Saturday, May 16, 2009
Thermodynamics in Green Horizon Journal
Proud and pleased to get copies in the post today of Green Horizon, an American journal of green thought and action, which includes an essay by yours truly. The theme of the issue is Disarming the Oligarchs, beginning with a piece going from "nutritionism" to localisation of the food supply; Maynard Kaufman reviews Christianity's relation with the earth - from holy spirit to earth spirit, which is adapted from his new boodk "Adapting to the end of Oil, towards an Earth-centered spirituality". Then there is my bit, on the second law of thermodynamics. Edmund Fowler addresses the near-universal feeling of disempowerment that people feel, and contrasts it with the power that imbues all other living creatures. He sees community self-empowerment as the way out of our box. Next, Steve Welzer puts Green thought in a neither-nor space beyond Capitalism and Socialism. John Rensenbrink spells out the first 100 days of a Green Administration - a very useful exercise given that we need to develop a wish-list of reforms to put on a broad spectrum platform if the current government collapses under the weight of the present corruption scandal. And there are a couple of items giving the Green Parties' situation in Ireland and Canada.
American Greens, like us over here, are effectively excluded from Government by defective electoral system, so like us, they have the leisure to think. Which is good. We here though do not have a journal like Green Horizon to dip into. Resurgence is the nearest we get. I like American green writing, which stands in a great literary tradition which is subtly freer than our more uptight thinking.
My bit was titled "A Unified Philosophy of Work: economics rooted in physics and biology."
It finds that the word "work" means the same thing in its physics and its economics, that is, work means increasing the order in a system. It also finds that work underpins the whole process of life, which is again creating and maintaining order. The really interesting bit is that much of what we know as "economics" (for example arms and motor car manufacture) is in fact "dys-economics", because it leads not to order, but to disorder. The only possible conclusion from the argument in the essay is that green economics is the only real economics, and mainstream economics is deeply in error.
You can read a version of the essay on-line here, or can buy a copy of Green Horizon here.