All natural and technological processes
Proceed in such a way that the availability
Of the remaining energy decreases
In all energy exchanges, if no energy
Enters or leaves an isolated system
The entropy of that system increases
Energy continuously flows from being
Concentrated to becoming dispersed
Spread out, wasted and useless
New energy cannot be created and high grade
Energy is being destroyed
An economy based on endless growth is
Unsustainable

Unsu
Unsustain unsustain unser
Uns' uns' unsustainer unsustainer
Unsu
Unsustain
Unsustain
Uns' uns' you're unsustainable

The fundamental laws of thermodynamics will
Place fixed limits on technological innovation
And human advancement
In an isolated system, the entropy
Can only increase
A species set on endless growth is
Unsustainable

Unsu
Unsustain unsustain unser
Uns' uns' unsustainer unsustainer
Unsu
Unsustain
Unsustain
Uns' uns' you're unsustainable


Lyrics submitted by mike, edited by bckyltylr, shredd108

"The 2nd Law: Unsustainable" as written by Matthew James Bellamy

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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The 2nd Law: Unsustainable song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +5
    Song Meaning"It's the noise of humanity on a tiny planet in the middle of nothing," says Matt. "Hanging around space would be so peaceful and quiet and suddenly you come to this little blip that's f-----g chaos! I see it as drifting away from the planet and going into the peacefulness of what actually is gonna happen at the end of it all, which is nothingness."
    bckyltylron September 26, 2012   Link
  • +3
    Lyric CorrectionAll natural and technological processes proceed in such a way that the availability of the remaining energy decreases.
    In all energy exchanges, if no energy enters or leaves an isolated system, the entropy of that system increases.

    Energy continuously flows from being concentrated, to becoming dispersed, spread out, wasted and useless.
    New energy cannot be created and high grade energy is being destroyed. An economy based on endless growth is

    Unsustainable
    Unsus-
    Unsustain- unsustain- unsust-
    Unsus-
    unsustaina- unsustainable
    Unsus-
    unsustain- unsustain- unsust-
    Unsus- unsus-
    You're unsustainable

    Unsustaina- unsustainable

    The fundamental laws of thermodynamics will place fixed limits on technological innovation and human advancement.
    In an isolated system the entropy can only increase. A species set on endless growth is

    Unsustainable
    Unsus-
    Unsustain- unsustain- unsust
    Unsus-
    unsustaina- unsustainable
    Unsus-
    unsustain- unsustain- unsust-
    Unsus- unsus-
    You're unsustainable
    bckyltylron September 26, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt's using the idea of entropy as an analogy for the unsustainability of economic growth. I'm sure Matt is aware that earth isn't an isolated system.
    diagoras4401on August 25, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThe meaning of this song pretty much rounds the whole album into a seamless whole.
    What the newsreader chick says is the basics of the the second law of thermodynamics which Matt is using as analogy for planet earth.

    He is trying to say that all technological advancements are reaching a stage where there is nowhere left to go.
    He's saying if no energy enters or leaves the earth, which is an isolated system, the entropy of the earth can only increase. Entropy is a really complicated term but generally means total chaos and degradation. It;'s really end of the world stuff. Which emphasizes the fact that muse have not changed at all from their apocalyptic ABSOLUTION days. Just think about it, another track on the album is animals which talks about corrupt businessmen ruling the world with savage viciousness and crushing anybody in their ways. Supremacy talks about losing our control over the earth. Explorers talks about how 'all the land is owned' and about how we need to be freed from this dead-end world world before it's too late. And Big Freeze is straight up "Watch out cause here comes the Apocalypse!

    We can't make new energy and our best energy is being destroyed. Which means were going to run out eventually because we keep pushing for endless growth and requiring more and more energy the more straightforward out ventures go. But we no longer have enough energy for what we are trying to sustain and that is what leads the whole album to being the big idea that this whole world we are in is fatally UNSUSTAINABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    shredd108on November 01, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't think the song is about the Earth, because the Earth is not an isolated system. I think this song is about the universe, which is an isolated system. The song is about how the universe, like all things, is destined to die.

    I appreciate the genuis of this song, but I actually find it a bit too depressing to really listen to.
    Stonebolton December 10, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation"A species set on endless growth is unsustainable"

    just that single phrase, well it makes me wanna do something for this planet! It sounds like "stop endless growth, we're all going to die if not"


    we have to do something.
    IsaLionon October 21, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJust so everyone knows. The Earth is not an isolated system. We receive energy from the sun primarily but also other things, though very little. We also radiate energy out. You wouldn't be able to see the Earth from out of the atmosphere if it didn't, for one example. It's not really a closed system either because we lose mass in the atmosphere for example and we gain mass from debris and comets etc. I love muse but this just annoys me.
    JamesRushon November 10, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationOk, I think I know what he meant... He's not talking about the planet itself, though he mentions "a species...", I think he's talking the way our economy is being held, as well as our manipulation of the available resources, not investing in clean and renewable energy. Capitalism, along with oil industries, and that kind of economy are in fact unsustainable for us, addicted in oil derivates and thus becoming slaves of economy. Here in Brazil we are passing through a fuel crisis that economy is destabilized, which woulkd never be a problem if governments invested in clean, cheap and renewable energy in a large scale.
    alonso1005on May 29, 2018   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEveryone saying that Earth is not an isolated system. You're right and wrong at the same time. Obviously there is a universe that we belong too. But we are fortunate to be in the "Goldilocks Zone" and our planet can survive with US on it. This makes it, from the human perspective of survival, an isolated system. As George Carlin said in response to "save the planet" folks .. "The Earth will be fine, you are worried about yourself." He's right. Our survival is unsustainable. Beside the last line in the first verse reads, "an economy based on endless growth is unsustainable." So, I think he's talking about systems within systems here, not just the Earth. Basically, the way some nation's economies are set up will lead to our survival coming to an end. And I, personally, agree with that 100%.
    winx62on July 10, 2020   Link
  • -1
    General CommentIt's a basic reciting of the 2nd law of thermodynamics fitting into the albums theme. It's definitely a marmite track however, some won't mind the dubstep elements or like me it grows on you and the track is quite brief also.
    Aquilaon September 26, 2012   Link

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