“Physics and the New Economy”
A Talk with Dr. Sabine O’Hara
Wed. June 11, 2014, 16:00-18:00
Ihnestrasse 22, Room 3.16, Freie Univ. Berlin
Questions about the characteristics of an economy that meets the needs of the current world population without impeding the needs of future generations have been at the center of the sustainability debate. At a world population of over seven billion, it is becoming ever more pressing that we find operational answers to these questions before we run out of options. Economists from Malthus (1766 – 1834) to the Club of Rome (1968) have warned that population growth would outpace our ability to meet long-term resources needs. While these warnings suggest awareness of the physical constraints of economic activity, the focus was mainly on the resource side of the economic process. Long-term sustainability was therefore chiefly concerned with the need to maintain material and energy resources to fuel human economic activity in the long run.