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.
Professor Patzek is the director of Ali I. Al-Naimi Petroleum Engineering Research Center at KAUST since 2015. His work includes mathematical, both analytic and numerical, modeling of earth systems with emphasis on multiphase fluid flow physics and rock mechanics; smart, process-based control of very large water floods in unconventional, low-permeability formations; and productivity and mechanics of hydrocarbon bearing shales. Between 2008 and 2014, he was the Lois K. and Richard D. Folger Leadership Professor and Chairman of the Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering Department at The University of Texas at Austin.
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