Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Wattage of Life

As heard on the "Cities" episode of the WNYC Radiolab podcast at about the 38-minute mark, the estimated daily wattage of the following people:

  • Someone just lying in bed all day: 90 watts
  • A hunter-gatherer in a New Zealand tribe: 240 watts
  • A typical American who commutes and uses common household appliances, including a computer: 11,000 watts! That's more daily energy than a blue whale requires.

Eighty percent of Americans live in cities, and cities are just growing and growing like insatiable monsters.

But, because cities are such dense producers and markets of science and innovation, if anyone will solve humanity's energy problems, it will probably be a city-dweller.

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