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Entropy - A New World View

Cat: SCI
Pub: 1980

Jeremy Rifkin


Entropy - A New World View


Jeremy Rifkin





  • Maxwell's demon:
    It never occurs automatically the difference of temperature in a material which has a certain temperature. This empirical fact is the essence of the Second Law of Thermodynamics; which is the molecular theory based on thermodynamics. Let's assume there is a confined room composed of two subrooms separated by the bulkhead, and a tiny demon is standing at the bulkhead which really has a tiny pinhole. If such demon allows only high speed molecules to pass one way through the pinhole of bulkhead, the temperature of two rooms will become different. Or if such a demon allows all molecules to pass through the pinhole into one room, there will be a difference of pressure. We cannot even know the existence of such demon, but James C. Maxwell imagined in 1871 such a demon with superman ability in explaining his theory of rule of velocity distribution. Now this demon is called 'Maxwell's demon.'
  • マクスウェルの魔物

0. World Views:

  • Our modern world view:
    It took shape some 400 years ago, and while it has been greatly refined and modified in the years since, it has retained much of its early vision. We live under the influence of the 17th century Newtonian world machine paradigm.
  • New world views:
    Now, however, an new world views is about to emerge: the Entropy Law will preside as the ruling paradigm over the next period of history.
    • The entropy Law is the second law of thermodynamics. The first law states that all matter and energy in the universe is constant, that it cannot be created or destroyed. The second law states the matter and energy can only be changed in one direction, i.e., from usable to unusable, or from available to un available, or from ordered to disordered.
    • Everything in the entire universe began with structure and value and is irrevocably moving in the direction of random chaos and waste.
    • The entropy Law destroys the notion of history as progress. It destroys the notion that science and technology create a more ordered world.
    • It should be emphasized that the Entropy Law deals only with the physical world where everything is finite and where all living things must run their course and eventually cease to be.
      • Historians have long speculated over why a particular world view emerges at a particular time and place in history. It is important that we remove ourselves from our own world view just long enough to take a hard look at how our own perception of reality has been shaped over the centuries
  • Greek mythology:
    History is represented by a series of five stages, each more more degraded and more harsh than the one preceding it. The Greek historian Hesiod describes these ages as the Golden, Silver, Brass, Heroic, and Iron. The Golden age was the apex a period of abundance and fulfillment.
    • Most hunter-gatherers work no more than 12 - 20 hours per week, and for weeks and months each year they do no work at all, Instead, their time is filled with leisure pursuits including games, sporting events, art, music, dance, ceremonies, and visiting with neighbors. Many hunter-gatherer societies place a premium on cooperation and sharing, and show little inclination for warring and aggression against each other or outside groups.
    • According to Hesiod, the Golden Age came to an abrupt end when Pandora lifted the lid on the box containing the evils of life.
      • The final age is the Iron Age. Here is Hesiod speaking in 8th century:
      • Never by day shall they rest from travail and sorrow, and never by night from the hand of the spoiler. The father shall not be of one mind with the children, nor the children with the farther, nor the guest with the host that receives them, nor friends with friends.... Parent shall swiftly age and swiftly be dishonored.
    • Finally, as the universe approached ultimate chaos, the Deity intervenes once again and restores the original condition of perfection. The whole process then begins once again. History is seen not as a cumulative progression toward perfection but as an ever repeating cycle moving from order to chaos.
    • Plato and Aristotle believe that the best social order was the one that experienced the fewest changes there was no room in their world view for the concept of continued change and growth. The ideal state was the one that slowed down the process of decay as much as possible.
  • The Christian World View:
    The Christian view of history, which dominated western Europe throughout the Middle Ages, perceived life in this world as a mere stopover in preparation for the next. The Christian world view abandoned the Greek concept of cycles but retained the notion of history as a decaying process. In Christian theology, history has a distinct beginning, middle, and end in the form of the Creation, the Redemption, and the Last Judgment.
    • The human purpose was not to "achieve things" but to seek salvation. Toward this end, society was viewed as an organic whole, a kind of divinely directed moral organism in which each person had a part to play.


  • 近代の世界観:
  • 新たな世界観:
    • エントロピーの法則は熱力学の第二法則である。第一の法則は宇宙におけるすべての物質とエネルギーは一定であり、作り出されることもなければ破壊されることもない。第二法則は物質とエネルギーは一定の方向のみ変化する、すなわち、利用可能なものから利用不可能なものて、入手可能なものから不可能なものへ、秩序だったものから無秩序の方向へである。
    • 宇宙におけるすべてのものは、体系的で価値あるものからランダムなで混沌とした荒廃的なものの方向へ不可逆的に移動する。
    • エントロピーの法則は進歩の歴史観を破壊する。それは科学技術がより体系的な世界を作り上げるという概念を破壊する。
    • エントロピーの法則が物理世界だけに作用するということは強調すべきことである。そこではすべてのものに限界があり、すべての生物はその前提で生きて死ぬ運命にある。
      • 歴史家は、特定の世界観が歴史上の特定の時間・空間に現れるかについて長い間思索してきた。我々自身のこれまでの世界観から我々を解き放って、我々の現実認識がどのようにして何世紀にも亘って形付けられてきたかを真剣に考えてみることは重要である
  • ギリシャ神話:
    • 狩猟採集民族は、週の内たった12 - 20時間しか働かず、一年の内、何週間も何ヶ月も働かず、その間、彼らはゲーム、スポーツ、技術、音楽、ダンス、儀式や近隣への訪問などレジャーに費やしていた。狩猟採集民族の社会は協力と分配を重視し、相互にあるいは外の部族との闘いと侵略行動に出ることは少なかった。
    • ヘシオドスによれば、人生の害悪の詰まっていたパンドラの箱の蓋を開けてしまったため、黄金の時代は突然終わりを告げることになる。
      • 最後の時代は黒鉄の時代である。ここにヘシオドスの8世紀の記述がある。
      • 一日として労苦や悲哀から休まるひもなく、一晩として略奪者の手から逃れるれることがない。父親は子供と同意見であることなく、子供もまた父親と意見が合わない。客はその招いてくれた主人と意見が合わず、友人同士も意見が合うこともない。親はたちまち年老いてしまい、名誉を失う.
    • 最後に、宇宙は究極の混沌に近づくと、神が再び介入し、本来の完全な状態を回復する。もう一度全体のプロセスが始まるのである。歴史は、完全に向かっての累積的な進化ではなく、秩序から混沌への限りない循環であると見なされる。
    • プラトンとアリストテレスは、最善の社会秩序は変化の最も少ないものであると信じており、そこには絶え間ない変化と成長という概念の世界観が入る余地はなかった。理想的な状態とは崩壊の過程をできる限り遅らせることであるとされてきた。
  • キリスト教的世界観:
    • 人間の目的は物事を成し遂げることではなく救いを求めることであった。この目的のために、社会とは有機的な存在、即ち神の導く道徳的な有機体であると考えられ、各個人はその部分としての役割を果たすべきものと見なされていた。

