Energy in Nature and Society

General Energetics of Complex Systems

Author: Vaclav Smil

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262693569

Category: Science

Page: 480

View: 5535

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Energy in Nature and Society is a systematic and exhaustive analysis of all the majorenergy sources, storages, flows, and conversions that have shaped the evolution of the biosphere andcivilization. Vaclav Smil uses fundamental unifying metrics (most notably for power density andenergy intensity) to provide an integrated framework for analyzing all segments of energetics (thestudy of energy flows and their transformations). The book explores not only planetary energetics(such as solar radiation and geomorphic processes) and bioenergetics (photosynthesis, for example)but also human energetics (such as metabolism and thermoregulation), tracing them fromhunter-gatherer and agricultural societies through modern-day industrial civilization. Included arechapters on heterotrophic conversions, traditional agriculture, preindustrial complexification,fossil fuels, fossil-fueled civilization, the energetics of food, and the implications of energeticsfor the environment. The book concludes with an examination of general patterns, trends, andsocioeconomic considerations of energy use today, looking at correlations between energy and value,energy and the economy, energy and quality of life, and energy futures. Throughout the book, Smilchooses to emphasize the complexities and peculiarities of the real world, and the counterintuitiveoutcomes of many of its processes, over abstract models. Energy in Nature and Society provides aunique, comprehensive, single-volume analysis and reference source on all important energy matters,from natural to industrial energy flows, from fuels to food, from the Earth's formation to possibleenergy futures, and can serve as a text for courses in energy studies, global ecology, earth systemsscience, biology, and chemistry. Vaclav Smil is Distinguished Professor at the University ofManitoba and the author of many books, including Energy at the Crossroads (2003), The Earth'sBiosphere: Evolution, Dynamics, and Change (2002), and Energies: An Illustrated Guide to theBiosphere and Civilization (1998), all of which are published by The MIT Press.

Food, Energy, and Society, Third Edition

Author: David Pimentel, Ph.D.,Marcia H. Pimentel, M.S.

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 9781420046687

Category: Nature

Page: 400

View: 7348

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Since the publication of the first edition of Food, Energy, and Society, the world’s natural resources have become even more diminished due to the rapid expansion of the global human population. We are faced with dwindling food supplies in certain geographic areas, increasing pressure on energy resources, and the imminent extinction of many threatened species. In light of these major issues, this third edition presents an updated and expanded analysis on the interdependency of food, energy, water, land, and biological resources. Written by internationally renowned experts, the book includes new material on livestock production and energy use, the impacts of pesticides on the environment, and the conservation of biodiversity in agricultural, forestry, and marine systems. It also compares the energy inputs of crop production in developing and developed countries, covers the agricultural and environmental issues related to water resources, and details the threat of soil erosion to food and the environment. In addition, the book explores the very timely topics of solar energy, biomass systems, and ethanol production. Offering a startling glimpse at what our planet may become, this edition shows how to achieve the necessary balance between basic human needs and environmental resources and provides potential solutions to the host of problems we face today.

Nature and Society

Anthropological Perspectives

Author: Philippe Descola,Gisli Palsson

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134827156

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 1763

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The contributors to this book focus on the relationship between nature and society from a variety of theoretical and ethnographic perspectives. Their work draws upon recent developments in social theory, biology, ethnobiology, epistemology, sociology of science, and a wide array of ethnographic case studies -- from Amazonia, the Solomon Islands, Malaysia, the Mollucan Islands, rural comunities from Japan and north-west Europe, urban Greece, and laboratories of molecular biology and high-energy physics. The discussion is divided into three parts, emphasising the problems posed by the nature-culture dualism, some misguided attempts to respond to these problems, and potential avenues out of the current dilemmas of ecological discourse.

Catastrophes in Nature and Society

Mathematical Modeling of Complex Systems

Author: Viktor Okhonin,Abram Il?ich Fet

Publisher: World Scientific

ISBN: 9812569170

Category: Nature

Page: 320

View: 3980

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People often learn about various crises leading to catastrophes in nature, in social and economic life, or in living organisms (including humans). The book offers a popular account of the causative mechanisms of critical and catastrophic states in a broad range of natural and cultural systems -- which obey the same laws -- and thus makes the reader aware of the reasons and ways to avoid and mitigate the negative consequences of catastrophic events. The authors apply a single mathematical approach to investigate the revolt of cancer cells that destroy organisms and population outbreaks that destroy the natural ecosystems. The approach is also applied to the interference of industry with the environment that often leads to ecology and economic collapses, global catastrophes, and economic and social crises.

Energy and Society

An Introduction, Second Edition

Author: Harold H. Schobert

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 1482219255

Category: Science

Page: 720

View: 3755

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Energy and Society: An Introduction, Second Edition provides readers with a detailed introduction to energy sources and energy utilization. This book presents an overview of alternative energy issues and technologies, discusses the pros and cons of various energy sources, and explores their impacts on society and the environment. What’s New in the Second Edition: This second edition offers simple updates, as well as completely rewritten material, regarding the last decade in areas including global climate change, oil prices, renewable and alternative fuels, and diversion of civil nuclear energy programs into nuclear weapons proliferation. It covers the development of energy technology from the time of early humans through antiquity, medieval times, and the Industrial Revolution. It also addresses the development of nuclear energy, energy supply and demand, geopolitics of energy, and the various environmental issues associated with energy use. Keeps mathematics to a minimum, making the book usable for a variety of academic majors Includes up-to-date coverage of all new energy sources Traces the development and utilization of energy throughout history Energy and Society: An Introduction, Second Edition can benefit undergraduate students taking a survey course in engineering, as well as professionals in the energy supply, energy planning, or environmental industry.

