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The Second Law Of Economics

Author: Reiner Kümmel
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9781441993656
Size: 62.70 MB
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Nothing happens in the world without energy conversion and entropy production. These fundamental natural laws are familiar to most of us when applied to the evolution of stars, biological processes, or the working of an internal combustion engine, but what about industrial economies and wealth production, or their constant companion, pollution? Does economics conform to the First and the Second Law of Thermodynamics? In this important book, Reiner Kümmel takes us on a fascinating tour of these laws and their influence on natural, technological, and social evolution. Analyzing economic growth in Germany, Japan, and the United States in light of technological constraints on capital, labor, and energy, Professor Kümmel upends conventional economic wisdom by showing that the productive power of energy far outweighs its small share of costs, while for labor just the opposite is true. Wealth creation by energy conversion is accompanied and limited by polluting emissions that are coupled to entropy production. These facts constitute the Second Law of Economics. They take on unprecedented importance in a world that is facing peak oil, debt-driven economic turmoil, and threats from pollution and climate change. They complement the First Law of Economics: Wealth is allocated on markets, and the legal framework determines the outcome. By applying the First and Second Law we understand the true origins of wealth production, the issues that imperil the goal of sustainable development, and the technological options that are compatible both with this goal and with natural laws. The critical role of energy and entropy in the productive sectors of the economy must be realized if we are to create a road map that avoids a Dark Age of shrinking natural resources, environmental degradation, and increasing social tensions.

Energy Complexity And Wealth Maximization

Author: Robert Ayres
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 331930545X
Size: 25.58 MB
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This book is about the mechanisms of wealth creation, or what we like to think of as evolutionary "progress." The massive circular flow of goods and services between producers and consumers is not a perpetual motion machine; it has been dependent for the past 150 years on energy inputs from a finite storage of fossil fuels. In this book, you will learn about the three key requirements for wealth creation, and how this process acts according to physical laws, and usually after some part of the natural wealth of the planet has been exploited in an episode of "creative destruction." Knowledge and natural capital, particularly energy, will interact to power the human wealth engine in the future as it has in the past. Will it sputter or continue along the path of evolutionary progress that we have come to expect? Can the new immaterial wealth of information and ideas, which makes up the so-called knowledge economy, replace depleted natural wealth? These questions have no simple answers, but this masterful book will help you to understand the grand challenge of our time. Praise for Energy, Complexity and Wealth Maximization: “... people who run the modern world (politicians, economists and lawyers) have a very poor grasp of how it really works because they do not understand the fundamentals of energy, exergy and entropy ... those decision-makers would greatly benefit from reading this book ...” - Vaclav Smil, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Manitoba “... A grandiose design; impressive, worth reading and reflecting!” - Prof. Dr. Ernst Ulrich von Weizäcker, Founder of Wuppertal Institute; Co-President of the Club of Rome, Former Member of the German Bundestag, co-chair of the UN’s Resource Panel “... The book is a must read for concerned citizens and decision makers across the globe.” - RK Pachauri, Founder and Executive Vice Chairman, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and ex-chair, International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Econophysics Of Agent Based Models

Author: Frédéric Abergel
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 3319000233
Size: 71.79 MB
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The primary goal of this book is to present the research findings and conclusions of physicists, economists, mathematicians and financial engineers working in the field of "Econophysics" who have undertaken agent-based modelling, comparison with empirical studies and related investigations. Most standard economic models assume the existence of the representative agent, who is “perfectly rational” and applies the utility maximization principle when taking action. One reason for this is the desire to keep models mathematically tractable: no tools are available to economists for solving non-linear models of heterogeneous adaptive agents without explicit optimization. In contrast, multi-agent models, which originated from statistical physics considerations, allow us to go beyond the prototype theories of traditional economics involving the representative agent. This book is based on the Econophys-Kolkata VII Workshop, at which many such modelling efforts were presented. In the book, leading researchers in their fields report on their latest work, consider recent developments and review the contemporary literature.

The Seneca Effect

Author: Ugo Bardi
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319572075
Size: 76.77 MB
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The essence of this book can be found in a line written by the ancient Roman Stoic Philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca: "Fortune is of sluggish growth, but ruin is rapid". This sentence summarizes the features of the phenomenon that we call "collapse," which is typically sudden and often unexpected, like the proverbial "house of cards." But why are such collapses so common, and what generates them? Several books have been published on the subject, including the well known "Collapse" by Jared Diamond (2005), "The collapse of complex societies" by Joseph Tainter (1998) and "The Tipping Point," by Malcom Gladwell (2000). Why The Seneca Effect? This book is an ambitious attempt to pull these various strands together by describing collapse from a multi-disciplinary viewpoint. The reader will discover how collapse is a collective phenomenon that occurs in what we call today "complex systems," with a special emphasis on system dynamics and the concept of "feedback." From this foundation, Bardi applies the theory to real-world systems, from the mechanics of fracture and the collapse of large structures to financial collapses, famines and population collapses, the fall of entire civilzations, and the most dreadful collapse we can imagine: that of the planetary ecosystem generated by overexploitation and climate change. The final objective of the book is to describe a conclusion that the ancient stoic philosophers had already discovered long ago, but that modern system science has rediscovered today. If you want to avoid collapse you need to embrace change, not fight it. Neither a book about doom and gloom nor a cornucopianist's dream, The Seneca Effect goes to the heart of the challenges that we are facing today, helping us to manage our future rather than be managed by it.

