Energy and Nature - an eternal challenge

Everest Tributsch

Evolution is competition for always higher energy consumption?

A dynamic energy imposes a time orientation and can drive self-organization of living systems (this is not  evident for our present understanding of  nature without a fundamental time orientation).  Self-organizing living systems are more efficient in harvesting energy than simpler inorganic processes. This favours them and gives evolution a direction, in contrast to how evolution is understood at present: Those species will succeed and evolve, which are the most efficient energy harvesters, as long as they are able to obtain the energy.  For these cases maximum entropy production is the consequence and result. There is no doubt that the present winner of this energy competition is man. After acquiring massive energy from the animal and plant kingdom he will go on competing within society and between countries. Science fiction movies demonstrate how energy-rich we imagine our future to become, and by moving into booming cities we are living this trend. But if the greed for energy is inherent to biological evolution how can we finally control it and prevent industrial civilization from ultimate self-destruction?

Fig.: My picture shows the Mount Everest seen from Tibet. It looks beautiful and lonely, but it also reminds me of an ever faster moving world. Nowadays up to 230 people may escalate it on one day.