I Did Not Make It Up.
“A human being at rest runs on 90 watts.
That’s how much power you need just to lie down.
And if you’re a hunter-gatherer and you live in the Amazon, you’ll need about 250 watts. That’s how much energy it takes to run about and find food.”
“So how much energy does our lifestyle [in America] require?”
“Well, when you add up all our calories and then you add up
the energy needed to run the computer and the air-conditioner, you get an incredibly large number, somewhere around 11,000 watts.”
“Now you can ask yourself: What kind of animal
requires 11,000 watts to live?”
“And what you find is that we have created a lifestyle where we need more watts than a blue whale. We require more energy than the biggest animal that has ever existed. That is why our lifestyle is unsustainable. We can’t have seven billion blue whales on this planet. It’s not even clear that we can afford to have 300 million blue whales.”
– Geoffrey West,
a theoretical physicist at the Sante Fe Insititute
during an interview with Jonah Lehrer
that was published on March 27, 2012.
Thank you Erik Cudd
for your nudge in this direction.