Tadeusz Patzek rigorously defines sustainability and demonstrates why almost everything modern humans do is fundamentally unsustainable on the planet Earth. He shows how the Earth’s natural systems evolved to be as sustainable as physically and chemically possible. Some major ecosystems, such as the Amazon forest, survived almost intact over most of the last 55 million years. Human activities related to energy and food supply differ in the degree to which they are unsustainable and in their environmental impacts. He also provides arguments for why we need to change the current narrative and be more realistic about what can and cannot be done when the omnipresent Second Law of thermodynamics intervenes. Along with illustrating the importance of oil and gas as blood powering every part of the modern society. Finally, he shows why the industrial biofuel systems are damaging to the planet’s most important ecosystems and to humanity.
Tadeusz (Tad) Patzek is a Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering in the Earth Sciences & Engineering Division KAUST. He has also been appointed Director of the new Upstream Petroleum Engineering Center (UPEC). Patzek’s research involves mathematical and numerical modeling of earth systems with emphasis on subsurface fluid flow. He is working on the thermodynamics and ecology of human survival and energy supply for humanity.
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