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can we know if the earth's life support systems are functioning well,
Energy is like pieces
of a puzzle | complexity
beneath appearances | four fundamentals | integrity | forces
This image graphically displays the concept of ecological tithe.
Energy and the environment are very much like movable pieces of a puzzle [Rubik's
Cube]. The three dimensional cube defines a reasonably good means to comprehend energy for two reasons.
1.1, There exists three basic universal forces creating environmental resistance that we refer to as energy–the ultimate sources of energy.
1.2, Another way to think about energy as Rubik's cube is
because for every facet of energy you understand there is a corresponding
facet such that to change one characteristic of energy, the other two
facets are altered simultaneously.
Electromagnetic fields or radiant energy pervade the universe, the earth, life and animate our bodies.
2. A Foundation:
forestry, arboreta, & diversity; the problem of sustainability
in Amazon rain forest is a microcosm
of the world's dilemma.
complex of energy, forces,
flows and feedback:
Gregory Bateson and the model of reality.
problem of energy lies in the western
origins of attitudes about Nature.
which make-up nature, as Aristotle
defined, were the dialectical creation of four elements.
But as we have
seen all forms of energy has physical, ecological
and social facets.
is the ability to do work, alter an existing condition, or the capacity
to regenerate spent fuel to
in any situation where energy changes from one form to another means
that there are characteristic functions that tie all the parts to a
whole thereby creating an interdependent structure.
We know nature
by disturbing the surrounding universe.
deliberate or unintended influence of a single activity, or multiple
activities on a larger pre-existing condition, or entire situation.
of Matter & Energy
Law of the
Conservation of matter
matter can neither be created nor destroyed – what you start out with in any reaction, you end up with even if it appears differently form the original form of matter.
Laws of Thermodynamics
energy is neither created nor destroyed but remains constant
energy is constantly degrading every conversion of energy
from one form to another is less than completely efficientthus the energy is more random, less useful and we measure that as
energy conversion form one form to another produces heat and in the final conversion all energy in the system, or universe is turned to heat–the heat-death of the universe.
Law of the minimum
Growth in the final analysis produces heat; but in all living things is constrained and limited by the ingredient or nutrient needed in the least amount. Thus the essential nutrient present in the smallest amount restricts the rate of growth. Justus von Liebig discovered in 1840 this anomaly in production states that yield is determined by the scarcest resources.
Three laws of
motion: inertia, gravity, and reciprocity.
pyramid is based on the laws of thermodynamics, whose limitations
influence the tapering shape of the design because less and less usable
energy is available at each subsequent level of consumption.
Given the laws of ecology that constrain all systems, a combination of two underlying classes of existence: abiotic or inorganic and biotic or the organic facets of existence cyclically combine due to available energy to form the complexity of ecological systems.
The complexity of
1. distinguish inorganic habitat's parts:
radiation is a limiting factor
area's size, extent geology, & geographical setting
water, energy, air
& land form a resource base
2. recognize the biotic communities'
is the cornerstone of natural productivity
keystone species and the web of numbers
stress functions, rates of turnover, & renewable cycles.
Bacteria are more complicated and important than ever thought.
Scientific Laws of matter and thermodynamics
and feedback loops are a means to understand ecosystems
Earth, low-throughput or low-waste society (Miller; pp. 12,
energy and resource ratios:
[P] times energy [E] & divided by resources [R-E] squared
P * E / R-E (squared)
result of the equation is net useful energy [ Miller,
the earth or perish!
magic of the number is four when considering the products of energy
and the ways western civilization, influenced by the Greeks have thought
about matter and energy.
& geographical regeneration together may be thought of as ways to understand
how four natural products of the landscape require, air, water
Fs: fuel, food, fiber, & forage are the four outcomes of human uses of ecological capacity.
plant and seed oils, petrol, coal, wood, etc.
calories from lipids, fats, proteins.
cotton, sisal, hemp, wool, thatch, etc.
a function, fodder, feed or
& species richness rest on the idea that the terrain or habitat is sufficient
to nourish the keystone species of any biological
Habitat as WEAL:
- Energy - Air - Land
In ecology, the
four R's of grammar school have their own equivalent to better examine
how the world works such that students can explain the limitations
imposed on all creatures and ecosystems due to the laws
of the conservation of matter and energy.
Earth as a system and ecosystems
as subsystems of the Earth must have sufficient energy to move nutrients,
rearrange materials, and remove wastes in sufficient amount and over
adequate time-periods to not diminish new life from being nourished.
This process functions with integrity based on the assimilative capacity
of the water and air, and the carrying capacity
of the land to nourish emerging life.
integrity is hidden, removed from our
experience, but it is only too obvious when it is not functioning,
as in the case of "waldsturben" or the destruction
of forests by acid precipitation.
concurrent crises today hamper our scientific understanding of
ourselves in the world.
-- do we know who and what we are?
economy & society of narcissism
biological diversity is being lost
ecological life support system
spirit -- have we lost our souls
perception is confusing the real
and the ideal
do not see the forces at work.
the order we perceive in the world, leaves us with
today from the beliefs of our ancient ancestors.
forces, or are we able to unify electromagnetism with the weak force
and explain the universe as the product of three
Three forces, not four, are what
some unification theorists suggest:
hydrogen fusion into helium fuels the stars.
radioactive decay emits three forms of radiation.
space is warped by mass.
The search for fundamental
explanations of complex relations is one job of science.
1. Overview, pieces of a puzzle [Rubric's Cube]
2. foundation a problem of sustainability
in the Amazon rain forest
3. Energy, systems and forces In our own
4. Western origins of Nature
Rubik's "magic" cube is a 3-D combination puzzle invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Ernö Rubik.