Candle-Type Economies and Forest-Type Economies

Our civilization is on its way to self-destruction…

The Asifoscope

File:Candle 02.jpg

We can distinguish two types of economies: candle-type economies and forest-type economies.

The flame of a candle is a dissipative system. It is a dynamic system preserving its shape by dissipating energy. Obviously a candle-flame is a non-sustainable dissipative system: it is using up a finite amount of wax and then goes out.

A forest is also a dissipative system. It receives energy from the sun. Unlike the candle, it is a sustainable system. Solar energy is absorbed and used by the plants and eventually emitted as diffuse, disordered heat radiation. All the materials in the forest are recycled. Some forests have lasted for millions of years.

Our current economy is of the candle type. It is using up a limited amount of resources. Obviously, the whole system is shrinking. When economists are talking about the growth of the economy, they mean (in the candle model) that the candle…

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