The Influence of Thermodynamic Ideas on Ecological Economics: An Interdisciplinary Critique
The influence of thermodynamics on the emerging transdisciplinary field of 'ecological economics‘ is critically reviewed from an interdisciplinary perspective. It is viewed through the lens provided by the 'bioeconomist' Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen (1906–1994) and his advocacy of 'the Entropy Law' as a determinant of economic scarcity. It is argued that exergy is a more easily understood thermodynamic property than is entropy to represent irreversibilities in complex systems, and that the behaviour of energy and matter are not equally mirrored by thermodynamic laws. Thermodynamic insights as typically employed in ecological economics are simply analogues or metaphors of reality. They should therefore be empirically tested against the real world.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Sollner, Fritz, 1997. "A reexamination of the role of thermodynamics for environmental economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 175-201, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:1:y:2009:i:4:p:1195-1225:d:6385. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (XML Conversion Team)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.