I'm dredging from my memory the ideas of Georgescu regarding "material"
entropy, as distinct from "energy." When your tires wear out, the rubber
does not cease to exist, but gets distributed randomly in the environment.
It would take a lot of energy to concentrate them again, so they are
"unavailable." The economist tries to tell us that this is merely because
cost would be prohibitive. The Georgescu view would say no, the rubber
is literally unavailable because the technology does not exist to accomplish
the reaccumulation. The Economist then would say well, the market would
drive the invention of such a technology (this is called the CORNUCOPIAN
paradigm, I think by Herman Daly). Georgescu would then say that ultimately
the required technology amounts to a PERPETUAL MOTION MACHINE, which is
This is a nutshell, no doubt flawed, but it feels good to think about this
stuff again after years.
West Virginia University.