1. The Machine Age:

  • The Modern World View:
    In 1750: Jacques Turgot, a history teacher at the Sorbonne, rejected both the cyclical nature of history and the concept of continued degradation. He argued that history proceeds in a straight line and that each succeeding stage of history represents an advance over the preceding one. He was willing to acknowledge that progress is uneven and that occasionally it becomes bogged down or even retreats a few steps. Yet he held steadfast to the conviction that history demonstrates an overall advance toward the perfection of life here on earth.
  • The Machine Age:
    The modern age is the Machine Age. Precision, speed, and accuracy are the premier values. We love the feel of metallic finished, of aluminum, steel, and chrome. We regulate our daily routines by a machine - the watch. We communicate by a machine - the telephone. We learn by machines - the calculator, the computer, the TV. We travel by machines - the automobile, the jet. we even see by a machine - the electric light. We view the universe as a grand machine set in motion aeons ago by the supreme technician, God.
    • Even the word that come out of our mouths are no longer our words, they are the machine's words. We "measure" relationship with other people by whether we are in "synchronization" with them. Our feelings are reduced to good or bad "vibration." We no longer initiate actively; instead we are a "self-starter." We avoid "friction" at work and choose to "tune in" rather than pay attention.
  • The Architects of the Mechanical World View:
    The mechanical world view is a testimonial to three men: Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, and Isaac Newton. After 300 years we are still living off their ideas.
    • F. Bacon (1561-1626):
      In 1620 he sneered at the collected works of Plato, aristotle, and Homer as nothing but "contentious learning." The Greeks, he snapped, "assuredly have that which is characteristic of boys they are prompt to prattle but cannot generate for their wisdom abounds in words but is barren of works."
    • R. Descartes (1596-1650):
      He had succeeded in turning all of nature into simple matter in motion. He reduced all quality to quantity and then confidently proclaimed that only space and location mattered. "Give me extension and motion," he said, "and I will construct the Universe." Descartes' mathematical world was tasteless, colorless, and odorless.
    • I. Newton (1642-1727):
      Newton discovered the mathematical method for describing mechanical motion. According to Newton's three laws;
      • "A body at rest remains at rest and a body in motion remains in uniform motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an external force;
      • the acceleration of a body is directly proportioned to the applied force and is the direction of the straight line in which the force acts;
      • and for every force there is an equal and opposite force in reaction."
    • The erratic behavior of people and the imperfect workings of people in society often seemed so muddled and chaotic which didn't seem to square with the well-ordered mechanical explanation of the world.


  • 近代の世界観:
  • 機械化時代:
    • 我々の口から出る言葉でさえ、もはや我々の言葉でなく機械の言葉になっている。他人との関係は「同調」できるかどうかによって他人との関係を「測定」する。我々の感情は、善し悪しの「振動」によって決められる。我々はもやや主体的に仕事をする存在ではなく、単なる「自動スタータ」になっている。我々は仕事において「摩擦」を避け、注意を払うというよりむしろ「調子を合わせる」ようになってしまった。
  • 機械的世界観の設計者達:
    • F・ベーコン (1561-1626):
    • R・デカルト (1596-1650):
    • I・ニュ-トン (1642-1727):
      • 外力が加わらない限り、静止した物体は静止したままであり、運動している物体は一定速度で直線運動を続ける。
      • 物体に加速度を生じる場合は、その大きさは加えた力に比例し、その方向は外力が作用する方向と同じである。
      • あらゆる力には、それと等しい大きさで正反対の方向に働く力が存在する。
    • 人々の不規則な振る舞いや社会における人々の不完全な仕事は混乱、混沌であり、しばしば秩序だった機械的な世界と合致しないように見えた。
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  • John Locke (1632-1704)
    & Adam Smith
    Two men immediately set about the task of discovering the relationship between these universal laws and the workings of society. John Locke brought the working of government and society in line with the world machine paradigm, and Adam Smith did the same with the economy.
    • John Locke argues:
      Once we cut through useless custom and superstition, we see that society, being made up solely of individuals creating their own meaning, has one purpose and one purpose only: to protect and allow for the increase of the property of its members.
      • For human beings are not naturally evil or fallen, but inherently good. It is only scarcity and lack of property that make them evil. As people are naturally acquisitive, it is therefore only necessary to continue to increase the wealth of society and social harmony will continue to improve.
      • With Locke, the fate of modern man and woman is sealed. From the time of the Enlightenment on, the individual is reduced to the hedonistic activities of production and consumption to find the meaning and purpose. People's needs and aspirations, their dreams and desires, all become confined to the pursuit of material self-interest
    • Adam Smith argues:
      In the Wealth of Nations; just heavenly bodies in motion confirm to certain laws of nature, so too does economics. If these laws are obeyed, economic growth will result. But the government regulation and control of the economy violated these immutable laws by directing economic activity in unnatural ways.
      • Smith explicitly removes any notion of morality from economics, just as Locke had done with social relations. Any attempt to impose morality on economy simply leads to a violation of the "invisible hand."
  • The mechanical age has been characterized by its notion of progress. Reduced to its simplest abstraction, progress is seen as the process by which the "less ordered" natural world is harnessed by people to create a more ordered material environment. Or to put it another way, progress is creating greater value out of the natural world than what exists in its original state.
  • ジョン・ロック (1632-1704)
    • J. ロック曰く、
      • 人間は、本来悪でも堕落した存在でもなく生まれながらにして善である。人を悪にするのは富が不足したり欠如している場合だけである。人間は生まれつき物質欲が強いので、社会の富を増加し続ける必要があり、そうすれば社会の調和は改善していく。
      • ロックによって、近代の人間の運命は決まった。啓蒙時代以降、個々人は生産と消費によって意味を目的を見いだすという享楽的な活動に収斂させられている。人々の欲求や願望、夢や希望はすべて物質的利己主義の追求に明け暮れるようになった。
    • A.スミス曰く、
      • ロックが社会に対して行ったと同様に、スミスは経済から道徳を明確に切り離した。経済に対し道徳を持ち込むいかなる試みも、結局「見えざる手」を脅かすことに通じるとした。
  • 機械的世界観の時代は、進歩という概念に特徴づけられる。もっと抽象化すると、進歩とはそれによって「より無秩序な」自然界が人々によって利用され、さらに秩序立った物質環境を作り出す過程であると見なされる。換言すれば、進歩とは自然界から原始的な状態で存在していた時よりもっと大きな価値を作り出すことである。

