Bruce plugs for solar power and population control

By the time you get to this smoky nether-region of the paper, I tend to think you’re in the mood for some fantasy. So allow me to flog your mind with an interesting factoid I’m lifting from a recent book, The World Without Us, a misanthrope’s daydream that speculates what would happen to Earth if all us homo sapiens suddenly vanished. The factoid that caught my eye is this: If all women on the planet had one and only one child, and their female offspring did the same, and so on and so on, by the year 2100, the population of humans on this here rock would shrink to between 1 and 2 billion.

At that number, at 1.5 billion, there’d be about 5 billion fewer rats in the cage, so to speak. And in fact, doesn’t every problem we have stem from this inescapable base point? Think of the space we would have, the food, the resources, the jobs, the gas. (Actually, gas’ll be gone by 2100. Won’t it?) Hell, there might even be some fish and animals hangin’ around. All because humanity sucked it up and acted with some collective intelligence, as opposed to acting like a bunch of naked apes imprisoned by constant spasms of sperm-spurting. Instead of waiting for some hybrid of bird flu, ebola, and AIDS to clip a few billion souls off humanity’s line-up, or maybe some nuclear pissing match, or something else at this time completely unimaginable, humanity got it together and finally, just in the nick of time, got itself under control, sparing Nature the drama and hassle of having to put a major thumping on our ass.

OK, fantasy time over!

• • • • •

Recently, Senator Reid was talking to some committee about how if you filled 100 square miles of the Nevada desert, namely the old Test Site, with solar panels, you could supply the United States with all its electricity. Not just Nevada. America.

That sounds pretty good. Why don’t we go ahead and do this?

It’ll take a while. 100 square miles of solar panels is a fairly large install. But, what the hell, it beats the heck out of having to traipse around the world beating people up for their accursed oil. Let’s make it a 10-year project, some kind of ultra-high priority Energy New Deal and get frickin’ BUSY. Why not? Why the heck not? As a green kook, I promise that all my fellow green kooks will immediately sign off on all the things that need to be signed off, mainly land for an extensive network of transmission lines. Done.

I mean, we’re the country that dug the goddang Panama Canal. Compared to that, this is a breeze. No malaria problem, plus the thousands of construction workers could base—hey, how handy and economically convenient—could base in Vegas! And what a happy ending. Instead of being the nation’s nuclear toilet, Nevada would instead become the nation’s battery.

Once again—fantasy time over! Back to reality with you, reader!