- Mass Market Paperback
- Publisher: Bantam (September 1, 1981)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553262998
- ISBN-13: 978-0553262995
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.2 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,937,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Entropy Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1981
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Top Customer Reviews
Read the first 4-5 chapters of this book and change your perspective on capitalism and your own footprint on this planet...
As for those physicists who question Rifkin's application of the second law to the various macromodels, I think even the author himself was not confident in making a serious scientific statement, he was more interested in getting out the overall message that we must preserve our non-renewable resources and allow nature time to catch up to our acquisitions of renewable resources. This is very relevant to today's fisheries for example. All of the mineral resources he cited, particulary copper, are now very expensive, so much so that thieves are now regularly stripping the metals from our highways, cemeteries, and public works.Read more ›
Rifkin and Howard want to show that energy consumption has accelerated over history, and that we should curb the trend. It's a reasonable sentiment. Unfortunately, they try to make their case for the impending destruction of Earth by borrowing the concept of entropy, or disorder. We all know that energy consumption has been rising ever faster; the authors point out that the laws of thermodynamics dictate that entropy on Earth must also be rising ever faster. Consequently, if these trends continue, disorder will rule and the planet will crumble into dead chaos. The authors prescribe a return to "low-entropy" lifestyles, as in the Classical Age.
Fortunately for us, the laws of thermodynamics do not agree. The authors also do not seem to realize that planet with life is more ordered (has lower entropy) than pre-biotic Earth. Similarly, entropy is mighty low where billions of complicated humans (not to mention other species) interact in countless ways in a miraculous, self-perpetuating system of systems within systems. With each building erected, manatee born, or stock market founded, Earth's entropy falls.Read more ›
His theory that the so-called Middle Ages ended with the advent of coal as a fuel source is intriguing. It sounds plausible to me. The way we get energy must have a lot to do with the way society is structured. We can certainly say this about agriculture. Once man began cultivating land, the concept of wealth was created, no less...
But back to the many predictions Rifkin made in this book: He warned these many years ago about the dangers of synthetic petrochemical nitrogen fertilizers choking our waters. Imagine that! No one was talking about that then and not even now. The Clean Water Act of 1972 does not address toxic runoff from farms and until that legislation is amended, our waters will be polluted. All over the world, runoff is truly one of the greatest environmental threats; we know this now for certain.
Rifkin, back then, long before the rest of us, was writing about the junk thrown in the oceans. Today we have a whirlpool of the size of Greenland over Midway Island densely clogged with plastic refuse, suffocating and starving out wildlife there.
Some environmentalists today (too, too few) are lamenting the advent of the flushing toilet. Rifkin does not point this out specifically, but he does note how our coasts were, even back then, poisoned by sewage.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
recommended for every thermodynamics student and practicing engineerPublished 7 months ago by ronen
I love the book. Keep in mind that it is authored in 1980 !!! I feel it has valid breakthrough ideas still !!
Newton Laws are from physics. They are over even in 1980 ! Read more
This book by J. Rifkin, along with "Algeny",were instrumental in my forming a base and understanding o some of the grander schemes at work on this planet. Read morePublished on September 12, 2012 by Atri Ishaya
It's a very challenging view of the world and how it works. It is written in a nice language, easy to follow. Read morePublished on June 9, 2009 by Ana Margarita
and that is saying quite a bit considering I have read tens of thousands of books over my lifetime. I find it a bit hilarious that people here and elsewhere refuse to acknowledge... Read morePublished on December 11, 2008 by 4T Student
Entropy is a measure of the decrease of availability of energy. As energy becomes less usable it's entropy rises. Read morePublished on November 9, 2008 by WBHeyward