Here’s hoping all Classical Values readers had an edifying, tasty Thanksgiving. We all have much to be thankful for, and in line with our holiday traditions, I’m hoping that you leave here feeling stuffed. And have I got the turkey to do it for you.
I promised you more Rifkin ages ago, then failed to deliver. Mea Culpa. Today, months later, we begin our exploration of what many Rifkin aficionados consider to be his most important work, the one that put him on the map, “Entropy“. This one is the gold standard by which all subsequent Rifkiniana must be measured. I would classify his earlier evangelical work as more of a “hidden treasure”.
The Rifkin Ideal Form is followed, as always. Identify a Problem, with as much fear-mongering hyperbole as the market will bear. Follow up with a selective statistics dump, from whatever cherry-picked sources suit best. This is to establish “credibility”. Sorces should sound authoritative, even if they’re not.
Propose a grand, overarching theory, that neatly and simplistically explains How We Got Here as well as what we should Do About It.
Laud the marvels of the brave new world to come, a world almost within our grasp, if only a few simple transformational concepts can be implemented. Caution the naysayers (more sorrow than anger, please). Re-emphasize the importance of destroying industrial capitalism.
Close on a quiet note of swelling, inevitable triumph. That’s our Rifkin!
Let’s start slow and savor the experience, shall we? And fair warning. This is going to be a long slog. Most Rifkin Fans like to focus on a mere half dozen or so of his most memorable gems. Here at Classical Values we give you the real deal. Acre after acre of “misanthropy and misconceptions”, scarcely touched by an editorial presence.
Before we’re through, I want you to feel in your bones just how how much of a horse’s ass this guy is. If you get a little weary, by all means feel free to skip my snarky interjections. The real meat is in the block quotes. And if you feel as though you just can’t take any more, I surely couldn’t blame you, but please, please read the bold-face excerpts.

If we continue to ignore the truth of the Entropy Law and its role in defining the broad context in which our physical world unfolds, then we shall do so at the risk of our own extinction.

The grandest motivator of all marketing strategies, learn my message or die!

Each day we awake to a world that appears more confused and disordered than the one we left the night before. Nothing seems to work anymore?Our leaders are forever lamenting and apologizing?The powers that be continue to address the problems at hand with solutions that create even greater problems than the ones they were meant to solve…
P 3

?garbage and pollution are piling up in every quarter, oozing out of the ground, seeping into our rivers, and lingering in our air. Our eyes burn, our skin discolors, our lungs collapse, and all we can think of is retreating indoors and closing the shutters. P 3

Now, whenever I find my lungs collapsing, getting indoors is not the first thing to cross my mind. What good would it do, anyway? This is a textbook example of Rifkin’s curiously infelicitous prose style. “Closing the shutters”? Sheesh.

?at the present time no single leader or ideology on this planet can effectively address the universal crisis at hand, because all are committed to the existing world view, one that is diseased and dying and is contaminating everything it gave birth to. P 4

Subtlety is for losers, eh? You have to get the marks fired up early.

The Entropy Law has a special power. It is so utterly overwhelming that, once fully internalized, it transforms everyone it comes in contact with; it is this almost mystical attraction that makes the Entropy Law so frightening to take hold of. Yet…. few people can resist the temptation to do just that. The allure lies in its all-encompassing nature.The Entropy law is the assassin of the truths of the Modern Age…. Now those truths have metamorphosed into monstrous lies which threaten our continued existence. Pp 6-7

I should probably take a moment to point out that this entropy Law he goes on about is not generally recognized by scientists or engineers. It was manufactured more or less out of whole cloth by Nicholas Georgescu-Rogen, an economist with a fancy-pants name and seemingly, a knack for the creative interpretation of physics.

Already the outline of the new entropy paradigm is being filled in by scholars around the world. Within a few years every academic discipline will be turned inside out by the new entropy conception. P 7

Reality check. Twenty four years have come and gone, and Entropy Studies have yet to sweep the campuses.

It should be emphasized that the Entropy Law deals only with the physical world where everything is finite and where all living things must run their course and eventually cease to be. It is a law governing the horizontal world of time and space. It is mute, however, when it comes to the vertical world of spiritual transcendence.

