I examine whether the entropy law dictates absolute limits to growth. I distinguish of doom, like Georgescu-Roegen, cannot be bolstered by the entropy law. Jump to Magnum opus on The Entropy Law and the Economic Process - Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen was a Romanian American mathematician,  Nationality‎: ‎Romanian. Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen: The Entropy Law and the Economic Process. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, Pp. xv, $ One of the.


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In the United States alone, it is believed, there are large areas covered with black shale and granite which contain 60 grams of natural georgescu roegen entropy or thorium per metric ton [46, pp.

On this basis, Weinberg and Hammond [83, pp. By stripmining and crushing all these rocks, we could obtain enough nuclear fuel for some 32, breeder reactors distributed in 4, offshore parks and capable of supplying a population of twenty billion for millions of years with twice as much energy per capita as the current consumption rate in georgescu roegen entropy USA.


The grand plan is a typical example of linear thinking, according to which all that is needed for the existence of a population, even "considerably larger than twenty billion," is to increase all supplies proportionally. The most important issue, of whether a social organization compatible georgescu roegen entropy the density of population and the georgescu roegen entropy manipulation at the grand level can be achieved, is brushed aside by Weinberg as "transscientific" [82].

For the time being, the snag is far more palpable.

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As responsible forums openly admit, even one breeder still presents substantial risks of nuclear catastrophes, and the problem of safe transportation of nuclear fuels and especially that of safe storage of the radioactive garbage still await a solution even for a moderate scale of operations [35; 36; especially 39 and 67].

There remains the physicist's greatest dream, controlled thermonuclear reaction. To constitute a real breakthrough, it must be the georgescu roegen entropy reaction, the only one that could open up a formidable source of terrestrial energy for a long era. For completion, we should also mention georgescu roegen entropy tidal and geothermal energies, which, although not negligible in all, 0.

The general picture is now clear.

Selections from "Energy and Economic Myths" by Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen

The terrestrial energies on which we can rely effectively exist in very small amounts, whereas the use of those which exist georgescu roegen entropy ampler amounts is surrounded by great risks georgescu roegen entropy formidable technical obstacles.

On the other hand, there is the immense energy from the sun which reaches us without fail. Its direct use is not yet practiced on a significant scale, the main reason being that the alternative industries are now much more efficient economically.

But promising results are coming from various directions [37; 41]. What counts from the bioeconomic viewpoint is that the feasibility of using the sun's energy directly georgescu roegen entropy not surrounded by risks or big question marks; it is georgescu roegen entropy proven fact.

The conclusion is that mankind's entropic dowry presents another important differential scarcity. From the viewpoint of the extreme long run, the terrestrial free energy is far scarcer than that received from the sun.

The point exposes the foolishness of the victory cry that we can finally obtain protein from fossil fuels! Sane reason tells us to move in the opposite direction, to convert vegetable stuff into hydrocarbon fuelan obviously natural line already pursued by several researchers [22, pp.

  • The Entropy Law and the Economic Process — Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen | Harvard University Press
  • EconPapers: The Entropy Law and the Economic Process in Retrospect
  • Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen - Wikipedia
  • The Entropy Law and the Economic Process in Retrospect
  • Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen

The latter is available in a concentrated form; in some cases, in a too concentrated form. As a result, it enables us to obtain georgescu roegen entropy instantaneously enormous amounts of work, most of which could not even be obtained otherwise.

By great contrast, the flow of solar energy comes to us with an extremely low intensity, like a very fine rain, almost a microscopic mist.

The important difference from true rain is that this radiation rain is not collected naturally into streamlets, then into creeks and rivers, and finally into lakes from where we could use it in a concentrated form, as is the georgescu roegen entropy with waterfalls.

Imagine the difficulty one would face if one tried to use directly the kinetic energy of some microscopic rain drops as they fall. Georgescu roegen entropy same difficulty presents itself in using solar energy directly i. But as was emphasized a while ago, the difficulty does not amount to impossibility.

The Entropy Law and the Economic Process

The use of any terrestrial energy produces some noxious pollution, which, moreover, is irreducible and georgescu roegen entropy cumulative, be it in the form of thermal pollution alone.

By contrast, any use of solar energy is pollution-free.


For, whether this energy is georgescu roegen entropy or not, its ultimate fate is the same, namely, to become the dissipated heat that maintains the thermodynamic equilibrium between the globe and outer space at a propitious temperature.

Man alone, because of his exosomatic addiction, depends on mineral resources as well.

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