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Famine, climate catastrophe and entropy

catástrofe climática

A reflection on the role of entropy in the capacity of technologies and its relationship in the optimization of projects, in light of the urgency of reversing the current environmental crisis.

By Camilo Botero*

In my last articles I have been writing about issues such as food security, in an environment of world population growth that has already reached 8,000 million inhabitants and continues to grow exponentially, and about the few results that are being had to combat global warming, which is leading to a great shortage of food. All this with the intention of motivating the guild to contribute with its wealth of knowledge in science and technology to promote solutions to this critical problem.

Scientifically, even though there are too many deniers, it is confirmed that there is a climate change that is producing excessive global warming that is leading us vertiginously to a climatic catastrophe, that will severely affect crops and that will lead humanity to an unprecedented famine if we do not propose real, concrete and different solutions to the approaches we have known so far.

As I have expressed in my previous articles, I believe that there are solutions to avoid these disasters, and in which our air conditioning and refrigeration guild can contribute decisively. I will try to explain and specify it in these short lines, from my perspective, which I am obviously willing to review if I am presented with valid arguments.

For more than half a century, in my time as a student of Mechanical Engineering (60s) and Master in Thermal Engineering (1971), I have been fascinated by the first and second laws of thermodynamics, and especially its intrinsic thermodynamic property: "His majesty" entropy, which I investigate and study frequently without reaching its maximum depth, But I have acquired an engineering and academic management that allows me to speculate about the close correlation between entropy and the phenomena that are the reason for this and my previous columns.

- Publicidad -

I had excellent teachers of thermodynamics, heat transfer, turbomachinery, thermal and hydraulic plants and of course air conditioning, refrigeration and all air conditioning phenomena. I have been teaching these disciplines since 1997 (before graduating) at my CBG Academy and I have taught them in universities, companies and guilds. Also with teachers, colleagues and friends who kindly call me to make me a "consultica" of which I always take advantage to discuss entropy and its importance to optimize our projects.

I have worked in almost all fields of Mechanical Engineering, as a teacher, engineering manager at Carvajal S.A (1974 – 1989), thermal engineering contractor (1989 – 2004) and from that date until now, as a consultant in thermal engineering.

I have also been an active member of the guilds of this profession. In all these activities the laws of thermodynamics and of course entropy have always been omnipresent, as in previous articles in several journals (for example: "And entropy, what?" in ACR year 2012; my books on thermodynamics, the specialized texts of the aforementioned subjects, and from my own experience I conclude a priori that the concepts of overpopulation, Climate catastrophe, bad governance, major disasters and catastrophes, have everything to do with the generation of entropy.

The second law of thermodynamics is stated in two theoretically equivalent ways. For power cycles the statement is that of Kelvin – Planck: "It is not possible to generate work in a process that receives heat at high temperature, without delivering part of that heat at a lower temperature level", which leads to the efficiency of power cycles being ridiculously low, on the order of one third of the energy received.

For refrigeration cycles the statement is that of Clasius: "No process is possible, the result of which is the extraction of heat from a low temperature source to a higher temperature vessel, without external energy consumption". The efficiency (there are multiple ways to express it) is better than that of power cycles, but problems have been generated that impact global warming and deteriorate the ozone layer, which increases solar radiation towards the earth, mainly due to the refrigerants used; Great progress has been made in this regard, but the problem still persists.

There have been important attempts to correct these problems, for example the meetings called COPs, which are the World Climate Conferences, especially the COP 21 in Paris in 2015, but in my opinion, unfortunately, this mechanism is not solving the problem, because political issues, led by "leaders" who neither understand nor care about these issues delay and / or change everything (they are terribly polytrophic), And so global warming and climate catastrophes of all kinds are increasing, bringing us dangerously close to widespread famine.

On the other hand there are individual initiatives such as the movement started by the Swedish girl Greta Thumberg (she is now 20 years old and her website is: She has been an environmental activist for more than 5 years, and with her forceful way of expressing herself on climate change, she has created the "Greta Thumberg Effect", which consists of having inspired an immense number of young people to demand that their governments correct these serious problems that affect all humanity.

Pope Francis published his encyclical "Laudato Si", which called the attention of the entire Catholic world to take care of "our home", as he called the earth, but unfortunately its impact was very limited, (I wrote a column about this encyclical in ACR in 2019).

I call on the air conditioning and refrigeration guild, so that we dedicate ourselves to design, operate, maintain and update, all systems and equipment that have to do with our business with the concept of "Counterentropy", if it can reasonably be called that, that is, all efforts to optimize the operation of all equipment, systems and care for the environment, to avoid climate catastrophe and famine of this overpopulated world.

I believe that the solution is in the hands of scientists, engineers, technicians and in individual initiatives: millions and millions of people contributing to the solution of problems with large, medium and small efforts.

In my particular case I am contributing my drop of water to put out this fire, placing a photovoltaic (PV) system in my house, which almost reaches the first 9,000 kWh of electricity generation.

This year I will mount hydroelectric generation of at least 1 kW of power; I will install solar powered water heater (I'm behind with this), make a solar oven, do a rainwater management and a home garden in the company of my wife.

I will also continue to write articles like this and design HVAC systems with maximum efficiency and minimum impact on the environment and using my chair to teach all these principles.

* Camilo Botero was Secretary of the Federation of Ibero-American Associations of Air Conditioning and Refrigeration - FAIAR; He was president of ACAIRE and is president of Camilo Botero Ingenieros Consultores Ltda. He is currently a professor at his CBG Academy. He has also worked as a teacher in several Colombian universities, guilds and currently in ACAIRE in diploma courses of air conditioning projects, energy efficiency in air conditioning and refrigeration, cogeneration and trigeneration, applied psychometrics, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer and turbomachinery.
Contact: [email protected]

Duván Chaverra Agudelo
Author: Duván Chaverra Agudelo
Jefe Editorial en Latin Press, Inc,.
Comunicador Social y Periodista con experiencia de más de 16 años en medios de comunicación. Apasionado por la tecnología y por esta industria. [email protected]

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