supply and demand over 2010, until we found the mix of renewable energy sources that gave the minimum annual cost.

Under transparent assumptions, we found that the total annualised cost (including capital, operation, maintenance and fuel where relevant) of the least-cost renewable energy system is $7-10 billion per year higher than that of the “efficient” fossil scenario. For comparison, the subsidies to the production and use of all fossil fuels in Australia are at least $10 billion per year. So, if governments shifted the fossil subsidies to renewable electricity, we could easily pay for the latter’s additional costs.

Thus 100% renewable electricity would be affordable under sensible government policy, busting another myth. All we need are effective policies to drive the transition.

This article was first published in The Conversation. It was reproduced with permission. It is an update of an earlier article written by Diesendorf for RenewEconomy, published last week.

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  1. Bob Wallace 7 years ago

    I expect you are familiar with the Budischak, et al. paper which looked at whether is would be possible and affordable to power a major grid with nothing but wind and solar. (They are not suggesting that would be the best way to build a renewable grid, just dealing with the argument that the wind does not always blow nor the Sun always shine.)

    Just in case, I’ll post my summary and the link….

    The authors took on the question of whether it would be possible to run a real world grid on only wind, solar and storage and do it for a reasonable price. They found that they needed to include a tiny bit (0.1%) of natural gas to keep it affordable.

    Researchers at University of Delaware used four years of weather and electricity demand/load data in one minute blocks to determine 1) if a combination of wind, solar and storage could meet 99.9% of demand and 2) the most cost effective mix of each to meet demand.

    The data for 1999 through 2002 came from the PJM Interconnection, a large regional grid that services all or part of 13 states from New Jersey west to Illinois, from Pennsylvania south into Tennessee and North Carolina. This is the world’s largest competitive wholesale electricity market, serving 60 million customers, and it represents one-fifth of the United States’ total electric grid.

    They used currently available technology and its projected price in 2030. They included no subsidies for wind and solar in their calculation. They did not include hydro, nuclear, tidal or other possible inputs. They also did not include power sales to and purchases from adjacent grids. They used three existing storage technologies – large scale batteries, hydrogen and GIV (grid integrated vehicles).

    They found that by 2030 we could obtain 99.9% of our electricity from renewable energy/storage and the remainder 0.1% from fossil fuels for about what we currently pay “all-in” for electricity. The all-in price of electricity which includes coal and oil produced health costs currently paid via tax dollars and health insurance premiums.

    During the four year period there were five brief periods, a total of 35 hours, when renewables plus storage were insufficient to fully power the grid and natural gas plants came into play. These were summer days when wind supply was low and demand was high. The cheapest way to cover these ~7 hour events was to use existing natural gas plants rather than to build additional storage. Adding in hydro, tidal, etc. would further reduce this number.

    After 28 billion simulations using differing amount of wind, solar, storage and fossil fuels they found the best solution was to over-build wind and solar and at times simply “throw away” some of the produced power. Building “too much” wind and solar turns out to be cheaper than building more storage given the storage solutions we have at this time. Finding markets for the extra production, selling electricity to offset natural gas heating for example, further reduced costs.

    Budischak, Sewell, Thomson, Mach, Veron, and Kempton Cost-minimized combinations of wind power, solar power and electrochemical storage, powering the grid up to 99.9% of the time Journal of Power Sources 225 (2013) 60-74

    • Ben Elliston 7 years ago

      Hi Bob. Yes, we are aware of that paper and had cited it. There is a good deal of agreement in our results and conclusions.

    • Pedro 7 years ago

      Hi Bob

      Your points are really interesting, especially having an over capacity of Wind and solar to reduce storage size/costs.

      Can the excess power that is “thrown away” be used to do some thing useful but not critical like desalination or pump water into a hydro electric dam?

      • Bob Wallace 7 years ago

        I would imagine that some creative people would find a use for the surplus power.

