Energy and Economic Myths. Institutional and Analytical by Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen

By Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen

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1]. Economic systems as well as economic plans have always been evaluated only in relation to their ability to sustain a great rate of economic growth. Economic plans, without a single exception, have been aimed at the highest possible rate of economic growth. The very theory of economic development is anchored solidly in exponential growth models. " [4, 332f; 10, 13; 51, 661; 52; 74, 42f; 69, 58f] This is all the more curious since some of the same critics concomitantly maintained that technology grows exponentially (Section VI).

The difficulty concerns the material container for that reaction. As has been explained in layman's terms, the solution now sought is similar to holding water inside a mesh of rubber bands. In this connection we may recall that the chemical energy of dynamite and gunpowder, although in use for a long time, cannot be controlled so as to drive a turbine or a motor. " 1β Be this as it may, with or without thermonuclear energy, the amount of accessible energetic low entropy isfinite(Section IV). Similar considerations lead to the conclusion that the amount of accessible material low entropy is finite, too.

Similar considerations lead to the conclusion that the amount of accessible material low entropy is finite, too. But although in both cases only the amount of low entropy matters, it is important that the two accounts be kept separate in any discussion of the environmental problem. As we all know, available energy and ordered material structures fulfill two distinct roles in mankind's life. However, this anthropomorphic distinction would not be compelling by itself. 17 We cannot produce a copper sheet, for example, from energy alone.

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