Stanford University is a reputable location for addressing science, and their Global Climate and Energy Project in October 2007 published a mind-numbing chart showing the intricate web of large and small flows of carbon. The whole chart is a subset of a larger chart showing the global exergy flux, exergy reservoirs, and exergy destruction. Science in the last several years, pressured to reanalyze what is already known and present it to policy makers grappling with chemistry and maths, has had to point out that the concept of energy, so useful in the laboratory, can be misleading in economic analysis. Physicists know that energy cannot be created or destroyed, so economists may well wonder why it is a scarce commodity that countries sometimes go to war over. In economic analysis, what we really mean is useful energy, and in 1954 Rant coined the term exergy for this. All matter contains a very large amount of energy locked up in its chemical bonds, and a much larger amount in its nuclei. For practical purposes this is not available for the functions we expect of useful energy such as heating, light and motion. The truth is so simple that scientist do not bother to point out, but economists and policy makers usually do not seem to get this.

: http://www.coulterexergy.com/archives/176

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