2. The Entropy Law:

  • Benjamin Thompson in 1894:
    "Within a finite period of time past, the earth must have been, and within a finite period of time to come the earth must again be, unfit for the habitation of man as at present constitute, unless operations have been, or are to be performed, which are impossible under the laws to which the known operations going on at present in the material world are subject."
  • Helmholts in 1896:
    His theory of "heat death" stated that the universe is gradually running down and eventually will reach the point of maximum entropy or heat death where all available energy will have been expended and no more activity will occur. The heat death of the universe corresponds to a state of eternal rest.
  • Canon Georges Lemaitre's "Big bang theory":
    The universe began with the explosion of tremendously dense energy source. As this dense energy expanded outward, it began to slow down, forming galaxies, stars, and planets. As the energy continues to expand and become more diffused, it loses more and more of its order and will eventually reach a point of maximum entropy or the final equilibrium state of heat death.
  • Fred Hoyle, etc. in 1948:
    If just the right amount of new negative entropy were introduced to compensate for entropy loss, then the universe would continue to go on forever with new galaxies forming at the same time as other are burning out, like a kind of cosmic perpetual motion machine.
  • Cyclical theory:
    The universe is forever moving through endless series of expanding and contracting phases without beginning or end. According to this theory, the last big bang is just one of an infinite chain of big bangs which have occurred and will continue to occur forever.
  • Erwin Schrodinger (1887-1961):
    Every living thing survives by continually drawing from its environment negative entropy. What an organism feeds upon is negative entropy; it continues to suck orderliness from its environment.
    • In order to prevent ourselves from dissipating to an equilibrium state of death, we require a constant flow-through of free energy (negative entropy) from our large environment.
    • Bertrand Russell:
      Every living thing is a sort of imperialist, seeking to transform as much as possible of its environment into itself and its seed.
    • Food chain:
      300 trout are required to support one man for a year. The trout in turn, must consume 90,000 frogs, that must consume 27M grasshoppers that live off of 100 tons of grass.
  • Less energy flow-through:
    It is now acknowledged that maximizing flow-through is a common response in the early stages of an ecological systems's development. However, as various species begin to fill up a given ecological habitat, they are forced to adapt to the ultimate carrying capacity of the environment by using less energy flow-through more efficiently.
  • Exosomatric instruments:
    While all living thins are engaged in a continuous struggle to suck available energy from their surroundings, only Homo sapiens is equipped with eternal aids to help facilitate the process. Human beings, because of our more highly developed nervous system and brain, have succeeded in augmenting and extending our natural biological apparatus with the creation of all sorts of tools. Scientists refer to these instruments as exosomatric in nature to distinguish them from the endosomatic organs we're born with.


  • ベンジャミン・トンプソン (1894):
  • ヘルムホルツ(1896):
  • カノン・ジョルジュ・ルメートルのビッグバン論
  • フレッド・ホイル他 (1948):
  • 周期理論:
  • アーウィン・シュレジンガー (1887-1961):
    • 死という平衡状態に至らないようにするために我々は常により大きな環境から自由エネルギーである負のエントロピーを取り入れなければならない。
    • バートランド・ラッセル:
    • 食物連鎖:
  • 省エネルギー流入:
  • 体外器官:

3. Entropy: A New Historical yFrame:

  • "Les gens heureux n'ont pas d'histoire." (Happy people don't make history.) This is an old French proverb. There is an American proverb which says that "Necessity is the mother of invention."
    • The key to understanding the puzzle of history is the Entropy Law and these two proverbs.
    • All of the evidence suggests that the hunter-gatherers took up farming out of necessity. The game and edible plant life became increasingly scarce, new territories became exhausted, and further geographic expansion became impossible. The crisis of survival dictated experimentation. New ideas were tried out. Gradually step by step farming took over.
    • Every so-called advance in efficiency, as measured by new technologies designed to speed up energy flow, has only hasten the overall process of dissipation of energy and disorder in the world.
    • Work is nothing more than the using up of available energy. Today, in the modern industrial world, we have to use up a 1000 times more energy per person to maintain ourselves than was true a million years ago.
  • The last great energy watershed:
    • Between 13th and 16th centuries, western Europe experienced an entropy watershed. The move from an energy environment based on wood to one based on coal radically changed the entire way of organizing life in western Europe. The transition from wood to coal was the principal factor behind the demise of the medieval era and the emergence of the Industrial Revolution.
    • Agricultural surpluses of 7th trough 12th centuries:
      • Cross plow:
        The cross plow was equipped with a vertical blade to cut the line of the furrow, a horizontal plowshare, and a moldboard to turn over the sod. It was so heavy, requited a team of eight oxen to move it.
      • Three-field rotation:
        The traditional two-field system of farming gave way to a three-field rotation. By increasing the use of the land, the three-field rotation system speeded up the dissipation of the soil's energy and hastened the entropy process.
      • Workhorses:
        Horses worked twice as fast but required grain as well as hay to survive. By 11th century the modern horse collar had been adopted, horse-shoes had been invented, and a method of tandem harnessing had been perfected.
    • The agricultural surpluses of the 9th trough 12th centuries resulted in a steady increase in population, which in turn resulted in increased pressure to overexploit existing farmland and deforest still more marginal lands for additional acreage. A vicious cycle had set in, the kind that precedes every major entropy watershed.


