A new study published in the January issue of the journal BioScience has found a strong correlation between global energy use and economic growth.
The research has led the authors to infer that energy use limits economic activity directly, and that an “enormous” increase in energy supply will be necessary to meet the demands of the projected world population growth as well as help developing nations out of poverty without jeopardizing standards of living in already developed countries.
The relationship between energy consumption per person and gross domestic product per person has an analogous relationship to metabolism and body weight in animals: cities and countries, like animals, have metabolisms that must burn fuel to sustain themselves and to grow.
Additionally, the study shows that variables relating to standard of living are also linked with energy consumption per person and gross domestic product per person. To support the population growth that will take place in the next 30 years and maintain the current US lifestyle, will require 16 times the current global energy use.
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