* To establish feasibility, it is necessary to include some items in the energy invested term that are normally not thought of as investments. For example, the cost of sequestering such carbon dioxide as will be produced by the energy technology under investigation should be added to the energy invested term because feasibility requires that our society be sustainable (until astronomical events intervene). In this thought experiment, the support of an alternative energy technology would be the sole concern of every citizen.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Fundamental Principle of Ecology

The fundamental principle of ecology ought to be "Leave it alone".  It is not necessary to solve a huge stiff system of differential delay equations to manage an eco-region; i. e., a connected area of the face of the earth all of which drains into a large body of water - usually an ocean - with no part of the drainage region omitted.  It's not necessary to read extensively in the QH and QL sections of the library. It is necessary only to let your eco-region manage itself by behaving as a well-mannered guest.  Don't do very much.  In fact, do as little as possible.  Cultivate sloth.  Be lazy.

Mankind has discovered that he may harvest energy, as well as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and berries, from Nature.  He presumes that he is entitled to exploit these resources with no thought of paying Nature, putting anything back, or cleaning up. Now, he is in a bind.  His life is filled with feverish activity.  He knows that he has way too great an impact on the environment.  But he can't stop.  He has credit card debt.  He just barely avoided the last big lay-off at his job.  His wife has been bugging him to earn more money, in keeping with the normal measure of worth in his society, usually referred to as status.  He has a brokerage account; but, he has been unable  to earn extra money by trading stocks, options, and other securities.  This man's troubles will be recognized as instances of the modes in which Capitalist economies achieve the economic growth they require.

But, all of this activity, from which Capitalism will not let up but demands more of the same is in violation of the Fundamental Principle of Ecology (now promoted to initial caps).  Thus, Capitalism's route to inevitable collapse is the  greatest evil in the world today.

[Note:  Besides venting a little frustration with conservatives (I almost said "frustration with the stupidity of conservatives"), this post constitutes an experiment in writing short choppy sentences.]

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