The Entropy Law and the Impossibility of Perpetual Economic Growth


Every production-recycling iteration accumulates an inevitable proportion of its matter-energy in the environment, lest the production process itself will be a system in perpetual motion, violating the second law of Thermodynamics. Such high-entropy matter depletes finite stocks of ecosystem services provided by the ecosphere, hence is incompatible with the long-term growth in the material scale of the economic process. Moreover, the complex natural systems governing such stocks respond to depletion by possibly sudden environmental transitions, thus hindering markets' very ability to adapt to the new equilibrium conditions. Consequently, uncertainty of critical resilience thresholds constrains material economic growth.

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Sá Earp, H. and Romeiro, A. (2015) The Entropy Law and the Impossibility of Perpetual Economic Growth. Open Journal of Applied Sciences, 5, 641-650. doi: 10.4236/ojapps.2015.510063.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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