  • 「幸福な人間は歴史を持たない」これは古いフランスの諺である。また米国の諺には「必要は発明の母」がある。
    • 歴史というパズルを解く鍵は、エントロピーの法則と、これら2つの諺である。
    • すべての証拠が示すことは、狩猟採集社会は必要に迫られて農耕を開始したというものである。獲物や食用の植物が枯渇し、新たに開発すべき時もなくなり、地理的な拡張が不可能になった。生き残るための危機が実験を余儀なくした。新たな発想も試みられた。そして徐々に農耕が広まっていった。
    • 大量のエネルギーを使用した新しい技術によって効率が高まったということは、地球上のエネルギー消費と無秩序化の過程が単に早められたに過ぎない。
    • 仕事とは、利用可能なエネルギーを消費することに他ならない。今日の工業化社会において我々一人一人は、百万年前に比べて千倍ものエネルギーをを消費せざるを得なくなっている。
  • エネルギー変化の分岐点:
    • 13世紀と16世紀の間に、西欧はエントロピーの分岐点を経験した。エネルギー基盤が木材から石炭に移行したことにより、西欧の生活様式は根本的に変わった。木材から石炭への移行こそ、中世の崩壊と産業革命の勃興の背後にある大きな要因である。
    • 農業増産(7-12世紀):
      • 交差鍬:
      • 三圃式農業:
      • 農耕馬:
        馬は牛よりも倍の仕事をするが、それだけに多くの飼料が必要だった。 11世紀までに近代的な首輪、蹄鉄、それに二頭の馬を縦につなぐ馬具も開発されていた。
    • 農業生産が高まったために人口が増大した。人口増につれて、既存を農地をさらに開発する必要に迫られ、また新たな開墾のために森林を伐採した。これはまさに悪循環で、エントロピーの転換期のさきがけをなす現象となった。
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  • Wood crisis:
    While the clearing of forests for cultivation greatly reduced the available wood supply, It was the quickened pace of commercial activity that led to a timber famine. In 1630s, wood had become 2.5 times more expensive than it had been in the late 15th century.
    • The new glass works and soap industry required large amount of wood ash. But it was the production of iron and the building of ships that made the greatest demand. By 16th and early 17th centuries, the timber crisis was so acute in England.
    • Today we think of the substitution of coal for wood as a great leap forward. It would have been difficult to convince the folks back then. Coal was treated with contempt as an inferior energy source.
    • The more available sources of energy are always the first to be used. Each succeeding environment relies on a less available form of energy than the one preceding it. It is more difficult to mine coal and process it than it is to cut down trees. It's still more difficult to drill and process oil, and even harder to split atoms for nuclear energy.
  • Steam engine:
    The modern steam engine was designed and first used to facilitate the mining of coal.
    • It became more difficult to ventilate the mines and to lift the hewn coal up the shafts.
    • At a certain depth the water table was reached and drainage become a priority. The steam engine was the answer. The first steam pump was patented in 1698 by Thomas Savery.
    • Another important problem arose - how to transport the coal to markets throughout the country. The answer to the transportation crisis was the invention of the steam locomotive and railroad tracks.
  • Closes:
    • In prehistoric times, people used leather to clothe themselves.
    • As animal hides became more and more scarce they were forced to replace them with wool from sheep.
    • By 17-18th centuries, the population pressure on available farmland in Europe made sheep grazing less economical. "Sheep devour people." became a favorite slogan of the time. This required a substitute for wool. The answer was cotton. People were not exactly overjoyed with the new substitute.
    • Today, we are forced to rely more and more on synthetic fibers.
    • Though less desired, each successive clothes substitute has still required the expenditure of greater work (energy) to produce it than its predecessor.
  • External costs:
    "External costs" is just a convenient dodge to try and avoid the consequences of the Entropy Law. The disorder created by each new technology is not a side effect. Not is it less costly in the long run than the benefits derived from the particular technology.
    • Every technology creates a temporary island of order at the expense of greater disorder to the surroundings.
  • Institutional development:
    Historians have observed that at a certain stage in the development of a culture or civilization, a process of universalization sets in. That is, there is a concerted attempt to consolidate the various economic and political activities under more centralized control.
    • Eventually a point is reached where it is impossible to further consolidate and the culture or civilization begins to break down and fragment.
    • But before that point is reached, each succeeding crisis is met by an escalation in centralized control.
    • The disorders are of three general kinds:
      • those precipitated as a result of the transformation of energy into various products or services;
      • those resulting from the exchange of energy between individual and groups;
      • and those resulting from the discarding of energy wastes.
    • People depend upon energy flow for their survival and are continually involved in the process of transforming, exchanging, and discarding energy.
    • The society becomes increasingly vulnerable to conquest by other nations or internal upheaval and revolution. An entropy watershed has reached. The rise and fall of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Rome are all classic illustrations of how this whole process works.
  • Specialization:
    Specialization goes hand in hand with increased complexity and centralization.
    • Overspecialization is one of the most important contributing factors in a species' becoming extinct. When a species becomes overspecialized in a particular type of ecosystem, it is usually unable to adapt to a change in environment.
  • 木材危機:
    • 新たなガラス産業や石鹸産業では大量の木灰を必要とした。だが最大の需要は鉄の生産と造船業であった。16世紀から17世紀初頭にかけて英国では木材危機が深刻だった。
    • 今日、我々は木材の代替としての石炭は進歩と見なすが、当時の人々にそのことを納得させることは難しい。石炭は劣ったエネルギー源であると軽蔑されて扱われたのだ。
    • 最初に使われるのはより利用しやすいエネルギーである。そして次の時代には、使用可能なエネルギー源は前の時代よりも減少する。木材を伐採するより、石炭を採掘し加工する方が難しい。それよりさらに難しいのが石油の掘削加工であり、さらに大変なのが原子力エネルギーのための核分裂である。
  • 蒸気機関:
    • 坑内の換気するのと採掘炭を立て坑から揚げるのは困難だった。
    • ある深さから地下水に遭遇するので排水が欠かせない。蒸気機関はその答えだった。最初の鉱山用揚水ポンプは1698年に T. Saveryに特許が与えられた。
    • もう一つの重要な問題が持ち上がった。石炭をどうやって国中の市場へ運ぶかということである。この輸送危機に対する答えが蒸気機関車と鉄道であった。
  • 衣服:
    • 先史時代、人々は獣皮をまとっていた。
    • 獣皮が不足すると、人々は羊毛に代えざるを得なくなった。
    • 17-18世紀までに、欧州では人口圧力で農地が不足し、羊を飼育することが不経済になった。「羊が人をむさぼり食う」というのが当時流行したスローガンとなった。これによって羊毛の代替として木綿が登場した。人々はこの新しい代替品に大喜びした訳ではない。
    • 今日、我々はますます合成繊維に依存せざるを得なくなってきている。
    • 望ましい代替でなかったにもかかわらず、代替品はその前のものに比べて生産するのにより大きな仕事量 (エネルギー) を必要とした。
  • 外部費用:
    • 各々の技術は環境に対しより大きな無秩序の犠牲において一時的な秩序の範囲を作り出している。
  • 社会制度の発展:
    • その結果、さらなる統合が不可能となり、文化あるいは文明が崩壊してばらばらになり始める。
    • しかしこの到達点以前であれば、中央集権的な支配を強めることによって、それに続く危機に対処できる。
    • 無秩序は以下の3つに分類できる。
      • エネルギーを種々の製品・サービスに変換した結果
      • 個人と集団との間でエントロピー交換をした結果
      • エネルギー廃棄物を投棄した結果
    • 人間は生存するためにエネルギーフローに依存しており、エネルギーの変換、交換、廃棄の過程において絶えず関わりをもっている。
    • 社会は著しく弱体化し、他国の侵略もしくは内乱や革命の攻撃にさらされやすくなる。古代エジプト、メソポタミア、ローマの盛衰はすべてこうした過程がどのような結果をもたらすのかの伝統的な実例である。
  • 専門分化:
    • 過度の特殊化は種の絶滅にとって最も重要な貢献因子の一つである。ある種が特定の生態系の中で特殊化しすぎると、もはや環境の変化に適応できなくなる。


