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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...

Friday, November 29, 2013

Use it or lose it

There are numerous gas basins in eastern Australia and very few of them have been exploited to date. There are moves to install more processing plants as the demand for energy grows while the extraction of oil globally becomes more difficult. The logic that proponents of these developments are putting forward in aiming to get support is 'use it or lose'. This is the logic that has been used by world wide societies for centuries as they have exploited a wide range of natural resources to enable the the production of goods and the construction of infrastructure that have been the hall mark of civilization. The mining of coal, iron ore, uranium and other minerals have contributed significantly to the growth in the Australian economy.

This myopic view is a characteristic of the societies in industrialized countries. It is tantamount to the making use of the value of inputs without taking into account the inevitable waste outputs. Society is only now coming to grips with the rapid climate change that the wastes from fossil fuel providing energy, much of which goes up in fumes in traffic congestion!

But this production of wastes is not the only deleterious impact of this extraction of natural resources. Society is now addicted to the goods and services provided by this unsustainable process. All the implementation gas processing plants will do is maintain this dependence for a while longer and make the inevitable withdrawal even harder to cope with.

The proposal is akin to a tobacco company selling the benefits of smoking!