The entropy crisis (book by Guy Deutscher, 2008)

Today I just read the book “The entropy crisis” by Guy Deutscher (professor at Tel Aviv Univ.), World Scientific, 2008, looking for interesting tidbits about entropy. But it turns out that this book is not about hard maths or physics (even though it contains sections which explain the second law of thermodynamics and the Carnot machine), but is rather a vulgarization book about energy problems. The book is easy to read and quite amusing. According to the author:

– Food should be included in the energy picture. Half of a typical family’s energy budget is spent on food (for very poor people food is almost 100% of their total budget). There are fundamental reasons why food costs much more (per kwh of energy provided) than other types of energy. Making fuel from food will not solve any energy problem, but will only increase the price of food and make the situation worse for billions of poor people.

– The energy problem of the world is actually an entropy problem. To solve it, the world has to change the way it organizes its activities, in order to slow down the rate of entropy increase. For example, more work should be done at home.

The author also says that the world will soon run out of fossil fuels (which took hundreds of millions of years to form), even nuclear fuel (uranium) reserves won’t last very long, so the move to renewable energy (wind and solar) is inevitable. (This I already know :-) ).

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