Extreme Events In Nature And Society

Author: Sergio Albeverio
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 354028611X
Size: 22.88 MB
Format: PDF
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Significant, and usually unwelcome, surprises, such as floods, financial crisis, epileptic seizures, or material rupture, are the topics of Extreme Events in Nature and Society. The book, authored by foremost experts in these fields, reveals unifying and distinguishing features of extreme events, including problems of understanding and modelling their origin, spatial and temporal extension, and potential impact. The chapters converge towards the difficult problem of anticipation: forecasting the event and proposing measures to moderate or prevent it. Extreme Events in Nature and Society will interest not only specialists, but also the general reader eager to learn how the multifaceted field of extreme events can be viewed as a coherent whole.

The Economics Of The Yasun Initiative

Author: Joseph Henry Vogel
Publisher: Anthem Press
ISBN: 1843318636
Size: 73.49 MB
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Climate change lends itself to both political economy and humor. Vogel argues that mainstream economics fails to recognize the thermodynamic nature of climate change, thereby missing the point of Northern appropriation of the atmospheric sink. The payment Ecuador seeks for not drilling in the Yasuní is equitable and efficient. Heeding the call of Deirdre (formerly Donald) McCloskey that economics needs humor, Vogel has written a scathing critique of economics-as-usual which also entertains.

Understanding Understanding

Author: Heinz von Foerster
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 0387217223
Size: 30.34 MB
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In these ground-breaking essays, Heinz von Foerster discusses some of the fundamental principles that govern how we know the world and how we process the information from which we derive that knowledge. The author was one of the founders of the science of cybernetics.

Cosmic Evolution

Author: Eric J. Chaisson
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674009875
Size: 20.88 MB
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We are connected to distant space and time not only by our imaginations but also through a common cosmic heritage. Emerging now from modern science is a unified scenario of the cosmos, including ourselves as sentient beings, based on the time-honored concept of change. From galaxies to snowflakes, from stars and planets to life itself, we are beginning to identify an underlying ubiquitous pattern penetrating the fabric of all the natural sciences--a sweepingly encompassing view of the order and structure of every known class of object in our richly endowed universe. This is the subject of Eric Chaisson's new book. In Cosmic Evolution Chaisson addresses some of the most basic issues we can contemplate: the origin of matter and the origin of life, and the ways matter, life, and radiation interact and change with time. Guided by notions of beauty and symmetry, by the search for simplicity and elegance, by the ambition to explain the widest range of phenomena with the fewest possible principles, Chaisson designs for us an expansive yet intricate model depicting the origin and evolution of all material structures. He shows us that neither new science nor appeals to nonscience are needed to understand the impressive hierarchy of the cosmic evolutionary story, from quark to quasar, from microbe to mind.

Collapse

Author: Jared Diamond
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141976969
Size: 44.95 MB
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From the author of Guns, Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond's Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive is a visionary study of the mysterious downfall of past civilizations. Now in a revised edition with a new afterword, Jared Diamond's Collapse uncovers the secret behind why some societies flourish, while others founder - and what this means for our future. What happened to the people who made the forlorn long-abandoned statues of Easter Island? What happened to the architects of the crumbling Maya pyramids? Will we go the same way, our skyscrapers one day standing derelict and overgrown like the temples at Angkor Wat? Bringing together new evidence from a startling range of sources and piecing together the myriad influences, from climate to culture, that make societies self-destruct, Jared Diamond's Collapse also shows how - unlike our ancestors - we can benefit from our knowledge of the past and learn to be survivors. 'A grand sweep from a master storyteller of the human race' Daily Mail 'Riveting, superb, terrifying' Observer 'Gripping ... the book fulfils its huge ambition, and Diamond is the only man who could have written it' Economist 'This book shines like all Diamond's work' Sunday Times Jared Diamond (b. 1937) is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. Until recently he was Professor of Physiology at the UCLA School of Medicine. He is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the widely acclaimed Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies, which also is the winner of Britain's 1998 Rhone-Poulenc Science Book Prize.

A Brief History Of Time

Author: Stephen Hawking
Publisher: Bantam
ISBN: 9780553896923
Size: 51.65 MB
Format: PDF
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A landmark volume in science writing by one of the great minds of our time, Stephen Hawking’s book explores such profound questions as: How did the universe begin—and what made its start possible? Does time always flow forward? Is the universe unending—or are there boundaries? Are there other dimensions in space? What will happen when it all ends? Told in language we all can understand, A Brief History of Time plunges into the exotic realms of black holes and quarks, of antimatter and “arrows of time,” of the big bang and a bigger God—where the possibilities are wondrous and unexpected. With exciting images and profound imagination, Stephen Hawking brings us closer to the ultimate secrets at the very heart of creation.