It's fun to think about the far-out Type II and III civilizations, but how close are we now to Type I?(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

M. Kaku says the output of our star is about "a billion trillion trillion ergs per second". That is, if I have done the arithmetic correctly, 10^33 ergs/sec or, dividing by 10^7, 10^26 watts. Note that this is power, rate of producing or consuming energy that we are talking about. I propose to name this amount of power the Sol. Numbering your power flux in Sols would be a practice of a Type I civilization.

Currently we measure the power consumption on earth in quads, quadrillions of BTUs per year. That's 10^15 BTU/yr = 3.169 X 10^10 watts. In 2000 the earth used energy at the rate of 300 quads per year, or about 10^13 watts. Notice that this power, 10^13 watts as numerically the square root of 1 Sol = 10^26 watts. This says that on a harmonic progression scale, we are half way from 10^0 watts (idly scratching) to the mark of Type I, the Sol.

Go humans, go!

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# A Type I unit of power, the Sol

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