The spiritual plane is not governed by the ironclad dictates of the Entropy Law. The spirit is a nonmaterial dimension where there are no boundaries and no fixed limits to attend to. The relationship of the physical to the spiritual world is the relationship of a small part to the larger unbound whole within which it unfolds. While the Entropy Law governs the world of time, space, and matter, it is, in turn, governed by the primordial spiritual forces that conceived it. P 8

Jacques Ellul has clearly been a major influence here. As they say, “A little knowledge…”

Studies of the few remaining hunter-gatherer societies bear out much of Hesiod?s account. Detailed examinations of the African Bushmen and other hunter-gatherer groups provide some real surprises for those of us who like to believe that human history has been a progressive journey….

?The fact is, contemporary hunter-gatherers work no more than twelve to twenty hours per week, and for weeks and months each year they do no work at all. Instead, their time is filled with leisure pursuits including games, sporting events, art, music, dance, ceremonies, and visiting with neighbors. Contrary to popular opinion, studies of the few remaining hunter-gatherer societies show that some are among the healthiest people in the world. Their diets are nutritious, and many,–like the Bushmen in Africa–live well into their sixties without the aid of modern medicine. Many hunter-gatherer societies place a premium on cooperation and sharing, and show little inclination for warring and aggression against each other or outside groups. P 11

Gosh, they live well into their sixties… Stumbling across the hunter-gatherer meme was an unexpected treat. Someday I hope to compare and contrast the various passages from Kass, Ehrlich, Rifkin, and everyone’s favorite tobacco farmer, the incomparable Wendell Berry. For now, let’s just say that subsequent field surveys by cultural anthropologists have shown that life as a hunter-gatherer can be less satisfying than the idyll described here.
Jane Jacobs first brought to my attention the truly horrific (comparable to inner Detroit or South Central L.A.) homicide rates among the Inuit and the Kalahari Bushmen. The most cursory follow-up on my part acquainted me with the Gebusi, a tribe where one in three adult male deaths is the result of a murder. Quibblers may note that the Gebusi practice agriculture. Shame.

The machine age is now so firmly inside of us that it is difficult to know where it stops and we start. Even the words that come out of our mouths are no longer our words, they are the machine?s words. We ?measure? our relationships with other people by whether we are in ?synchronization? with them. Our feelings are reduced to good or bad ?vibrations.? We no longer initiate activity; instead we are a ?self-starter.? We avoid ?friction? at work and choose to ?tune in? rather than pay attention. We think of people?s lives as either ?running smoothly? or ?breaking down.? If the latter, then we expect that in short order they will be put back together or ?readjusted.? P 18

Note: One could as easily argue that we have been nauticised by exposure to His Majesties Royal Navy. We “make headway”, we are “taken aback”, we are in the “doldrums”, we don?t have room to “swing a cat”, nonsense can be “utter bilge”, our house can be “shipshape” from “stem to stern”, we give the old “heave-ho”, or try a different “tack”, set a “new course” etc., etc., et tedious cetera. I think of Rifkin as a “loose cannon”. Don’t get me started on cowboys.

Here on earth there are two sources of available energy: our terrestrial stock and the solar flow from the sun?While the sun?s energy is degrading with every passing second, its entropy will not reach a maximum until long after the earth?s available terrestrial stock has been completely used up. Pp 36-37

Not to be pedantic, but the sun is actually getting hotter. If nothing is done to ameliorate the situation, Earth may well become uninhabitable in as little as half a billion years. You could not possibly make me worry about it less than I do now.

Every time you light a cigarette, the available energy in the world decreases. Of course, as already pointed out, it?s possible to reverse the entropy process in an isolated time and place, but only by using up additional energy in the process and thus increasing the overall entropy of the environment?A point that needs to be emphasized over and over again is that here on earth material entropy is continually increasing and must ultimately reach a maximum. That?s because the earth is a closed system in relation to the universe. With the exception of an occasional meteorite that falls to earth and some cosmic dust, our planet remains a closed subsystem of the universe?

Would that it were so. Interestingly, many of the richest nickel and platinum lodes appear to be the sites of ancient impact events. I suppose we could ask the dinosaurs to confirm that, if they weren?t all dead.

The fixed endowment of terrestrial matter that makes up the earth?s crust is continually dissipating. Mountains are wearing down and topsoil is being blown away with each passing second. That is why, in the final analysis, even renewable resources are really nonrenewable over the long haul. While they continue to reproduce, the life and death of new organisms increase the entropy of the earth…

Every farmer understands that, even with recycling and constant sunshine, it?s impossible to grow the same amount of grass on the same spot year after year in perpetuity. Every blade of grass grown today means one less blade of grass that can be grown some time in the future on that same spot. P37-38

Ireland has been green for six thousand years, at least. How did they manage that?
Another funny thing. I drove across Oklahoma last year and couldn’t find any trace of that dust bowl thing. What happened? And what about the rain forests? Are they guilty of overly profligate entropic expenditure? They sure do grow a lot.

