I’ve written about the Do The Math blog, which looks at the numbers underlying how our economy works, particularly the energy part, which is to say, what drives it. If you think something else drives it, do the math! I think you’ll see otherwise.
Incidentally, analysis like his is one of the reasons I studied physics (if you didn’t know, I got a PhD in the subject) — to understand nature. Many people think of physics as something that happens in a lab or happened a long time ago with Galileo and Newton, but fundamentally physics studies our natural world.
And we are part of nature. Anyone who thinks otherwise — well, I don’t know what to say to them.
Anyway, Tom Murphy, the guy who writes the blog, gave the following talk on three of his posts. I don’t know if people without science backgrounds can understand his talk. Personally, I love that level of math — simpler than what I used to use when I actively researched, but appropriate to understand and explain the subject.
I’d love to hear back if you can understand his presentation. I can think of little more important to our lives. I may die before many of the major changes limits to growth will likely impose on us hit, but I have nieces and nephews who will see them. So I care about the next generation. If we want to give them the chance for prosperity or even just peace comparable to ours, we have to address these issues.
By now, many of you are probably thinking
- “we’ve solved all the problems so far, we’ll solve the ones to come”
- “since before Malthus scientists project doomsday and they never happen, we can ignore this” or
- “this won’t affect me”
If so, do the math. Read his blog. At least understand the situation. If he’s wrong, show him how. Show me too. I’d love to find out he’s wrong. As a scientist, he (and I) would love someone to show him (and me) wrong.
That’s how we learn. I hope you’re open to the same.
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