4. The Energy Crisis:

  • Energy consumption:
    With only 6% of the world's population, US currently consumes over 1/3 of the world's energy.
    • Poor Third Word nations:
      A country like Haiti the energy consumption per capita is 31kg of coal per year, while that in US is 10,419kg.
  • Population problem:
    • It took 2 million years for the human population to reach 1 billion. The second billion took only 100 years. The third billion took only 30 years between 1930 - 60. The fourth billion took only 15 years between 1960 - 75 with 2% increase from 2.5 billion to 4 billion. It will double once again to 8 billion by 2015 and to 16 billion by 2055.
    • Exponential population growth is exerting a tremendous strain on the world's energy base.
  • Synfuels:
    • US contains enough coal for 500 years of use. At current coal consumption growth rates of 4.1% annually, it is recognized that they are only enough coal reserves in US to provide for 135 years of energy.
    • The current technology for coal liquefaction requires over a ton of coal to be extracted, heated to a high temperature, and pressurized to squeeze out a mere 3-4 barrels of liquid oil.
      • In Kentucky, the plant requires 250 tons of coal to make just 625 barrels of oil, barely enough to supply a single service station.
    • Carbon dioxide:
      Synfuels put out 1.4 time as much carbon dioxide as coal, 1.7 times as much as oil, and 2.3 times as much as natural gas.
    • Energy efficiency:
      Synfuels are in no sense energy efficient. Oil yields 50 BTU's for every BTU that is used to produce it, coal synfuels yield just 17 BTU's and shall oil only 6.5 BTU's for every BTU used to produce them.
  • Nuclear Fission:
    • Extraordinarily high production costs have combined with severe health and safety concerns to greatly reduce the number of nuclear power plants being build.
    • Aside from the fact that a nuclear power plant can cost up to $2 billion to construct, hidden costs deflate the "cheap energy" myth of atomic energy.
      • Congressional report in 1978 states:
        Contrary to widespread belief, nuclear power is no longer a cheap energy source. In fact, when the still unknown cost of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel management, decommissioning and perpetual care are finally included on the rate base, nuclear power may prove to be much more expensive than conventional energy alternatives such as coal.
    • In addition to the cost factor, nuclear power generates many social and health problems for which there is simply no technical solution.
    • An even more serious problem is that each nuclear reactor produces between 180 - 220kg of plutonium yearly. Plutonium is the basic raw material used in constructing nuclear bombs.
      • At the current rate, every reactor in US annually generates enough plutonium to manufacture up to 40 atomic weapons. Within two decades, there will be enough fissionable material in international transit to make 20,000 nuclear bombs.
      • If plutonium were dispersed in the open air over a city, an area of 60 square km would be contaminated for a period of 100,000 years.
    • Human civilization is but a few thousand years old. Imagine having the audacity to think that we can devise a program to store lethal radioactive materials for a period of time that is longer than all of human culture to date.
  • Nuclear Fusion:
    • To date, a contained fusion reaction has been sustained for only a fraction of a second. It will be be at least 2025 to produce any commercial power.
      • deuterium-tritium fusion can operate at 100M degrees.
      • hydrogen-boron fusion can operate at 3,000M degrees. No materials that can withstand such sustained heat and tremendous radiation.
    • Tritium is derived from lithium, a nonrenewable resource as scarce as uranium.
    • A 1000 megawatt fusion plant will also require; huge amount of niobium, vanadium, 13,000 tons of copper.
    • Also will produce 250 tons of radioactive garbage yearly.
    • Industrial-maintenance robots are needed for maintenance work.
    • Amory Lovins, a physicist, says, "All nuclear technologies are the equivalent of using a chain saw to cut butter."


  • エネルギー消費:
    • 第三国の貧国:
  • 人口問題:
    • 人類の人口が10億人に達するのに2百万年かかった。20億人になるのにはわずか100年であり、30億人には1930-60の30年間かかった。40億人には1960-75の15年間であり、この間の人口増加率は2%で、この間に25億人から40億人になった。2015年までには80億人に、そして2055年には160億人へと倍増する見込である。
  • 合成燃料:
    • 米国の石炭埋蔵量は500年分の消費量があるが、現在の石炭消費伸び率4.1%では、米国の石炭埋蔵量は135年分に過ぎない。
    • 現在の石炭液化技術では、1トンの石炭を抽出し、高温で熱処理し、やっと3-4バーレルの石油を得るに過ぎない。
      • ケンタッキー州のプラントでは、250トンの石炭から625バーレルの石油を生成しているが、これは1つのサービスステーションに供給するだけの量でしかない。
    • 二酸化炭素:
    • エネルギー効率:
  • 核分裂:
    • 異常に高い生産コストのみならず、健康や安全性への関心から原子力発電所の着工数が激減している。
    • 原子力発電所の建設費が$20億かかることは別にしても、隠れたコストが多く、原子エネルギーは安いという神話が崩れている。
      • 1978年に議会に出された報告書:
    • コスト要素に加えて、原子力は、簡単には技術的に解決できない多くの社会的、健康上の問題をはらんでいる。
    • さらに深刻な問題は、それぞれの原子炉から年間180-220kgのプルトニウムが生産されることである。プルトニウムは核爆弾の基本的な原料となる。
      • 現在の率では米国の原子炉から毎年40個の核兵器を生鮮できるだけのプルトニウムが生産される。今後20年以内には、核爆弾を2万個作れるだけの核分裂物質が蓄積されていく見通しである。
      • プルトニウムを都市上空に散布されれば60平方kmの地域は今後十万年に渡って汚染され続ける。
    • 人類の文明はほんの数千年に過ぎない。我々がこれまでの文明よりもさらに長い期間致死性の強い放射性物質を貯蔵する計画を開発できるなどと考えるのは傲慢であろう。
  • 核融合:
    • 今日まで核融合反応は1秒の数分の1程度の持続しかない。商用融合炉の完成は、2025年以降の予定。
      • 重水素・三重水素の核融合は1億度
      • 水素・ホウ素の核融合は30億度。これだけの高熱と膨大な放射に耐える材料はない。
    • 三重水素はリチウムから誘導されるが、それはウラン同様再生不能な資源である。
    • 100万KW核融合発電所は、膨大なニオビウム、バナジウム、銅(13,000トン)が必要
    • 保守作業には産業ロボットが必要
    • A.Lovins曰く、「原子力技術とはバターを切るのに電動ノコギリを使うが如し」

