WIT Press


Thermodynamic Concepts For Sustainability Studies

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/DN020181

Volume

57

Pages

Published

2002

Size

282 kb

Author(s)

F. Mapelli, F. M. Pulselli & E. B. P. Tiezzi

Abstract

A scientific vision of nature, merely based on quantitative parameters, shows nowadays all its limits in the face of the complexity of temporal biological dynamics which are based on many co-evolutive relations in terms of shapes, information, colours, sounds, odours, tastes. The history of nature is a systemic and evolutive one, in which quality and quan- tity are continuously overlapping and aesthetics plays a fundamental role. At the same time, the time modulates shapes and structures, sounds and colours. It is a time expressed in terms of relations between the parts and in terms of infor- mation embodied in the system of energy and matter. Quality and time represent real values in the systemic ecological vision of the biological evolution. They are values to take into consideration towards the scientific education and to take the choices for a sustainable development. Today, the Science of nature can not neglect anymore an evolutive physics based on thermodynamics as well as an aesthetics that overshoots the scientific vision of quantity and introduces the ecological category of quality. The new development model is ecodynamic. It considers the space-time rela- tionship in evolutive and not conservative way , it shifts the "Gestalt" from being to becoming and it considers time and quality as parameters inside the matter. The thermodynamic concepts of entropy, complexity and "arrow of time" are decisive to define a sustainable development model and to individuate the con- straints regulating the relations between biosphere and human activity.

Keywords