        Some of it, in a real world situation, would be traded to another grid. They treated the PJB as a ‘stand-alone’. Being able to sell and buy from surrounding grids would reduce the amount of overcapacity and storage needed.

        Probably the best use for over-production would be to charge EVs. Once we get higher range EVs many drivers are going to be adequately served with a 50% or less charge for their daily driving. When the grid has extra power it could be used to charge those battery packs to 100% and then not need to charge them when supply is lower.

  2. JHM 7 years ago

    I would encourage this research to go beyond a mere baseline scenario and do full portfolio stress testing as we do in banking. Consider multiple economic scenarios that include shocks to interest rates, fuel prices, and other macroeconomic variables. Run your models under these scenario and compare key performance metrics. It is important to understand which energy portfolios will perform best under adverse economic conditions. For example, consider a scenario where the price of oil lingers around $160/barrel, unemployment is high, GDP declines and interest rates are high. In this sort of oil shock scenario, a high mix of renewables will be highly advantageous. Such a portfolio will be hedged against the high cost of fossil fuels and will contribute to maintaining employment levels. Conversely, an energy portfolio that is heavily dependent on fossil fuels will become a huge drag on the economy. At just this time when alternative energy is most needed, a poor economy and high interest rates will make it exceedingly difficult to finance the energy investments needed to get people and the economy back to work.
    Our discussion about renewable energy needs to include an appreciation of how renewables can hedge the whole economy. We definitely need to stress test the current energy portfolios. I believe the economies with the higher renewable penetrations will recover faster in future economic downturns and enjoy better long run economic growth and security. It would be helpful to have quantitative analyses now to illuminate the way.
    Best of luck.

  3. Michael Swifte 7 years ago

    Why wont Beyond Zero Emissions engage the public in discussion about the concept of baseload? I’ve been at them since I read Mark’s ‘Baseload Fallacy’ piece 3 years ago. From correspondence, attending information and training sessions, and engaging through social media I’ve experienced a determined effort from BZE to ignore the need for discussion around this important ‘first principle’ of energy delivery to the grid as we know it.
    As I’ve explained to them on several occasions, to understand how energy delivery through the grid functions in present day is to be empowered to push for the reforms that we sorely need.
    Dan Cass is on record saying that understanding baseload is a “corner stone” of moving toward 100% renewables. Paddy manning, Ben Cubby, and Giles Parkinson (among many others) know this too!

    • Martin Nicholson 7 years ago

      Michael, below is my comment posted on the original posting of this article on The Conversation. The term Baseload is often misunderstood.

      “The real issue here is not baseload but dispatchability. For those that might may not be familiar with the term “dispatching” it means the planned allocation of generating plant to meet expected future loads in the network. For a generating plant to be dispatchable it needs to be able to be turned on or off, or can readily adjust its power output on demand.

      Currently, the only renewable energy sources considered by grid operators to be dispatchable are hydro, geothermal and biomass. Wind and solar PV are generally not considered to be dispatchable because their ability to adjust power output on demand is limited. They are limited because the energy source (wind and sunlight) can vary from moment to moment – sometimes unpredictably.

      It is true that not all plant in a network needs to be dispatchable. Rooftop solar PV provides negative load to the network reducing the demand on dispatched generators. When wind power is operating it too reduces demand for dispatchable generators.

      But the network needs to match demand with supply on a moment by moment basis. Dispatched generators ramp up and down to ensure that that the supply exactly matches the load. So there needs to be sufficient dispatchable generation to ensure the network remains stable.

      So the issue has nothing to do with baseload. It has everything to do with ensuring there is sufficient dispatchable generating capacity in the network to compensate for variation in the non-dispatchable supply.

      A network with a high proportion of hydro, as in some European countries, may well be able to be 100% renewable. Unfortunately this will be a challenge for Australia.”

