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Showing posts from December 15, 2019

The Essence, I Suppose - Part I

Our anthropocene world is rapidly becoming a post-industrial wasteland, where most people are impoverished, left behind, and may not know how to live with dignity. These desperate individuals need a framework to counteract the bad things that are happening in their lives, and they need basic means of survival: a functioning family, home, medical care and decent education for their children. In too many countries, including the US and UK, poverty and desperation lead to voting decisions that are suicidal. Similarly, so many of the educated and affluent people are disoriented and running scared, because they too do not understand the deep and complex connections between the human economy and nature.


Over the last twelve years, my small-scale solution to this overwhelming problem has been to teach a class that brings many of the elements of human-nature interactions together and roots them in science, mostly in thermodynamics. This semester I had 25 graduate students in my class, plu…