Combustion in the RainForest: Ecology, Energy and Economy for a Sustainable Environment

L. Klemas, Chemical Engineering Consultant

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"Each solution generates new problems ... and ... mother Nature knows best, or is a Bitch ?"
(Murphy's laws)

"There are no problems ... only solutions"  (John Lennon)

"En algún anaquel de algún hexágono (razonaron los hombres) debe existir un libro que sea la cifra y el compendio perfecto de todos los demás: algún bibliotecario lo ha recorrido y es análogo a un dios."
"La Biblioteca de Babel" (Jorge Luis Borges)

"Information is information,  not matter or energy"   (Norbert Wiener)

"Whatever you may say something is, it is not ! ... the map is not the territory ... the word is not the thing"   (Alfred Korzybski)

"The unit of information is difference ... the unit of survival is organism plus environment ... the unit of evolutionary survival turns out to be identical with the unit of mind (Gregory Bateson)

"To believe that exponential growth may last eternally in a limited world, you must be a crazy,  or,  an economist"   (Kenneth Boulding)

"Sometimes I suspect that we are already on this 'other side of the looking glass,'  where the images are inverted and the faster we run the 'behinder' we get" (Herman Daly)

"The whole is more than the sum of its parts"
(Ludwig von Bertalanffy: General System Theory)

"Even the most courageous among us only rarely has the courage for what he really knows" ... "But tell me my brothers, if humanity still lacks a goal---is humanity itself not still lacking too? Thus spoke Zarathustra"  (Friedrich Nietzsche)

"After all the planet and its resources are not the private property of any country, less of any corporation. It is the common habitat legacy for all the living species, human population included !!"

References for further consulting

For a summary information on World Energy Resources, Consumption and CO2 Emission, visit our World Energy Projections  page. See predicted world situation by Meadows/WRI . Observe the world map of CO2 emission . Consult our tabulation ranking the 20 largest emitting countries accounting for the 80% of total world CO2 emission (and also 80% of nonrenewable energy consumption).

We invite you to consult our World GDP page to understand the actual economic world maldistribution and its implications in terms of sustainability. You may consult the ranking of the 500 Global Corporations and the listing of the largest 630 World Economies including countries and corporations. Some communications without feedback to Ecol-Econ List "Is Capitalism Sustainable?"

An excellent account providing a thermodynamic interpretation of the impact of the prevailing economy on our sustaining ecosystem is given by William Rees in The Ecology of Sustainable Development and Ecological Footprint: Carrying capacity indicators on Sustainability. A most fundamental synthesis for a lucid interpretation of the energy and ecological economics is provided by Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen in "Energy and Economic Miths". An interesting  proposal to implement a radical ecological industry is described by Gunter Pauli in "No Waste Economy".  A good introduction to several aspects related with the environmental issues is presented by The Club of Rome in the following articles: | Limits to Growth | The Scandal and the Shame| Learning how to Protect the World | Energy: the Only Absolute | Uncertainty: the key to the Science of the Future | Is our World Ungovernable? | Useful information on the impact of corporations is available in the Ratical page: Ending Corporate Governance: Revoking our Plutocracy. Further valuable readings: | Earth Dance | The Biology of Globalization | Living Systems, the Internet and the Human Future | and | Life Web | by Elisabet Sahtouris.

Further recommended readings on sustainability and related topics:

"The Economics of the Comming Spaceship Earth" by Kenneth E. Boulding
"The Unholly Alliance" by Dr Mae-Wan Ho
"Revolutionary Ecology" by Judi Bari (in memoriam)
"Steady State Economics: A Catechism of Growth Fallacies" by Herman Daly [see author books]
"Taming the Giants" by David Korten [see author books]
"Seattle and Beyond: Disarming the New World Order" by Michel Chossudovsky
"Toward an Economics of Sustainability" by John E. Ikerd
"Engineering Education for a Sustainable Future" by Anthony D. Cortese
"Complexity, Problem Solving and Sustainable Societies" by Joseph A. Tainter
"Energy and Human Evolution"  by David Price
"What is Deep Ecology"  by Stephen Harding
"Cycle of Nature" by Karl-Heinrik Robert
"Economic, Social and Political Distorsions in the Modern World"  by Samir Amin
"What do we Mean when we Speak of Sustainability?"  by Chris Maser
"Not so Fast"  by Donella Meadows