Today, the frontier mentality remains alive and well among space enthusiasts who claim that we can always move on to colonize and exploit other planets. Their expectations can?t be met. Sending up just the population increase on earth of six days of births would cost the equivalent of our entire gross national product for one year. Then, too, astronomers tell us that the nearest solar system to ours with planets that might possibly be comparable in climatic conditions is ten light-years away, and with our present technology it would take over a hundred years to travel there?

Reality check. More like one hundred thousand years. NASA would sacrifice your first born children to reach one tenth light speed.

Finally, the idea that valuable resources could be mined and sent back to earth from other planets in the quantities needed is completely ridiculous. The cost of mining additional resources on earth is already becoming prohibitive. Even assuming we could locate planets with resources that would be usable in some way here on earth, there is no way we could ever afford the costs of mining and transporting the materials from these distant places.
Pp 66-67

Actually, I think there might be something to the idea. Certainly, if you believe in technological advancement, it should eventually become more affordable. Just ask that Rutan fella. But, the certainty displayed here, “no way ever”, is pretty much a standard feature of a good Rifkin Rant.

The faster we streamline our technology, the faster we speed up the transforming process, the faster available energy is dissipated, the more the disorder mounts?
In short, we live in a kind of nightmarish Orwellian world. P 79

So I suppose we might just as well quit. Go out all at once, in a huge blowout party. After all, if we start husbanding resources for our grandchildren, leaving them ?in the pantry? as it were, we can eke out a bit more time, but what?s the point? The grandkids will have grandchildren of their own one day, and so on, ad infinitum. Just how many generations are we planning on scrimping for? Collectivization offers a modicum of hope.

In hearings before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress in 1976, many of the experts on technology even suggested that diminishing returns might have set in across the board and that America?s great technological strides of the past would probably never be repeated. One witness before the hearings shocked the congressional assemblage by pointing out that in the past ten years, after all the billions of dollars spent in research and development, only two technological breakthroughs with a 100 percent market potential were introduced, permanent-press pants and pocket calculators. Not very impressive.
P 85

Well, no wonder space resources can’t save us. The irony here is just killing me.

Addiction! There is simply no other way to accurately describe America?s energy habit. The statistics are overwhelming. With only 6 percent of the world?s population, the United States currently consumes over one third of the world?s energy. P 99

“No other way…”

It has been said before that the world could not possibly support another America. Looking at these figures, it becomes apparent that even one America is more than the world can afford.

“could not possibly…” Nice. “Another America…” Nicer.

It should also be understood that there is no way to allow for the needs of future generations in classical economic theory. When we meet as buyers and sellers in the marketplace we make decisions based on the relative abundance or scarcity of things as they affect us. No one speaks for future generations at the marketplace, and for this reason, everyone who comes after us starts off much poorer than we did in terms of nature?s remaining endowment. P 134

And we are SO much poorer than our nineteenth century ancestors, as they, in turn, stand positively beggared beside their medieval forbears. A clincher, a definite clincher…

?One would be hard pressed to deny what everyone accepts as gospel: that American agricultural technology is extraordinarily efficient. Yet, the truth is that it?s the most inefficient form of farming ever devised by humankind. One farmer with an ox and plow produces a more efficient yield per energy expended than the giant mechanized agrifarms of modern America. Hard to believe, but it?s absolutely true. Pp 136-137

And therefore we should…what? Farm with oxen? The seventies were chock full of conceptual blockbusters like this one. If one chooses to measure crop output per man, or even per man-hour, the conclusion is reversed. We trade the liberal use of energy for hours of lifespan spent away from the farm, a good deal if you?ve got the fuel for it.

The well-known exception to these historical limitations was the ancient city of Rome.
At its peak, it grew to a population of nearly one million people. The Roman city could only be sustained, however, by attempting to colonize everything in its path. Without its vast pool of slaves, intensive farming techniques, massive aqueduct-building projects, and, most importantly, the empire?s armies, Rome could not possibly have supported its population. In a sense, the entire known world had to be pillaged to overcome the natural limitation imposed by a solar-agricultural energy base.

Murray Bookchin puts it well when he writes, ?The Fall of Rome can be explained by the rise of Rome. The Latin city was carried to imperial heights not by the resources of its rural environs, but by spoils acquired from the systematic looting of the Near East, Egypt, and North Africa. The very process involved in maintaining the Roman cosmopolis destroyed the cosmopolis.

