Entropy Happens

An energy blueprint toward sustainability

John R. Hoaglund, III, Ph.D.


Original Publication date:  March 11, 2011 
ISBN:  978-1-4583-4698-8

delta-S image
I-10 San Gorgonio Pass, CA, August, 2010


Energy, the ability to perform work, is money. The laws of energy [control], the rise and fall of political systems, the freedom or bondage of nations, the movements of commerce and industry, the origins of wealth and poverty, and the general physical welfare of the race." Energy also governs life and ecosystems. It is conserved, but moves from available to unavailable. Entropy measures both unavailable energy and disorder, and changes when systems change: creating order and available energy in one system, but at the expense of greater disorder or unavailable energy in others. Entropy change happens. Entropy has never been fully accounted in models of economic or environmental sustainability, neglect made possible by the availability of energy, solar energy for a historically small population, and now fossil fuels for a large population. Peak-oil and population make solving the energy crisis imperative, but it will not be solved without recognizing the intrinsic energy value of our ecosystems.

Table of Contents Next