5. Entropy and the Industrial Age:

  • Economics in US household:
    • 80% US household; 70% of their consumption budget for energy, food, housing, and health care.
      • 12% for energy: gasoline , electricity, fuel, oil and coal
      • 28% for food: includes energy costs associated with farming, processing, transporting, packaging, and marketing.
  • Productivity:
    It is defined in term of speed per unit of output. A premium is placed on performing a given task as fast as possible. A more appropriate thermodynamic measure of productivity would emphasize the entropy produced per unit of output as o0pposed to speed per unit of output.
    • "Haste makes waste"
      Nearly empty gas tank while driving along a lonely highway:
      Drive slowly; by using the gas more judiciously, a further distance can be traveled. It takes longer, but the time lost is made up by the energy saved.
    • The economics profession has still not understood that "the entropy law is the basic physical coordinate of scarcity. While is it generally recognized that a society cannot continue to consume faster than it produces, the economists remain ignorant of the fact that the ultimate balancing of budgets is not within society, but between society and nature.
    • By minimizing the use of non-renewable resources and by using up renewable resources only as fast as they can be replenished without inflicting severe damage to the ecological cycle, it is possible to minimize the deficit between consumption in society and production in nature.
  • Money flow:
    Money is a form of national debt. It represents a lien against the total physical wealth of the community which an individual is free to exchange for actual physical wealth sometime in the future.
    • The problem is that the generation of physical wealth by the community is not inexhaustible. The laws of thermodynamics set ultimate limits to the amount of physical wealth that can be generated. However, there is no limit to how much money can be produced and put into circulation.
    • (Kobayashi comments: Please consider this point to Inflation target policy makers.)
  • Compound interest:
    Economist Herman Daly says; while debt can grow at compound interest forever, real physical wealth cannot continue to grow at the same speed because its physical dimension is subject to the destructive force of entropy.
    • Since wealth cannot continually grow as fast as debt, the one to one relation between the two will at some point be broken - i.e., there must be some repudiation or cancellation of debt. The positive feedback of compound interest must be offset by counter acting forces of debt repudiation, such as inflation, bankruptcy, or confiscatory taxation, all of which breed violence.
  • Gross National Cost (GNC):
    • The Gross National Product (GNP) is more accurately the Gross National Cost (GNC), since every time resources are consumed they become unavailable for future use. Actually, the term consumption is a misnomer, for nothing is ever consumed. A thing is used, usually for a very short period of time, and then discarded.
    • In a lifetime, each American uses on an average 700 tons of mineral resources. If we add fossil fuel and wood, the per capita usage more than double to 1,400 tons. And this amount excludes water and food needs. It has been estimated that a middle-class American lives a style of life that is equivalent to the work produced by 200 human slaves. (200 energy slaves)
    • An average human diet consists of 2,000 calories daily. Yet we individually consume every day in our cars, electricity, processed foods, etc amounts to about 200,000 calories. In terms of energy consumption, though Americans number only 225 million people, our energy needs are equivalent to that of over 22 billion individuals!