That seems just a little too simple to me. But who am I to question Murray Bookchin?
I’m just glad I could work in a Classical angle. I don’t do enough of that.

Once embarked on the course of urban expansion, Rome was in a losing race?

Rome serves as a case study of what can happen when an urban area vainly seeks to ignore the growth limitations imposed on it by its surrounding resource base. Seeking out far-flung energy resources can serve to delay the collapse, but eventually the day of reckoning must come. Such is the case in our own time. Pp 150-151

“must come…” But what about Alexandria, or Constantinople, or Jerusalem? Or the great millennia-old cities of India and China and the Fertile Crescent? Rather than looking to some theoretical notion of entropic limits, might it not be more helpful to examine the waxing and waning of political and military power, and how those can be affected by negative incentives in the tax structure? I think they call it history.

The near fiscal collapse of New York and Cleveland is a sign of what lies ahead for our overgrown and outworn cities in the next two decades. P 156

Not Cleveland!

The remaining reservoirs of untapped nonrenewable resources are primarily in the hands of the poor Third World nations. These resources are their only remaining trump card to bargain for a more equitable redistribution of wealth between the industrialized countries and their own?

You knew it would come down to equitable redistribution, didn’t you?

To those of us who have lived for decades on huge quantities of energy and resources provided by the Third World, it is easy to resent the squeeze that cartels will put on our economic system. A popular country-and western song of the summer of 1979 summed up the frustration many Americans felt over escalating OPEC oil prices: ?No crude, no food.? In other words, if the Third World won?t sell us its petroleum, then we should withhold food exports from the world?s hungry.

No, no, just the hungry oil vendors. We?re fine with everybody else.

This kind of jingoistic attitude on our part is not only morally and politically indefensible, but it threatens our very survival. The choice is ours. We can either accept the new terms presented by Third World nations and cut back dramatically on our energy flow and material consumption, or we can intervene militarily to seize the resources we need? p 188

Again with the either/or ultimatums. How about, we can seek out other sources in the North Sea and Russia and Latin America, while simultaneously keeping the pressure on OPEC by bankrolling solar, coal, and tar sands research. And it?s not too late for ?safer? next generation fission reactors. How I hate these reductionist analyses.

?as long as we in the United States continue to consume one-third of the world?s resources annually, the Third World can never rise to even a semblance of a standard of living that can adequately support human life with dignity. Those who are irate over the formation of resource cartels as an economic weapon to be used against rich nations like our own had best ask themselves what they would do if they were living in the Third World?. P 189

Yep. We’re the bad guys again.

As long as we continue to devour the lion?s share of resources, squandering the great bulk of them on trivialities while the rest of the world struggles to find its next meal, we have no right to lecture other peoples on how to conduct their economic development. Therefore, if we are truly committed to preventing our planet from being turned into a giant industrial sewer, we must begin, now, voluntarily, to substantially limit our own material wealth. We must show our own willingness to accept hard sacrifices in the name of humanity. P 190

“Hard sacrifices”equals redistribution, at the very least. Maybe with guns, eh?

However, this too must be said: no Third World nation should harbor hopes that it can ever reach the material abundance that has existed in America over the past few decades.

This last quote angered me greatly as a young man. To be honest, it still kinda ticks me. Let’s play it again, with the volume turned up.

“NO THIRD WORLD NATION SHOULD HARBOR HOPES THAT IT CAN EVER REACH THE MATERIAL ABUNDANCE THAT HAS EXISTED IN AMERICA…”

This is just sinister and wrong. Did he even believe it himself?

To put its faith in Western-style development is a cruel hoax, simply because it is a physical impossibility even if there were a complete redistribution of the world?s resources?.

Yeah, and if redistribution can’t do it, we all know it just can’t be done.

It is thus impossible for the rest of the world to develop as the United States has. In fact, as we have already seen, absolute resource scarcity makes it impossible that even the United States can continue at anything near its present level of energy flow. This is not, however, to dismiss the absolute necessity of fostering economic development in the Third World. The question is: What kind of development is appropriate to poor nations?
Pp 190-191

“Appropriate? development, eh? Sounds unpleasantly familiar.

?.It is clear that Third World nations must seek different forms of development from those used in the industrialized West. High-energy, centralized technology should be eschewed in favor of intermediate technology that is labor intensive and can be used in local villages?

In other words, peasants.

