Unsustainable Muse

Thanks to my brother, I’ve been introduced to Muse.

Night 2 at the O2 Arena, London.
Muse performing ‘Unsustainable’.

All natural and technological processes proceed in such a way that the availability of the remaining energy decreases.

In all energy exchanges, if no energy enters or leaves an isolated system, the entropy of that system increases.

Energy continuously flows from being concentrated, to becoming dispersed, spread out, wasted and useless.

New energy cannot be created and high grade energy is being destroyed.

An economy based on endless growth is

You’re unsustainable.

The fundamental laws of thermodynamics will place fixed limits on technological innovation and human advancement.

In an isolated system the entropy can only increase.

A species set on endless growth is

Somehow I don’t think that light show — not to mention the transport fuel used to get the crowd there — was generated by renewable energy.

Irony, much?

In other news, I’ve just supported the Ginkgo umbrella at indiegogo, and am looking forward to receiving my very own 100% recyclable Ginkgo before long. Well, before the Autumn rains, I hope.

And in still other news, Supply Shock by Brian Czech was published recently:

Supply Shock debunks the widely accepted myths held by politicians, economists, and Wall Street that limitless economic expansion is the Holy Grail, and that there is no conflict between growing the economy and protecting the environment. We are in fact navigating the end of the era of economic growth, and the only sustainable alternative is the development of a steady state economy.

Supply Shock leaves no doubt that the biggest idea of the twentieth century—economic growth—has become the biggest problem of the twenty-first. Required reading for anyone concerned about the world our children and grandchildren will inherit, this landmark work lays a solid foundation for a new economic model, perhaps in time for preventing global catastrophes; certainly in time for lessening the damages.

The first US$5,000 in royalties on the sales of ‘Supply Shock’ go to support the work of the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE), AKA (also known as) steadystate.org.

Remember: you first read about it here! — or, maybe, you first read about it, um, somewhere else… 😉


About pendantry

Phlyarologist (part-time) and pendant. Campaigner for action against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and injustice in all its forms. Humanist, atheist, notoftenpist. Wannabe poet, writer and astronaut.
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4 Responses to Unsustainable Muse

  1. Wyrd Smythe says:

    Well, the Earth isn’t a closed system, so globally speaking, entropy doesn’t really apply (we have that giant fusion reactor hanging in space pouring new high-grade energy at us). There is also considerable energy in tidal and geo sources. I don’t consider energy a problem for our future (but, oh, there are so many others).

    That said, totally down with the problems of obsessive growth (although framing it as a thermodynamics problem seems a new wrinkle with which I’m not entirely sure I’d agree … have to ponder that one a bit). The last 100 years or so have seen a growth rate that is utterly without precedent in human history. It is completely unsustainable from just a resources point of view; a huge crash awaits in our future. There remains no “if” question… the only questions are “when” and “what the hell are we going to do other than die by the billions?”

    The more you look into the issues of modern human society, the more you realize that we drove off the cliff years ago. We’re like Wiley Coyote in the Road Runner cartoons… hanging in midair just waiting for the recognition, “Oh, yeah…. gravity!”

    I’ve stopped believing there is much hope of a way out. I’m just going to fiddle while Rome burns, just going to keep drinking at the bar until this Titanic sinks. It’s entirely possible that the human race will prove itself just barely smart enough to completely wipe itself out.


    • pendantry says:

      They’re musicians; they’re allowed some poetic license 😉

      Wile E CoyoteLove the Wile E. Coyote image! 🙂

      As for hope: I keep cycling between hope and despair. I see a lot of people taking the time trying to help debunk the misinformation (for instance here). This gives me hope that perhaps, just perhaps, we may prove that we’re not as stupid as we are dumb looking after all.


      • Wyrd Smythe says:

        I’m [mumble] years past 55, I’ve been online since the mid-80s, and I’ve been a member of the army fighting misinformation all that time. But there always seems to be new misinformation, and from what I can tell the situation is getting worse. As great as the web can be, it also seems to be doing serious damage to our thinking and reasoning ability.

        American author Charles Pierce wrote a book, Idiot America that talks about how, while there have always been kooks and snake oil salesmen, we used to be better at discerning nonsense. TV reporting and its absurd attempts to provide “balance” usually feature two “experts” (read: mouthpieces) for two polar views. Each gets the same air time of roughly three minutes; each occupies the same amount of screen space (giving the illusion of parity), usually side-by-side.

        The “moderator” never seriously debunks what either side says (usually for fear of alienating the guests and over time being unable to procure more). In fact, once both views are presented, it’s cut to commercial and then return for a new segment. Viewers walk away with the impression both views are equal. They often aren’t.

        The Canadian National Science Foundation just declared that there shall be no more science for science sake. All research must now be in clear, direct aid of society or business. This is the opposite of progress; this is the encroachment of dark ages. We live in an age were politicians will announce, “We must stand up to the experts.”

        I just don’t see how all this downward momentum turns around. There just aren’t enough of us to stay the decline.


        • pendantry says:

          Thanks, I’ve just placed an order for ‘Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free’ (second hand, naturally). Seems like mandatory reading for any wannabe phlyarologist! 🙂

          I had heard about that proposal by the Canadians to neuter science. I really didn’t think such a thing could possibly get enough backing. Maybe you’re right; if we’re losing ground such as that which should be a no-brainer to keep, we’re going backwards, not forwards, and we are indeed screwed.


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