      • Michael Swifte 7 years ago

        Martin. I don’t think you understand that I am talking about messaging. BZE desire to gain the support of the general public. To do that they need to put industry terms – language from the dominant paradigm – into plain speak. Once the public understand the first principles of the current system they can, as individuals, synthesise their own opinions from a place of knowledge. A core task for any campaign is to make sure that massaging is clear.
        I don’t see how you can say the issue has nothing to do with baseload when baseload is the key word in the title of the piece we are discussing. Baseload is the word BZE use for their main supporters. Baseload is the word that both biased and supposedly neutral pundits and journalist use when any serious discussion happens in the media around the future of energy generation and delivery.
        You can’t define dispatchability without defining baseload.

  4. Zane 7 years ago

    Good stuff Mark, and timely. Check out this discgraceful nugget of disinformation by IPA referencing climate sceptic Anthony Cox, in the April 3 Newcastle Herald:

  5. colin 7 years ago

    I can’t see how you can link the survival of civilisation with biodiversity. The best thing that could happen for biodiversity would be for human civilisation to exit the scene leaving a carbon rich atmosphere. None of the species under threat are going to benefit one iota from a new utopia in energy. Being “green” however you define it is not about saving the planet. Nature has no concept of time, and if we leave a nuclear mess, then it will be the rise of the exoskeletons and the planet will go on with new and exciting species (minus us of course). Our current ideas of saving the planet is to fight nature. Nature wipes out species because it can then create another and really won’t care how many we destroy,because nature works on the principal that he who feeds the crocodile of species extinction is the last to be eaten by the crocodile(with an acknowledgement to WLS Churchill)

  6. Mark Brinkley 7 years ago

    I’m sure I’m not alone in questioning why you should be so inherently anti-nuclear. You dismiss the technology in three words — unsafe, expensive, and polluting — and by doing so ignore many potential benefits and possible improvements in the pipeline which could address all three of these issues.

    Unsafe? Compared to what? Deaths and injuries in the nuclear power industry worldwide have historically been tiny compared with many other industries on a similar scale.

    Expensive? Compared to what? 95% of the costs of nuclear power are safety measures and yet it still compares favourably in terms of deployment compared to most renewable energy sources.

    Poluting? We already have a large legacy of radioactive waste, mostly from our weapons programs – it’s not going to go away if we drop nuclear power. In fact, Gen 4 reactors are the one technology around that brings the hope of using this waste as a fuel and thus removing it from the environment.

    And if there is a strong vested interest in promoting nuclear power, its not doing a very good job, is it? I’m not against renewable deployment on a global scale as a solution to our energy needs, but I do feel that it shouldn’t be promoted exclusively. To my mind, that’s irrational.

    • Giles Parkinson 7 years ago

      “Expensive? Compared to what? 95% of the costs of nuclear power are safety measures and yet it still compares favourably in terms of deployment compared to most renewable energy sources.”

      What nonsense. It is expensive because no privately owned bank will risk financing it, no privately owned insurer will risk insuring it, no privately owned EPC will accept the construction risk, and fewer and fewer governments are prepared to take all that risk on their own balance sheets.

      It’s not the environmentalists that have skewered nuclear, it is the big end of town.

      • Mark Brinkley 7 years ago


        Methinks you are confusing cause and effect. Private banks are having trouble financing nuclear power plants because they cant be sure there will be a return on the investment, because this depends on a govt guarantee that there will be a market for the power produced. Hence all the arguments going on in the UK at the moment about strike prices for Hinkley Point. In fact exactly the same arguments are going on with renewables which also need govt subsidy to ensure that they can sell what they produce.

        Both nuclear and renewables are capital intensive but produce low cost power. The main costs to be repaid are the finance costs – hence the problems with finance and subsidies. In terms of cost per MWh output, nuclear tends to compare favourably with all the renewables. That’s what I meant by “expensive – compared to what?”

        In the current energy markets, nothing but coal and gas can be justified without recourse to some form of guarantee or subsidy.