Several appropriate models for Third World development already exist. Before Mao?s death, the People?s Republic of China organized itself in a way that maintained the rural base of the society and favored labor-intensive production. China is not a rich society, but no one is starving to death–or is jobless or homeless, either.

Make that oppressed peasants. And they WERE starving.

More attention should also be turned to the Gandhian economic model?.Gandhian economics favors the country over the city, agriculture over industry, small-scale techniques over high technology. Only this general set of economic priorities can lead to successful Third World development. Pp 192-193

Accepting higher and higher prices for all nonrenewable resources means a steady contracting of the American economy. For the first time in our countries history we will have to deal with the ultimate political and economic question?redistribution of wealth?

The contraction of the American economy has already begun. On September 6, 1979, the Secretary of the Treasury warned the nation that it must go through ?a period of austerity?.? There is really only one viable solution: it is imperative that there be a massive redistribution of wealth and power in this society. Without that redistribution, the poor and working classes in America will rightly condemn any talk of austerity or economic sacrifice?

“Mom, he’s scaring me.”
“Hush, baby.”

Without a fundamental redistribution of wealth, all talk of lowering energy flow and heeding our planet?s biological limits will result in nothing but the rich locking the poor forever into their subservient status The chic upper-class ecologists, with their hot-tubs, their quarter-million-dollar homes, their designer clothes, and their Mercedes Benzes, had best realize that their calls for clean air must be accompanied by meaningful actions that will lead to a redistribution of their own unwarranted economic abundance. If they do not voluntarily begin to make this economic adjustment, then others will make it for them. Pp 194-195

UNWARRANTED ECONOMIC ABUNDANCE

In a high-entropy culture, the overriding purpose of life becomes one of using high energy flow to create material abundance and satisfy every conceivable human desire?.

Which would be wrong?

having banished God from society, the high-entropy, materialist value system attempts to provide a heaven on earth?.

Mere assertion, manifestly untrue.

We have denied the qualitative, the spiritual, the metaphysical?We have gloried in the concepts of material progress, efficiency, and specialization above all other values. In the process, we have destroyed family, community, tradition?.Now our world view and social system are falling victim to the very process of their creation. Everywhere we look, the entropy of our world is reaching staggering proportions?. P 205

Again, not necessarily true.

There is no doubt that we are in for a massive institutional realignment?.But before we can even begin to broadly outline the nature of agriculture, industry, and commerce in a low-entropy society, we must turn our attention to first principles?.the Big Questions of the past are destined to re-emerge in the low-entropy world that awaits us?.. p 206

The governing ethical principle of a low-entropy world view is to minimize energy flow. Excessive material wealth is recognized as an irreversible diminution of the world?s precious resources?. A low-entropy society deemphasizes material consumption…Human needs are met, but whimsical, self-indulgent desires?the kind pandered to in every shopping center in the country?are not.

The traditional wisdom, as embodied in all the great world religions, has long taught that the ultimate purpose of human life is not the satisfaction of all material desires, but rather the experience of liberation that comes from becoming one with the metaphysical unity of the universe?

I beg to differ.

In Sanskrit, it is put most succinctly: Tat tvam asi (That art thou). To know this in the very ground of our being and to conduct our life in accordance with this transcendent reality: this is the human development that that comes from an adherence to traditional wisdom?. Pp 206-207

So now he?s channeling Joseph Campbell.

In a low-entropy culture the individual is expected to live a much more frugal or Spartan life-style?.In the new age, the less production and consumption necessary to maintain a healthy, decent life, the better?.

In a high-entropy environment, human labor has no real positive value?.Work, especially physical labor is considered demeaning?.

Unless you worked in silicon valley during the nineties?

As for what is produced, that hardly matters at all?No one takes responsibility for determining whether something should be produced or not. As long as a market for the item can be developed, it will be provided. Thus, society is deluged by a plethora of material effluence?microwave ovens, hair dryers, automobiles that poison the air, and prescription drugs that poison the body?.

And this is clearly a sore spot for Rifkin. No one takes responsibility. No one is IN CHARGE. No one is there to say no to consumer demand, and make it stick. Clearly it would be wrong to allow choice to remain in the hands of the consumers. Clearly, they need guidance.

In a low-entropy culture, work is understood to be an activity as necessary for the proper life-balance as sleep, contemplation, or play?.

But not just any kind of work can be considered appropriate. It must be designed, first and foremost, to provide dignity and purpose for the worker?. Pp 208-209

That is, small crafts, tilling the soil, animal husbandry?life is very beautiful at the ashram. Can we do weaving?