  • 米国の家計経済:
    • 80%の家計は、エネルギー、食料、住宅、健康医療に70%を支出
      • 12%はエネルギー代:ガソリン、電気、燃料、石油、石炭
      • 28%は食料。これは農業、加工、輸送、梱包、販売に関連したエネルギーコストを含む。
  • 生産性:
    • 「せいては事をし損じる」
    • 「エントロピーの法則は不足を示す基本的な物理的な指標」であることが経済学者によく理解されていない。つまり社会は生産速度以上に消費を続けることはできないことは一般的には理解されているが、予算の究極の均衡は社内内部の問題ではなく、社会と自然との間の問題である事実が無視されている。
    • 再生不能な資源の利用を最小限にし、また再生可能な資源の使用は、その生産速度と同程度にすることで、生態系へ重大な損害を及ぼさないようにすべきである。
  • マネーフロー:
    • 問題は社会によるこの物理的な富の生産が無限には続かないことである。熱力学の法則は生産可能な物理的な富の量に制限を加えている。しかし通貨をどれだけ発行し流通させるべきかについての制限はない。
    • (注:この部分はインフレターゲット論者に聞かせたい。)
  • 複利:
    経済学者のHerman Daly曰く、負債は複利で永遠に増えていくが、実際の物理的な富は同じ速度では増え続けられない。なぜなら物理的な大きさはエントロピーの破壊力に支配されるからである。
    • 富は債務と同じような速度で増え続けることはできないので、この二つの関係はある時点で崩れる。即ち、どこかで債務の破棄や、債務免除が行われる。複利という正のフィードバックは、インフレ、破産、没収課税など暴力的とも言える債務の破棄という反作用によって相殺されてしまうに違いない。
  • Gross National Cost (GNC):
    • GNPは正確にはGNCとすべきである。というのは資源が消費される毎に将来使用できる分が減少していくからである。実際消費という用語は誤用である。実際には何も消滅することはないからである。あるものが使われても、短期間で捨てられてしまう。
    • 米国人が生涯に一人平均で、鉱物資700トンを消費する。これに化石燃料と木材を加えると一人当たりの消費量は1,400トンになる。これには水と食料は除いている。中産階級の米国人のライフスタイルは奴隷 (エネルギーの奴隷) 200人の生産する仕事に匹敵する。
    • 平均的な人間は毎日2,000カロリー必要である。しかし我々は毎日車、電気、加工食品等で約20万カロリーを消費している。エントロピー消費で言えば、米国の人口は2.25億人だが、エネルギー需要では人口220億人分に相当する。
  • >Top
  • Agriculture:
    A simple peasant farmer can usually produce about 10 calories of energy for each calorie expended. Now an Iowa farmer can produce up to 6,000 calories for every calorie of human labor expended, but his apparent efficiency turns out to be a illusion. To produce one can of corn containing 270 calories, the farmer uses up 2,790 calories, much of which is used to run the farm machinery, fertilizers and pesticides. So for every calories of energy produced, the American farmer is using up 10 calories in the process.
    • Inorganic nitrogen fertilizer increased1M tons in 1950 to 7M tons in 1970
    • Chemical pesticides increased from 90 tons in 1950 to over 720,000 tons in 1976.
    • US has replaced diversified farming with monoculture farming in order to increase output. Monoculture crops are not well suited environmentally to attract the natural enemies of insect pests.
    • As more and more energy is expended in American agriculture, the entropy of the overall environment increases. The accumulating disorder in the form of pollution and soil erosion increased the overall cost for both society and the agricultural sector. The increased cost leads to the further enlargement and centralization.
  • Transportation:
    Over the course of 20th century US transportation system switched from railroads to auto, trucks, and airplanes.
    • Freight of transportation:
      It takes only 670 BTUs of energy to ship 1 ton of freight 1 mile by train and over 2,800 BTUs to ship the same ton of freight by truck. Even so train transport of freight was cut from 50% to 33% between 1950 and 1970.
    • Time itself:
      The automobile was supposed to reduce the amount of time it takes to get from one location to another. In truth it has done the opposite. 40 years ago, most people lived within walking distance of their place of employment. Today people are spread out in suburbs, sometimes 20 or 30 miles from their job.
    • Road:
      Between 1956-1970 alone, US spent $196 billion in local, state, and federal moneys on highway construction.
      • The interstate highway system takes up 42,500 miles. There are 3.6 million square miles of land in US and over 3.6 million miles of road; that's one mile of road for every square mile of land. Roads now take up 30% of the land use in 53 central cities.
      • Today, 60% of the total air pollution in most US cities is caused by auto exhaust. The dramatic rise in deaths caused by heart disease and cancer are also partially traceable to air pollution caused by the exhaust fumes of cars, trucks and buses.
  • Urbanization:
    • While hard grains provided the energy foundation for urban life prior to 1800, they also set severe restrictions on both the size of the city's population and the physical size.
    • The ancient Rome grew to a population of nearly one million at its peak.
      • Murray Bookchin: "The Fall of Rome can be explained by the rise of Rome. The Latin city was carried to imperial heights not by the resources of its rural environs, but by spoils acquired form the systematic looting of the Near East, Egypt and North Africa. The very process involved in maintaining the Roman cosmopolis destroyed the cosmopolis."
    • The larger the city became, the more energy inputs were required. The more energy flowing into the city, the greater the resulting disorder. The greater the disorder, the larger became the institutional infrastructure to deal with the various types of chaos.
  • The Military:
    Of every dollar spent by the federal government, 43 cents goes to pay for wares - past, present, and future. Military budget (FY1980) called for $138 billion for the nation's defense for just one year.
    • Today, US military is the largest single institutional consumer of energy in the nation. Over 80% of the federal energy budget goes to DOD.
    • While it may appear paradoxical that investing money in military production actually produces unemployment. The types of jobs generated through military spending are necessarily highly capital and energy intensive.
    • Military sector consumes 6% of the nation's total energy use, along with massive quantities of nonrenewable mineral resources, the entropy increase represented by military hardware caused tighter resources supplies, which in turn fuels inflation.
  • Education:
    • The computer is analogous to endosomatic sense organs. The mind uses the eyes, ears, and nose to see, hear, and smell; they are collectors of information. Yet, no animal could survive unless the sensory date thus collected are then used by its other endosomatic transformers - its legs, claws, teeth, and jaws - to collect and consume available energy from the surrounding environment.
    • Computerization may make processes seemingly"efficient," but what is really taking place is that the computerized society become increasingly complex, and with complexity comes the real potential for breakdown.
    • "Information overload," a neat clinical phrase behind which sites the Entropy Law. As more and more information is beamed at us, less and less of it can be absorbed, retained, and exploited. The rest accumulates as dissipated energy or waste.
    • The sharp rise in mental illness in US has paralleled the information revolution.
      • We find ourselves increasingly in the position of not wanting to know any more about a particular thing or about the world in general because we just can't handle it. Our nervous system and brain are only equipped to take in and use a certain amount of information at a time.
      • Five or more hours a day of nonstop one-way information flow is bound to seriously weaken the child's ability to concentrate and absorb information.
  • 農業:
    • 無機窒素肥料の生産は1950年の100万トンから、1970年の700万トンに増加した。
    • 化学殺虫剤は1950年の90トンから1976年の72万トンへと急増した。
    • 米国は生産高を上昇させるために、多角農法を単作農業に切り替えた。単作農法は害虫の自然の天敵を引きつけるには環境的にそぐわない。
    • ますます米国農業にエネルギーが投入されることで、全般的な環境のエントロピーが増加する。公害や土壌浸食などで無秩序が蓄積し、社会と農業部門の両方の全般的な費用増加を招いている。この費用増加はさらなる規模の拡大と集中化につながる。
  • 輸送:
    • 輸送費:
      1トンの貨物を1マイル運送するのに、鉄道では670 BTUしか使用しないのに、それをトラックで運搬すると2,800 BTUもかかる。にもかかわらず鉄道輸送は1950年のシェア50%から、1970年の33%へと減少した。
    • 時間:
    • 道路:
      • インターステート・ハイウェイ網は68,000kmに及んでいる。米国の面積は3.6百万mile2 (9.3百万km2)あるが、道路は3.6百万mile (5.8百万km)の道路がある。これは1平方マイルに1マイルの道路がある計算である。道路は53の都市中心部は面積の30%を占めている。
      • 今日、米国の多くの都市におけるすべての大気汚染の60%は自動車の排気ガスが原因である。心臓病や癌による死亡が急増しているが、その原因の一部は自動車、トラック、バスなどからの排気ガスであるとされる。
  • 都市化:
    • 1800年以前は、都市生活のエネルギー基盤をさせてきたのは堅い殻の穀物であったが、都市人口および都市のサイズには大きな制約が加えられていた。
    • 古代都市ローマは最盛期には人口1百万人を擁した。
      • Murray Bookchin曰く、ローマの没落は、ローマの交流によって説明できる。このラテン都市が帝国の絶頂に達したのは、周囲の田園環境から得られる資源のお陰ではなく、中近東、エジプト、北アフリカなどの地域を系統的に略奪した結果である。ローマという都市を維持していく過程そのものが、ローマの都市を崩壊させたのである。
    • 都市が大きくなるほど大量のエネルギーの導入が必要になる。大量のエネルギー導入はそれでけ無秩序も増大する。無秩序が高まると、様々な混沌を処理するための制度的なインフラも増えていく。
  • 軍備:
    • 現在、米国で最もエネルギーを消費しているのは米国の軍事である。連邦のエネルギー予算の内、80%が国防総省によって占められている。
    • 逆説的に見えるかも知れないが軍事に投資すると実際には失業率が増える。軍事によって作り出される仕事は、必然的に高度の資本とエネルギーを投入したものである。
    • 軍事部門は国の総エネルギー需要の6%を消費し、さらに膨大な量の再生不能な金属資源を消費するので、軍事的なエントロピーの増大が軍事のハードウェアによってエントロピーの増大がもたらされ、こうしてインフレが引き起こされる。
  • 教育:
    • コンピュータは細胞内の小胞であるエンドゾーム器官に似ている。人間は、ものを見て、聞いて、嗅ぐために目・耳・鼻を利用して情報を収集する。どんな動物でもこうして集めた情報を使ってさらに別の器官である足・爪・歯・顎をによって周りの環境から使用可能なエネルギーを取り入れ消費しなければ生きられない。
    • コンピュータ化によって情報が生産される速度が一見速くなるが、実際に起こっていることはコンピュータ化された社会がますます複雑化し、まさにその複雑性こそが崩壊の可能性を秘めているということである。
    • 「情報過多」とはまさにエントロピーの法則を表す適切な表現である。ますます多くの情報が我々に迫ってくるにつれて、我々が吸収し、保存し、利用できる部分は少なくなる。残りの部分は散逸したエネルギー、即ち廃棄物として蓄積していく。
    • 米国では情報革命と併行して精神病が急増している。
    • 我々はもうこれ以上処理できないのだから、特定のことや世界のことに関してもうこれ以上知りたくないという傾向になってきている。我々の神経系と大脳だけがある情報量を一度に取り込んで利用できる器官なのである。
    • 一日に5時間以上も一方通行の情報を連続して流すと子供の集中力や情報吸収力を著しく弱めることになる。