Consult a historical Timeline focusing Chemical Engineering and Technology. Also see the Timeline of Green Crusades: Environmental Conflict in History. For a basic primer on energy consult the California Energy Story or the book edited by John Helm Energy: Production, Consumption and Consequences. For a basic primer on solar energy photovoltaic applications visit Go Solar and for a 100 years history of sun energy conversion projects consult Charles Smith.. You may wish to consult an introductory reading on Biology, starting with a history of science and biology. To understand more about biodiversity consult Biodiversity: an Overview and The Loss of Biodiversity  by Peter Montague. Three short essays by Fritjof Capra are enlightening: | Ecology and Community | The Web of Life | Towards a Science of Living Systems | The Santiago Theory of Cognition |. For a further insight about science in a broad perspective you may consult J.B.S. Haldane in Daedalus: Science and the Future  and Bertrand Russell in Icarus: The Future of Science.For an interesting interpretation of the evolution of life on Earth in terms of the Energy and Entropy flow and balance on our planet, consult "Life on Earth: Flow of Energy and Entropy" by Marek Roland-Mieszkowski.

Visit our COMBUSEM page to find more about combustion emission and air dispersion simulation software.You may find interesting Chemical Engineering sites in the Chem Eng Links.and Chemical Engineering Software in Chem Eng Soft

A basic reference on Ecology is the work of Barry Commoner. Surprisingly the Internet references to this fundamental work are quite scarce. You may read here the first chapter of The Closing Circle: The Environmental Crisis. Remember Commoner Laws of Ecology: 1. Everything is connected to everything else, 2. Everything must go somewhere, 3. Nature knows best, and, 4. There is no such thing as a free lunch. If you were to read only one writing to understand the underlying factors between economy, technology, and ecology, you must consult Commoner in Making Peace with the Planet: Population and Poverty and his latest interview.

A very complete and well documented web site on the status of our environmental situation is found in Global Crisis. A most awakening collection in the web of pages containing vital environmental thoughts, is presented in Jay Hanson's "BrainFood".

A humanist and president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel, provides enlightening views in The Need for Transcendence in the Postmodern World. and other speeches.

A special recommendation to discover the provocative and inspiring thought of Ivan Illich, a radical humanist, whose perceptions of the 70's are more actual than ever. You may find here Energy and Equity originally published in Le Monde, and A Constitution for Cultural Revolution . Read Erich Fromm's Introduction to Illich's Celebration of Awareness also a most interesting Illich's review by Don Ferris Observations on the Tools of Industrial Institutions and the Changes Needed to Achieve Sustainability and Independence

A very enlightening writing of Paul Ehrlich on sustainability: Too Many Rich People. To understand the basic fundamentals of Economics, consult Steady-State Economics: A Catechism of Growth Fallacies by Herman Daly. If you really want to know about the economic roots of the world crisis and its implications for a non sustainable "business as usual" model conservation, read | Taming the Giants | and | Sustainability and the Global Economy: beyond Bretton Woods | by D. Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World.. Read Le Monde Diplomatique: | ces deux cents sociétés qui contrôlent le monde | Comment les mafias gangrenent l'économie mondiale | La quatrième guerre mondiale à commencé  | Régimes globalitaires | Stopper la montée de l'insignifiance (postume interview account with Cornelius Castoriadis) | Marcos Marche sur Mexico | . Some light of technological hope is available in recent WorldWatch reports Power Surge: Guide to the Coming Energy Revolution and Environmental Revolution, in the Atlantic Monthly article Reinventing the Wheels , in CNN Low Pollution Cars, and in UCS Energy Innovations. A valuable example on how corporative management vision can profitably convert to ecological sustainable principles is described in Mitsubishi and Lessons from RainForest. Consult the Didik web site to find some intelligent design options concerning the ecologic personal car, including a history of the auto technological inventions since 1870.

For a deeper philosophical review on technology, sustainability, and ecology, you may consult the Scholar Library Journal and the following outstanding essays: | Why Prometheus Suffers | Sustainable Development and Philosophies of Technology | When are Technologies Sustainable | Poverty, Human Rights, and the State | Technology, Ecology, Autonomy, and the State | Explosion of Needs, Quality of Life, and the Ecology Problem | Intellectual Responsibility for an Ecological Agenda | Holistic Approach to Sustainability | Whole Earth Measurements | Sustainability as a Norm | Ethic of Sustainability | Les Presupposes Philosophiques dans les Politiques Ecologistes |. You may consult a complete links review of available essays on Philosophy of Technology. Some valuable articles in spanish are published in Prometheus siglo XXI of the Barcelona University: Manuel Medina Ciencia-Tecnología-Cultura del Siglo XX al XXI Jordi Roca Jusmet La economía, la ecología y la crisis de la economía convencional Paul Feyerabend El realismo y la historicidad del conocimiento  Antonio Campillo Filosofía y Ecología
A variety of articles on sustainability is presented at DOE Center for Excellence in Sustainable Development.

A special recommendation for anyone searching a deeper and spiritual insight in ecology, in deep ecology is to read John Seed "articles", "Beyond Anthropocentrism", "Spirit of Earth", "Rainforest and Psyche", "thinking like a Mountain", "Ecopsychology", .....

Also, "Ecophilosophy, Ecosophy and the Deep Ecology Movement: An Overview" by Alan Drengson

"Heideger, Post Modern Theory and Deep Ecology" by Arne Naess

You may find the complete english text of Borges' Library of Babel, an introduction to Korzybski concepts on General Semantics, and a very complete compilation of Murphys' Laws in the web. You may complement Murphy with Mencken Quotes and Parkinson's Laws. Consult the complete text of The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, the founder of Economics. A reading must about the new technology of information and knowledge intelligent use, is the book by K. Eric Drexler Engines of Creation and Tools for Thought: The People and Ideas of the Next Computer Revolution by Howard Rheingold. Another great e-book by Piero Scaruffi, on cognitive science, from physics to human consciene is Thinking About Thought. Its chapter on physics is mirrored here. A lucid and solid interpretation of living systems, from fundamental structure, to behaviour and language, is available in the magistral article Brain, Language, and the Origin of Human Mental Functions by Maturana, Mpodozis & Letelier. Enjoy it if you like it !

Some additional interesting readings:| What Time is it? | Looking back from 2003 | Towards a Sustainable World Order | Beyond the Limits to Growth | The Natural Step | Economics, Ecology and Us | Design for a Sustainable Economics | Development, Heresy and the Ecological Revolution | The Wisdom of Limits | The Limits to Science | Ecological Limits | Economics in the Solar Age | Physician to the Earth | The Meaning of Gaia | Magna Carta for the Knowledge Age | Reinventing Society | Society, Cyberspace and the Future | City of Bits | Being Digital | Dawkins Viruses of the Mind | Howard Rheingold Brainstorms: Tomorrow | Global Economy&Environment | The Capitalist Threat | Progress and Poverty | Bionomics: Economy as Ecosystem | 7 Piezas Sueltas del Rompecabezas Mundial | Do We Consume Too Much? | Mid East Oil Forever? | World Without End | Envisioning a Sustainable Future | Worldview and Economics | The Political Theory of Radical Ecology | The State of Humanity | Boulding's Spaceship Earth | The writings of Elisabet Sahtouris | Why America Thinks It has to Run the World? | Polarization of American Society | How the Pie is Sliced | Sustainability: The Source of the Crisis | Out of Control | Physics and Time: Bohm, Prigogine and Process Philosophy | Complexity and Thermodynamics: Towards a New EcologyLife as a Manifestation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics | Complex Ecology: Network Properties in Ecosystems | Sustainability and Democracy | Global Social/Economic Policy Issues | Good Government, Politics, Democracy | The Power Elite and the Global Union | Policy Paper | Saving the Planet | The Revolution Upon Us | Changing Perceptions: The Economy, Energy and European Security | Capitalism is the most Environmentally Friendly System | Branching Futures and Energy Projections | Planet Earth | Reinventing Money, Restoring the Earth, Reweaving the Web of Life | Kyoto Sumit Summary | Save the Forests Save the Planet | The Causes of Tropical Deforestation | A New perception of RealityA New Concept of Progress | Looking Back from the 21st Century | Global Authoritarian Regimes | The Bankruptcy of Classical Economics | Economics as if All Living Beings Mattered | Ecological and Neoclassical Economic Theory | Do we Still Need Nature? | Climate Ecology and Human Health | Keeping Watch on the Earth | Ecological Footprint of Nations | The Origin of the Overclass | Liberalism Resurgent | Emergy Evaluation | The Global Citizen | Doors of Perception | The Politics of EcologyReal World Resource GuideHow much is Enough? | A Foundation for the Future |

Some interesting management related topics and references: | The Intellectual Capital | Intellectual Capital and the New Wealth of Nations | California Management Review | Harvard Business Review | Fortune SmartManaging | Knowledge Management&Organization Learning | Business Researcher's Interests | The Knowledge Economy | Small Arms Proliferation | The Corporate Planet | The Earth Summit 5 years later | SolarRevolution Presspack |

Some useful sources to consult books and information on line are | The On-line Book Page | IPL: Internet Public Library | Webster  |  Roget  | MIT Classics | NAP Readingroom | Web Magazines | Data Online | World Hyperhistory | Music History | Artchive |

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