In a low-entropy culture the concept of private property is retained for consumer goods and services but not for land and other renewable and nonrenewable resources. The long-accepted practice of private exploitation of ?natural? property is replaced with the notion of public guardianship?.

As pronounced and elaborated upon by ?Public Guardians?, no doubt. The road to serfdom, with an entropically correct gang of Mutaween to promote ecological virtue…

Individual rights are protected, but they are no longer regarded as the dominant reference point from which to judge society. Instead, the notion of public duties, and responsibilities once again gains ascendancy as the dominant social motif, as it has been throughout most of history.

Do we really want to return to living as we did throughout most of history?

In a low-entropy society, our modern view of man and woman divorced from the workings of the ecosystem gives way to a holistic comprehension of the interrelatedness of all phenomena?. Once it is understood that human beings are ?one? with nature, then an ethical base is established by which the appropriateness of all human activity can be judged. P 211

The scary thing is, there are still plenty of citizens who totally agree with these sentiments. I bought a Rifkin book (used) six months ago at a local, independent bookstore. My attractive, friendly, clearly under thirty salesperson opined that my purchase looked ?really interesting?. She went on to say that she just ?loved!? Jeremy Rifkin. She looked so cute in her levis and fringed buckskin vest, that I could only nod my silent assent.

All the great teachers of traditional wisdom have embraced the values inherent to a low-entropy life. Buddha, Jesus, Muhammed, the prophets of Israel, and the mahatmas of India all led exemplary lives of simplicity, voluntary poverty, and communal sharing.
P 212

One wonders.

Small-scale labor-intensive agriculture will require a massive shift of people away from the cities and back to the farms. The transition will not take place overnight?. Eventually the proportion of farm to city population will have to reverse itself if human life is to survive?.An agricultural way of life will dominate the coming Solar Age as it has in every other period of history before our own?.

Cambodia will have much to teach us as we implement the relocations.

?Large? cities will once again return to their preindustrial size of 50,000 to 100,000 citizens.

Perhaps. But more likely because of terrorism, suitcase nukes, and cheap telepresence than ginned up entropic limits.

Along with the scaling down of cities, transportation systems are also going to be vastly reoriented in the years to come. The high cost of energy is going to force a fundamental shift in the pattern of travel away from automobiles and trucks and toward greater mass transit and long-distance rail use?

Our social and economic life will undergo radical changes reflecting the change in transportation?.

You CAN live your dream, Jeremy.

Because of escalating energy and resource costs, industry will reverse its historical trend and convert back from energy- and capital-intensive production modes to labor-intensive ones?.

Agriculture, which will no longer be able to continue its mechanized farming techniques, will also become far more labor intensive?.

Channeling Pol Pot and Wendell Berry, simultaneously…

In keeping with the dictum that the low-entropy economy is one of necessities, not luxuries or trivialities, production will center on goods required to maintain life. To recognize the extent to which production will be diminished, we have only to take a tour through a suburban mall and ask ourselves, ?How many of these products are even marginally useful in sustaining life?? Any honest appraisal is sure to conclude that most of what is manufactured in our economy is simply superfluous. P 218

…Not to mention Savonarola.

The production that does continue should take place within certain guidelines in keeping with the low-entropy paradigm?.Of course, adhering to these guidelines will necessarily mean that certain items will become impossible to produce.

These next few quotes sound as though he?s in labor with Paul Ehrlich?s Malthusian love-child.

A Boeing 747, for instance, simply cannot be manufactured by a small company employing several hundred individuals. Thus, a new ethic will have to be adopted as the litmus test of what should be produced in the low-entropy society: if it cannot be made locally by the community, using readily available resources and technology, then it is most likely unnecessary that it be produced at all.

Pacing, Jere. Remember your breathing.

Many industries will not be able to withstand the transition to a low energy flow. Unable to adapt to the new economic environment, the automotive, aerospace, petrochemical, and other industries will slide into extinction.

The new paradigm?s head is in sight!

The move toward a low-entropy economy will spell the end of the reign of the multinational corporation?. pp 218-219

Remember, It?s Paul?s baby, too?

?.the low-entropy age we are moving into will require a great reduction in world population. The massive explosion in world population is really only understandable when viewed in thermodynamic terms?.

Push, Jere. Push!…Say to yourself…”It’s Paul’s baby.”.

The implications of a thermodynamic view of population growth are staggering?

Breathe! Push!
Ooops. It was stillborn.
Lucky for us.