Energy quality of oil, etc.. LO24586

From: Heidi and Dan Chay (
Date: 05/11/00

Replying to LO24571 --

Responding to Energy quality of oil, etc.. LO24571

In LO24532 I wrote:

Is anyone out there thinking about learning organizations in terms of 7
generations -- or 2?


Thinking in terms of energy and entropy production, do you see curves of
(relatively soon to be) declining petroleum "reserves" not "resources"
(extracted at increasing energy-cost and cost of energy)?


Here is a quote from this link:

>The oil industry's years of hindsight and disappointing new-field
>discovery record during the great drilling surge between 1978-86, combine
>to yield sobering results, he concludes. No new major oil provinces have
>been found or developed for several decades. Indeed, according to the
>USGS, global discovery of new oil fields peaked in 1962 and has been
>declining since.[20]

Thank you At for replying and enriching my understanding of the difference
between arithmetic and geometric progressions! I was never averse to
math, but never pursued it, either. Making it a deeper part of my life
these last couple of years has been fun.

In your post, At, you wrote, "As you have pointed out, the most obvious
essentiality here at play is spareness ("quantity-limit"). But I want to
urge you to trace each of other six essentialities too so that your
learning can progress beyond your wildest expectations"

Indeed, I have been thinking about the other essentialities in this
context, as well as the dynamics of change: equilibrium, chaos of
becoming, emergence or demergence.

As an aside, At, I've taken to using "demergence" instead of "immergence."
The prefix "de-" seems to have come from Latin meaning out, off, out,
apart, away, and down. According to our dictionary at which I'm looking,
"im-" is an assimilation of "in-", from Latin meaning in, into, within.
What were you thinking? ...grin... I've been saying "demergence", though,
because in speaking with others using "immergence," I was having trouble
saying it comfortably in a way that others would hear and understand the
distinction I was making from "emergence."

The title of this thread, "Energy quality of oil, etc.," was intended as
an implicit reference to the essentiality otherness (quality-variety). I
have been learning to distinguish between energy sources such as oil and
energy flows such as solar energy. Among energy sources, it seems, there
do not seem to be many sources that deliver the punch of oil, let alone
ease of use. Not many sources, nor flows, for that matter.

As you might guess, the entropy production in my mind has been increasing,
particularly when I read material such as from this link directly above
and connect it with other information from other sources. I can see, now,
not only the possibility of a large human population dependant on
immanently declining quality resource, but also intensification of the
hydrologic cycle, spread of persistant organic pollutants, power politics,
and numerous other entropic fault lines.

In this link at the ecological economics site, Jay Hanson, in 1996, quotes
Schneider and Kay about the laws of thermodynamics: [E.
Schneider and J. Kay. 1992. Life as a Manifestation of the Second Law of
Thermodynamics. Preprint from: Advances in Mathematics and Computers in
Medicine. (Waterloo, Ont.: University of Waterloo Faculty of Environmental
Studies, Working Paper Series). [p. 43]]

>"Non-isolated systems (such as the human body or the economy) are subject
>to the same forces of entropic decay as are isolated ones. This means
>that they must constantly import high-grade energy and material from the
>outside, and export degraded energy and matter to the outside, to
>maintain their internal order and integrity. For all practical purposes,
>this energy and material 'throughput' is unidirectional and irreversible.


">The human economy is one such highly-ordered, complex, dynamic system.
>It is also an open sub-system of a materially closed, non-growing
>ecosphere, i.e., the economy is contained by the ecosphere. Thus the
>economy is dependent for its maintenance, growth and development on the
>production of low entropy energy/matter (essergy) by the ecosphere and on
>the waste assimilation capacity of the ecosphere.

>"This means that beyond a certain point, the continuous growth of the
>economy (i.e., the increase in human populations and the accumulation of
>manufactured capital) can be purchased only at the expense of increasing
>disorder (entropy) in the ecosphere.

Here's a quote from Tom Robertson: "Energy determines what can happen, and
often what will happen."

What do you think?

Best wishes,

Dan Chay


"Heidi and Dan Chay" <>

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