Energy Creates And Sustains Everything

“Dwell as near as possible to the channel in which your life flows.”   – Henry David Thoreau

All of Nature, living and non-living, are receivers, storage houses, and transformers of energy. Energy is the operating currency of our Universe. The study of physics teaches us that energy is neither created or destroyed. But, it can change from one form to another.

All patterns in Nature are manifestations of energy conduits that facilitate energy flow  from one pattern to another.  There are smaller patterns inside larger patterns. Electrons and protons  beget atoms. Atoms beget molecules. Molecules join to form our body organs, mountains, and oceans.   In the course of this journey, energy changes into different useful forms.  

The plants that grow on our Earth receive electromagnetic energy from the sun. Plants, using the chlorophyll in their leaves, transform that energy into chemical energy which is stored as carbohydrates. A byproduct of this process is oxygen that is expelled by the plant. In turn, we humans are energy transformers. We eat plants or eat creatures that eat plants. We inhale the oxygen produced by plants to facilitate the transformation of our food into a chemical compound called “ATP”. The purpose for ATP is to store energy for use by our bodies. The cells in our body parts, organs such as our lungs, blood, and liver, perform these energy transformations and store the byproducts.

Recently, modern science has found that energy is the creator of physical forms and shapes. These forms and shapes are created to accommodate and transform the flow of energy. For example, the sandy beach pattern, familiar to all beach combers, is created by the energy of the water that flows over the sand. The water molecules are formed into flowing streams. The water’s kinetic energy pushes the sand around to create an evolving physical pattern. The patterns are created because the sand accommodates the kinetic energy that causes water to flow.

The important point is that energy is the creative force that has formed the patterns we see. This recent view is advanced by Adrian Bejan. He calls these patterns “flow systems” because patterns in Nature are complex systems that facilitate the flow and transformation of energy.

From the shape of the universe, to the flowing water in a river, the structure of fish schools, and even human society, the entire physical world is shaped by such evolving flows of energy.  Adrian Bejan calls this the “Constructal Law”.  He says that natural objects are collections of networks that are created by energy flow and serve as channels for the flow and transformation of energy. Shape and structure arise to facilitate energy flow. The constructal law helps confirm that nothing operates in isolation; every flow system is part of a bigger flow system, shaped by and in service to the world around it. Everything is connected.

Bejan’s constructal law describes a unity in all inanimate and animate matter. His ideas draw predictions and parallels between the massive polar currents in our oceans, a single fish, the Internet, social organization, a tree, a forest, a brain, a river basin, and on and on. Similarities in the structure of river basins, lungs, roots and branches of trees, and traffic systems are explained with the concept of energy flow systems. Energy flow is the phenomenon that provides this unity.

So why am I making this distinction between patterns in Nature and energy flow? I can assure you that this distinction is much more than academic rigor. The idea is vital to human survival because any disruption of energy flow or transformation through energy carriers can cause major environmental changes that would affect life in Earth. Altering the flow of energy from the sun through harmful emissions is a familiar example. The necessity of the highly interconnected life process of energy transformation is why we humans must not tamper with or destroy these vital links within life.

Here is a real treat for you. In this video see and feel the energy of this osprey as he goes fishing.

 Thanks for reading this blog post. The purpose for these blogs is to develop a dialog between myself and my readers. You are encouraged to offer your comments in the space provided below.

I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter using the sign-up form provided at the upper right corner of this web page. As a subscriber you will receive twice-monthly announcements of new blogs that I post. Your security is important to me. Please know that your email address is never distributed to anyone.

My name is Bill Graham. As a Marine Biologist who has worked in the US and Mexico for 30 years, I am a student of Nature, a teacher, a researcher, and a nature photographer. Through my work, I have acquired an ever growing passion for how everything in Nature is connected. Today, I travel extensively contemplating about, writing about, and photographing Nature’s connections. I also work with conservation projects in the USA and Mexico and mentor talented youth.

7 Responses to “Energy Creates And Sustains Everything”

  1. What a fascinating post. I need to absorb this.x

    • Dear Bill,

      Everything in your blogs resonate with me. I’m so glad I ‘stumbled’ on to your site. Regarding this particular blog: It seems obvious to me that EVERYTHING is energy. We vibrate at different rates but we are all in this together as one creation with the possibility of being harmonious.

  2. Elisa del Carmen Cedillo says:

    ES MUY INTERESANTE ESTE ARTICULO SOBRE EL FLUJO DE ENERGIA
    VOY A LEER CUIDADOSAMENTE PARA ENVIAR UN COMENTARIO MAS APROPIADO

  3. Gregory Tiffany says:

    Dear Mr. William Graham,
    Your inspiring article was cited by a fellow classmate in the Cornell University Dept. Of Horticulture class entitled “Ecosystem Mimicry”. Thank you for writing to us. In short, I used it to explain how Hugel Beds, and contour swales are efficient plant producers, by capturing sun and rain energy, and how energy capture by conifers at the site will enhance future deciduous tree development favorably.
    Muchas gracias. Greg

    • Hi Gregory: Thank you for educating me!!!! I had no idea what a Hugel Bed was until you offered this comment. The idea immediately released memories of the rain forests of the Pacific Northwest in the USA where nursery logs serve the same function as Hugel Beds. A nurse log is a fallen tree which, as it decays, provides ecological facilitation to seedlings. These seedlings mature into lines of younger trees which sprout and grow to maturity on nurse logs. The roots of these younger trees embrace the remains of the nurse log as they grow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *