Thermodynamik - grundlegende Einsichten für ein Verständnis von UmweltproblemenDiscussion and Working Paper // 2023
In this paper, we present a way that allows to make fundamental statements about how economic action entails harmful effects on the environment. These effects are due to natural scientific reasons and are particularly present in the industrialised economy. The starting point of our considerations is that every economic action requires energy, of which many different forms exist. Taking all of these forms into account, heat energy has a particular significance, because other forms of energy can never appear in isolation, but only conjointly with heat energy. For this reason, the branch of physics that deals primarily with energy is called thermodynamics. The study of thermodynamics yields the central link between economic activity and its environmental impact. Understanding basic insights of thermodynamics enables decision-makers in environmental policy to understand the nature of environmental problems and to develop possible solutions. First, we deal with the connection between physical work and heat. Then we explain the two main Laws of The rmodynamics and go into detail about the concept of entropy. We use Boltzmann's approach of the degree of order to give an illustration of the entropy concept. We then turn to the consideration of thermodynamics in economics, first provided by Georgescu- Roegen in 1971. Following this we explain the importance of thermodynamics for environmental policy. We conclude with a summary.
Faber, Malte, Marco Rudolf, Marc Frick and Mi-Yong Becker (2023), Thermodynamik - grundlegende Einsichten für ein Verständnis von Umweltproblemen, AWI Discussion Paper Series, Heidelberg