        • Giles Parkinson 7 years ago

          It’s all about the cost of capital. You could build a coal fired power station cheaply once, but you can’t now because of the cost of the risk that financiers apply to the capital. 1% point has a major impact in a 30,40,50 year asset.
          Sure, the Hinkley developers are looking for a guaranteed payment for 40 years (even when they not producing!!!!!), but that is to ensure they get a return on the cost of capital, which is inflated by risk. Meanwhile, the talks also centre around who will accept the bulk of the risk – construction, production, insurance etc. To divorce the two is to misunderstand the workings of the capital markets.

          • Bob Wallace 7 years ago

            Using median overnight capital costs from the US EIA –

            Nuclear is $3,100/kW
            Wind is $1,570/kW
            Natural gas combined cycle is $880/kW

            Building wind with NG fill-in would be $2450/kW.


            Nuclear takes so long to bring on line that its financed cost roughly doubles the overnight capital cost. Wind and NGCC start producing revenue within a couple of years and don’t suffer the same problems of compounding interest.

            Nuclear has a fuel cost. Wind does not. If wind is producing roughly half the time and we fill in with NG the overall fuel cost drops to about half of nuclear.

            Nuclear also encounters major problems when it goes offline. A malfunctioning turbine in a 100 turbine wind farm takes only 1% production off line. A reactor problem takes the entire production off line and restarting can take days.

      • Jim James 7 years ago

        Ricks nuclear v renewables
        I have always thought if there is a PV spill, its just a niece day.

    • Bob Wallace 7 years ago

      Mark, let’s just deal with the expense issue at the moment.

      What’s your best guess at what electricity from a new nuclear plant might be? The US EIA says 11 US cents per kWh which is lower than any other estimate I’ve seen. But let’s use 11.

      Now, let’s say you build a reactor and now have to sell 24/365 (minus the 10% expected downtime for refueling and maintenance)at 11c/kWh.

      Someone builds a wind farm and starts selling electricity for 5c/kWh. And they can provide about half the time. Since you can’t shut down you have to sell your output at a price that causes the wind farm to curtail. That could be zero cents.

      Selling at 0c or something a bit higher means that you now have to sell at a price much higher than 11c other hours in order to recoup your loss. Let’s say 16c.

      Solar is already producing for under 16c. There’s some more hours at which you not only can’t recover your loss, but you loose more.

      And then there’s natural gas. The price of gas could climb a lot and gas would still be able to fill in for wind and solar and be cheaper than the 16c+ you need to stay in business.

      And as the price of gas rises others are going to bring storage to the grid, storing cheap wind as a gas replacement.

      Now, how could a new nuclear plant survive in a market like that?

      • Mark Brinkley 7 years ago


        I agree with you. The market system we have decided to run our energy systems with doesn’t sit easily with the vast capital expense of nuclear power. But it sits no more easily with renewable energy sources, which will also involve vast expense and will be subject to all the same interventionist measures if they are to succeed.

        Put another way, if you think nuclear is expensive, wait until you try and run a country on renewables only.

    • Bob Wallace 7 years ago

      “Unsafe? Compared to what? Deaths and injuries in the nuclear power industry worldwide have historically been tiny compared with many other industries on a similar scale.”

      Let’s get the big issue on the table.

      The fuel used in nuclear reactors is very dangerous for humans. No other electricity generation technology uses a fuel that is in any way as potentially harmful.

      We go to extraordinary lengths to protect ourselves from this fuel. We build steel and concrete containment structures, build in multiple and redundant emergency systems, and surround the plant with armed guards. We keep fighter jets on standby in the event a hijacked airliner heads toward one.

      We have accumulated millions of pounds and millions of gallons of radioactive waste for which we have no solution except to let it sit from decades to thousands of years and naturally decay.

      The fuel for wind, solar, tidal, wave, hydro, biomass/gas and geothermal is simply a part of our nature in which we evolved and have safely lived for hundreds of thousands of years.

