Physical Insights

An independent scientist’s observations on society, technology, energy, science and the environment. “Modern science has been a voyage into the unknown, with a lesson in humility waiting at every stop. Many passengers would rather have stayed home.” – Carl Sagan

Archive for the ‘sustainability’ Category

Anti-nuclear Quote of the Day.

with 4 comments

“Of course it [nuclear energy] isn’t sustainable. When finite resources are consumed, the amount decreases. Clearly consumption of the resource is unsustainable. Didn’t we learn that with fossil fuels and fossil water?”

There’s no such thing as an infinite energy resource.

That’s the second law of thermodynamics.

In a thermodynamically isolated system, there’s no such thing as “renewable energy”.

Sooner or later the uranium runs out, sooner or later the radiological geothermal heat in the Earth runs out, sooner or later the hydrogen in the sun runs out… and sooner or later, the free energy of the universe runs out, and everything in existence ends.

There are no renewable energy resources, and there are no infinite energy resources – there are only those energy resources which are sustainable in practical terms over the foreseeable future of human civilisation on this planet.

In about 2.5 billion years time, the Andromeda galaxy and our own Milky Way galaxy are going to collide with each other and merge together. My astrophysics is a little bit rusty, but suffice to say that things could get a little interesting gravitationally for our solar system.

Planning things out regarding resource sustainability on Earth beyond such a timescale is impossible, and arguably, irrelevant.