Deal with waste
In the 1970s the brilliant Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen wrote this
“The finitude of our space renders more dangerous wastes which persist for a long time and especially those which are completely irreducible. Typical of the last category is thermal pollution, the dangers of which are not fully appreciated”
and a little further down on the same page
“Since the Entropy Law allows no way to cool a continuously heated planet, thermal pollution could prove to be a more crucial obstacle to growth than the finiteness of accessible resources.”
Maybe climate change has made us appreciate the danger of our thermal pollution waste more fully now than 50 years ago. Perhaps, but the dirty end product of our existence is many times overlooked maybe because it reminds us of our fragile wonderful life and horrible death in not so shimmering light. However there is no working around waste as we humans and our economic systems are dissipative structures and being dissipative structures waste comes as natural for life of dissipative structures as the need to consume energy. Hence waste is something that can never be fully avoided.
Add to it the finitude of space, our planet, and that ecosystems’ capacity to deal with waste have reached or are reaching their limits in more areas than thermal pollution and the obvious conclusion is that we in our society have to start value less throughput than more to be able to flourish within limits in the future!
References and quotes
To the problem