      Yes, fewer workers are killed in the nuclear industry than in the coal industry. But we’re quitting coal.

      No, there is no reason to think that construction and operation of nuclear plants is safer than wind, solar, etc. People get killed building and operating stuff. In the last couple of years a couple of people have fallen to their deaths in North America nuclear plants. A worker was killed a couple of weeks ago in an Arkansas plant when a generator fell on him.

      Nuclear energy isn’t safe.

      Have you ever heard of evacuation plans for communities surrounding wind farms or solar arrays? Did the fire in that Scottish wind turbine create a no-go zone which humans will not be able to inhabit for decades?

      • Mark Brinkley 7 years ago

        On the safety issue, again I agree with much of what you say but…’s all to do with risk assessments and degrees of safety. Obviously there are issues running nuclear power stations, but the promise of low carbon baseload electricity is also a huge prize worth taking risks for. There is every chance that German-style Energiewende will end up at about 60 or 70% renewables and then turn to coal or gas for the backup or base load, and that may well persist for hundreds of years. That’s the counter risk and as yet no one has been able to show how you will be able to wean nations off fossil fuels without recourse to some nuclear.

        This is an issue that isn’t really addressed by Energiewende proponents. Getting to 20%, 30% or 40% renewables is relatively easy (expensive, but easy) but each subsequent 10% gets harder and harder. And to my mind there is a huge safety risk in continuing to burn fossil fuels in significant quantities.

        You may argue that in time technological advances will address these factors. But nuclear technology also has the potential to advance and address many of the existing safety issues — esp the waste issue.

        • Bob Wallace 7 years ago

          I don’t think we need worry about Germany continuing to use fossil fuels in any significant amount for very many years. They are already starting to build storage to take over from fossil fuel plants.

          If you’ll go up the discussion a bit I posted a summary of the Budischak paper in which they showed that it would be possible to run the largest commercial grid in the world off nothing but wind and solar. They found no need for nuclear.

          Or you could look at Mark’s article at the top of the page.

          “Our latest research, available here and reported here, finds that generating systems comprising a mix of different commercially available renewable energy technologies, located on geographically dispersed sites, do not need base-load power stations to achieve the same reliability as fossil-fuelled systems.”

          “… the mix of renewable energy technologies in our computer model, which has no base-load power stations, easily supplies base-load demand. Our optimal mix comprises wind 50-60%; solar PV 15-20%; concentrated solar thermal with 15 hours of thermal storage 15-20%; and the small remainder supplied by existing hydro and gas turbines burning renewable gases or liquids.”

        • Bob Wallace 7 years ago

          RE: nuclear waste.

          First, Gen4 reactors are just ideas. They are not proven technology. Ideas don’t all work. Remember the pebble bed reactor?

          Then, Gen4 reactors would deal only with spent fuel if they did work. They would not deal with the millions of pounds and millions of gallons of radioactive non-fuel waste.

          We’ve got hundreds of reactors which are reaching the end of their life and we have no solution for the vast amount of radioactive material they leave behind. I suppose we’ll have to pump them full of concrete and hope that holds until the radiation decays to an acceptable level.

          Look, you recognize that nuclear energy is uniquely dangerous. We’ve got two (actually more) studies that show us we can get by without it. We know that other generation technology gives us cheaper electricity. And we know that it takes a long, long time to build a reactor and bring it on line.

          Think of it as you would buying a new car. Would you buy the car that was the slowest, had significant safety issues, was expensive to run, and cost the most money?

          • Mark Brinkley 7 years ago

            I dont get it. Gen4 reactors are just ideas – they may not work, you write. But models of how we could run an economy on just renewables are acceptable because they seem to work as models, even though they are using (unproven) CSP and (guessed at) storage mechanisms.

            Why is it one rule for nuclear and another for renewables? Surely, both routes carry risks.

          • Bob Wallace 7 years ago

            The difference is that the solar panels and wind turbines that were used in the Budischak paper are real.

