经济的环境

任何经济都不是独立于法律、道德和政治规则之外的与外界无关的封闭领域。实际上,最能引起人们兴趣的问题往往出现在经济学与其他学科的临界点。 但上述规律在经济过程和自然环境的相互作用中表现得最为明显。

这种相互作用最显著的特征是其不服从力学定律,而服从热学定律,尤其是能量扩散定律,根据这条定律,能够转化为机械做功的自由能量随着时间的流逝而不断减少¾这是一个不可逆转的过程,而“热寂”是这一过程终结时不可避免的归宿。在已故经济学家尼古拉斯·乔治斯库·洛根(Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen)对经济过程和自然环境关系探索性研究的启发下,特别是在20世纪70年代,几位研究人员曾尝试制定适用于经济和社会的“能量扩散”理论,但他们的努力似乎并没有取得多大成功。

能量扩散论认为经济过程会以多种形式与自然界相互作用,从而造成不可逆转的后果。我们不断开采不可再生的自然资源储备(比如石油和金属矿藏),以超过自然资源再生能力的速度从事开采活动,导致其他资源(比如水和耕地)的质量退化或发生改变。实际上,不可再生资源的开采使得经济发展的速度能够摆脱生态再生速度的束缚,从而加速了包括不可逆转的气候变化在内的生物环境的恶化进程。

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