6. Entropy: A New World View:

  • New Economic Theory:
    It is just as likely that the worsening energy crisis will lead to American military intervention in the Middle east, an all-out nuclear confrontation, and holocaust for the planet.
    • Today we are being forced to make a transition from the Industrial Age of nonrenewable resources to a new and still undefined age based one again on renewable sources of energy, and we will have to do so in little more than one generation. The radical change in world view required to make this transition will have to be accomplished virtually overnight.
    • The end of the age of nonrenewable energy, then, presages the end of the Industrial Age as well.
    • (Commnets: This book is written in 1980, not in 1991 nor 2003!)
  • Third World Development:
    Harman Daily: "If it requires roughly 1/3 of the world's annual production of mineral resources to support that 6% of the world's population residing in the US at the standard of consumption to which it is thought that the rest of the world aspires, then it follows that represent resource flows would allow the extension of the US standard to at most 18% of the worlds's population, with nothing left over for the other 82%. Without the services of the poor 82%, the rich 18% could not possibly maintain their wealth."
    • High-energy industrial development also brings with it other disruptions to traditional patterns of living. In the 1880s, it is said, a Saudi Arabian sheikh discovered oil bubbling out of the sand in a remote desert. He ordered the hole filled in, and forbade anyone to reveal what thy had seen. Why? Because he feared that Westerners would come barreling in with their technology and contempt for tradition.
  • Solar Age:
    In the Solar Age, it would seem, you can have your cake and eat it too. In fact, this is far from the truth. The transition period to the Solar Age will require a complete reformulation of economic activity at every level of American society. Once we grasp the enormous implications of shifting the energy base of society from a concentrated stock (fossil fuels) to a diffuse flow (solar), it becomes apparent that our existing industrial structure is completely unsuited to a solar future.
    • One estimate indicates that in order to run our current industrial superstructure we would need to cover between 10 and 20% of the total US land area with various types of solar collectors. Manhattan daily consumes more than 6 times the energy that could be provided by a 100%-efficient collector of all the solar flow that falls on the city.
  • Values in an Entropic Society:
    We define ourselves not by who we are but by what we own. In the Bhagavad-Gita is is written: "Thinking of sense-objects, man becomes attached thereto. From attachments longing and from longing anger if born. From anger arises delusion; from delusion, loss of memory is caused. From loss of memory, the discriminative faculty is ruined and from the ruin of discrimination, he perishes.
  • From Despair to Hope:
    Our generation faces a rare moment in human history. The questions that confront us are: How long will the transition take? How will it be accomplished? What will be our individual roles?
    • The transition period will not extend over hundreds of years, as happened during the shift of previous energy environments. Our high-energy social and economic system is so fragile, so absolutely dependent upon continued inputs of nonrenewable resources, that monumental collapse could come any time. Certainly, we can anticipate that the next 20-30 years represent the key period in launching the shift in energy environments.
    • Up to this point in history the human race has driven relentlessly forward, conquering everything in its path. Now that it has succeeded in capturing and exploiting virtually every major ecological niche on the planet, humanity finds itself at the crossroads of its own history. The only hope for the survival of the species is for the human race to abandon its aggression against the planet and see to accommodate itself on the natural order.


  • 新たな経済理論:
    • 今日我々は再生不能な資源を基盤として工業化時代から、再び再生可能なエネルギー源に依存した未知の時代へと転換を迫られている。しかも我々はそれをほとんど一世代でやらなければならない。この変化を起こすためには世界観の急激な変化が必要であり、それはほぼ一晩で変貌を遂げなければならない。
    • 再生不能なエネルギーの時代が終わるということは同時に工業化社会が終わるということである。
    • (注:この著書は1980の出版である。1991年でもなければ2003年でもない!)
  • 第三世界の発展:
    Harman Daily曰く、「世界人口の6%を占める米国の消費水準を支えるためには世界の鉱物資源の生産量の約1/3が必要となる。そして世界の他の地域がこの米国の消費水準を維持しようとすると、現在の資源の流れでは世界人口の18%までは可能となる。但し、残りの82%は取り残されたままである。こうした82% の貧しい人々の存在がなければ、18%の富める人々もその富を維持することはできない。」
    • 高エネルギーの産業の発展は、従来の伝統的な生活様式を破壊してしまう。1880年代の話だが、サウジアラビアのある族長が遠くの砂漠の中に石油の噴出を発見した。かれはその噴出口の埋め戻しを命じ、そのことを口外することを禁じた。なぜだろうか。それは西洋人が自らの技術とアラブの伝統に対する軽蔑をもって押し寄せてくることを恐れたからである。
  • 太陽エネルギー時代:
    • ある見積によれば現在の産業の上部構造を維持するためには米国全土の10-20%を様々な太陽光集熱器で埋め尽くさなければならないという。またマンハッタン地区だけで毎日、そこに降り注ぐ太陽光を100%収熱したとしても、その6倍も消費するという。
  • エントロピー社会における価値:
    我々は自分自身を、何なのかではなく、何を所有しているか によって定義している。インドの叙事詩バッガード・ギータは書いている。「人間は物質中心思考になっている。物に執着すれば人は欲望が多高まり、欲望からは怒りが生まれる。怒りからは妄想が生まれ、妄想からは記憶が失われる。記憶が失われると分別が消え失せ、分別がなくなると人は滅ぶ。」と。
  • 絶望から希望へ:
    • 過去のエネルギー環境の変化の時のように、転換期は数百年も続かない。我々の高エネルギーの社会・経済システムはあまりにも脆弱であり、再生不能な資源を間断なく投入することにあまりにも依存しているので、再生不能な資源に依存せざるを得ないので、大規模な崩壊がいつ起こるかわからない。エネルギー環境が変化していく上で、今後20-30年間が一番重要であるといえる。
    • 我々人類は歴史のこの時点まで一切の物を征服しつつ過酷なまでに前進してきた。今や、この地球上のほとんどすべての生態学的な資源を利用し尽くすことに成功したが故に、人類は歴史の曲がり角に立たされている。生物種として我々人類が存続していくの唯一の望みは、地球に対する侵略をやめて、自然の秩序に順応していくことである。
  • The author was one the economic adviser of Carter Administration.
  • Around return of the century, world economics is suffering in severer turmoil. US rejected to sign the Kyoko Protocol of limitation of carbon dioxide due to the reason of continuing to enjoy more nonrenewable fuels. And the political situation of Middle East is about to erupt war. Can we continue to neglect the Entropy Law in this 21st century?
  • 著者はカーター政権の経済アドバイザーの一人であった。
  • 世紀の曲がり角で、世界経済は一層の混乱に陥っている。米国は二酸化炭素の制限を定めた京都議定書の調印を、再生不能燃料をもっと享受したいという理由で拒否した。さらに中東の政治情勢はまさに戦争勃発の直前である。我々は21世紀なってもこのエントロピー法則を無視し続けられるのだろうか。

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