Lesson One. Physics Trumps Politics and Economics. Every Time.
The first lesson I learned from the planet is about the absurdity of our “real world” politics and economics.
Despite what many people claim, politics and economics are arbitrary systems of belief that people in power have invented over the years. And regardless of what we have been brought up to believe, the planet does not actually obey the rules of politics and economics. It never has.
Lesson Two. Thermodynamics and Systems Thinking are Powerful Tools.
The next lesson I’ve learned over the years is that thermodynamics and systems thinking are very powerful tools for understanding and describing the workings of our planet.
But at the top, there is paralysis: leading scientific organizations do little except chase money and reinforce the ruling nexus of politics and finance — even since the financial crisis of 2008, which discredited the free-market philosophy that underpins that nexus. I argued years ago (see Nature479, 447; 2011) that scientific leaders had failed to respond in any meaningful way to that collapse, and I’m still waiting.