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Entropy production delusion

It is common in knowledgeable circles to talk about the development of civilization in terms of entropy discussion. The term 'entropy...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Technology fails us

A tablet in the nearby nature reserve describes how bushfires (wildfires) are a natural way to renew the range of plants that have made up the bush for eons. It details the different mechanisms that varieties of trees use to either quickly or slowly renew their lives from the damage the fire did. Botanists, no doubt, have a greater understanding of this wonder of nature. However, the short description on the tablet tells the basis of this sustainable renewal process.

The Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria destroyed a number of towns, houses, schools and the associated infrastructure. These are being slowly rebuild with aging technological systems irreversibly using energy and materials out of the depleting natural store while producing irrevocable waste. This replacement process does not emulate the proven natural renewal process. It is an unsustainable process that will gradually diminish this century as available natural resources run down.

The natural renewal following bushfires and the inability of our systems to emulate this natural process is but one example of the difference between the way natural forces operate and what the systems of civilization can do. Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions are other natural traumas that have occurred over the ages from which the eco systems have slowly recovered. But the systems of civilization damaged by these traumas that can be quickly repaired depends on the availability of the necessary materials, energy and human skills to operate the technological systems. That possibility is declining as the natural resources required, including oil, become more difficult to supply.

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