            They are currently being used. We know they work, how well they work, and how much the power from them costs.

            Budischak and Deinsendorf, in their papers, took existing technology and calculated the feasibility and cost of using things we have to produce all our electricity.

  7. Ben Rose 7 years ago

    Thanks Mark; I totally agree. I recently co-authored a report on 100% Renewable Energy Scenarios for WA by 2029 It supports your poinTs

    There are three renewable backup power technologies for solar and wind that are already viable and could start to take over within a few years if governments had proactive policies and strategies:
    – Biomass gasification – gas turbine fired by biomass from plantation wood waste, straw and oil mallee plantations (these could provide up to 40% of WA’s electricity)
    – Dispersed small residential and commercial storage batteries linked to smart grids.
    -Pumped ocean storage hydropower utilizing salt water ponds of about 100-200 ha on cliffs/ high areas 120 – 130 m in elevation within 1 km of the coast. There are sites with potential north of Geraldton and east of Albany in WA and near Pt Augusta and and Fleurieu Peninsula in SA; there would be others in QLD; NSW and Vic have significant additional conventional pumped hydro storage potential.

  8. Frosty Wooldridge 5 years ago

    If you give any country endless energy supplies, it’s like giving a mad teenager who loves video war games a machine gun in the middle of a 100,000 spectator soccer game. He will mow down everyone without realizing his own folly. To give Australia endless renewable energy means Australia will continue growing beyond its arable land capacity, its water capacity, its quality of life, its standard of living, its connection to the natural world, and worst, it will overwhelm every other creature. Endless energy insures endless growth, which, in the end guarantees collapse. Ask any 450 pound obese person how he or she likes their endless growth. Frosty Wooldridge, 6 continent world bicycle traveler

    If we don’t halt population growth with justice and compassion, it will be done for us by nature, brutally and without pity – and will leave a ravaged world. ~Nobel Laureate Dr. Henry W. Kendall

    “The raging monster upon the land is population growth. In its presence, sustainability is but a fragile theoretical construct. To say, as many do, that the difficulties of nations are not due to people, but to poor ideology and land-use management is sophistic.” Harvard scholar and biologist E.O. Wilson

    “Unlimited population growth cannot be sustained; you cannot sustain growth in the rates of consumption of resources. No species can overrun the carrying capacity of a finite land mass. This Law cannot be repealed and is not negotiable.” Dr. Albert Bartlett, , University of Colorado, USA.

    “Most Western elites continue urging the wealthy West not to stem the migrant tide [that adds 80 million net gain annually to the planet], but to absorb our global brothers and sisters until their horrid ordeal has been endured and shared by all—ten billion humans packed onto an ecologically devastated planet.” Dr. Otis Graham, Unguarded Gates

    Lester Brown, author of Plan B 4.0 Saving Civilization said, “The world has set in motion environmental trends that are threatening civilization itself. We are crossing environmental thresholds and violating deadlines set by nature. Nature is the timekeeper, but we cannot see the clock.”

    “Somehow, we have come to think the whole purpose of the economy is to grow, yet growth is not a goal or purpose. The pursuit of endless growth is suicidal.” David Suzuki

    • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

      Why don’t you take a look at what is happening to world population growth?

      (Here’s a hint. It’s slowing.)

      Want to slow it faster? Want to reach peak population sooner and at a lower level? What to start moving population numbers down faster?

      Provide more education for women. Education means increased earning power. Increased earning power means both more control over their lives and less willingness to “overburden” wage owners with extra children.

      Provide more access to birth control methods. More pills, condoms, etc. People are going to continue to enjoy sex. That’s built into our systems. People will take the risk of becoming parents even when they don’t want to in order to enjoy sex. Give them access to alternatives.

      Provide people with some basic safety nets and decent health care so that they don’t feel like they need to have 6, 8, 10 children in order to have someone to take care of them later in life.

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