Jenseits von Natur und Kultur

Author: Philippe Descola

Publisher: Suhrkamp Verlag

ISBN: 3518768409

Category: Social Science

Page: 638

View: 3980

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Seit der Zeit der Renaissance ist unser Weltbild von einer zentralen Unterscheidung bestimmt: der zwischen Natur und Kultur. Dort die von Naturgesetzen regierte, unpersönliche Welt der Tiere und Dinge, hier die Menschenwelt mit ihrer individuellen und kulturellen Vielfalt. Diese fundamentale Trennung beherrscht unser ganzes Denken und Handeln. In seinem faszinierenden Buch zeigt der große französische Anthropologe und Schüler von Claude Lévi-Strauss, Philippe Descola, daß diese Kosmologie alles andere als selbstverständlich ist. Dabei stützt er sich auf reiches Material aus zum Teil eigenen anthropologischen Feldforschungen bei Naturvölkern und indigenen Kulturen in Afrika, Amazonien, Neuguinea oder Sibirien. Descola führt uns vor Augen, daß deren Weltbilder ganz andersartig aufgebaut sind als das unsere mit seinen »zwei Etagen« von Natur und Kultur. So betrachten manche Kulturen Dinge als beseelt oder glauben, daß verwandtschaftliche Beziehungen zwischen Tieren und Menschen bestehen. Descola plädiert für eine monistische Anthropologie und entwirft eine Typologie unterschiedlichster Weltbilder. Auf diesem Wege lassen sich neben dem westlichen dualistischen Naturalismus totemistische, animistische oder analogistische Kosmologien entdecken. Eine fesselnde Reise in fremde Welten, die uns unsere eigene mit anderen Augen sehen läßt.

Alexander von Humboldt und die Erfindung der Natur

Author: Andrea Wulf

Publisher: C. Bertelsmann Verlag

ISBN: 3641195500

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 560

View: 3566

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Was hat Alexander von Humboldt, der vor mehr als 150 Jahren starb, mit Klimawandel und Nachhaltigkeit zu tun? Der Naturforscher und Universalgelehrte, nach dem nicht nur unzählige Straßen, Pflanzen und sogar ein »Mare« auf dem Mond benannt sind, hat wie kein anderer Wissenschaftler unser Verständnis von Natur als lebendigem Ganzen, als Kosmos, in dem vom Winzigsten bis zum Größten alles miteinander verbunden ist und dessen untrennbarer Teil wir sind, geprägt. Die Historikerin Andrea Wulf stellt in ihrem vielfach preisgekrönten – so auch mit dem Bayerischen Buchpreis 2016 – Buch Humboldts Erfindung der Natur, die er radikal neu dachte, ins Zentrum ihrer Erkundungsreise durch sein Leben und Werk. Sie folgt den Spuren des begnadeten Netzwerkers und zeigt, dass unser heutiges Wissen um die Verwundbarkeit der Erde in Humboldts Überzeugungen verwurzelt ist. Ihm heute wieder zu begegnen, mahnt uns, seine Erkenntnisse endlich zum Maßstab unseres Handelns zu machen – um unser aller Überleben willen.

The Republic of Nature

An Environmental History of the United States

Author: Mark Fiege

Publisher: University of Washington Press

ISBN: 0295804149

Category: History

Page: 520

View: 1376

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In the dramatic narratives that comprise The Republic of Nature, Mark Fiege reframes the canonical account of American history based on the simple but radical premise that nothing in the nation's past can be considered apart from the natural circumstances in which it occurred. Revisiting historical icons so familiar that schoolchildren learn to take them for granted, he makes surprising connections that enable readers to see old stories in a new light. Among the historical moments revisited here, a revolutionary nation arises from its environment and struggles to reconcile the diversity of its people with the claim that nature is the source of liberty. Abraham Lincoln, an unlettered citizen from the countryside, steers the Union through a moment of extreme peril, guided by his clear-eyed vision of nature's capacity for improvement. In Topeka, Kansas, transformations of land and life prompt a lawsuit that culminates in the momentous civil rights case of Brown v. Board of Education. By focusing on materials and processes intrinsic to all things and by highlighting the nature of the United States, Fiege recovers the forgotten and overlooked ground on which so much history has unfolded. In these pages, the nation's birth and development, pain and sorrow, ideals and enduring promise come to life as never before, making a once-familiar past seem new. The Republic of Nature points to a startlingly different version of history that calls on readers to reconnect with fundamental forces that shaped the American experience. For more information, visit the author's website: http://republicofnature.com/

The Energy of Slaves

Oil and the New Servitude

Author: Andrew Nikiforuk

Publisher: Greystone Books

ISBN: 1553659791

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 3474

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By the winner of the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award Ancient civilizations relied on shackled human muscle. It took the energy of slaves to plant crops, clothe emperors, and build cities. Nineteenth-century slaveholders viewed critics as hostilely as oil companies and governments now regard environmentalists. Yet the abolition movement had an invisible ally: coal and oil. As the world's most versatile workers, fossil fuels replenished slavery's ranks with combustion engines and other labor-saving tools. Since then, cheap oil has transformed politics, economics, science, agriculture, and even our concept of happiness. Many North Americans today live as extravagantly as Caribbean plantation owners. We feel entitled to surplus energy and rationalize inequality, even barbarity, to get it. But endless growth is an illusion. What we need, Andrew Nikiforuk argues in this provocative new book, is a radical emancipation movement that ends our master-and-slave approach to energy. We must learn to use energy on a moral, just, and truly human scale.

Extreme Events in Nature and Society

Author: Sergio Albeverio,Volker Jentsch,Holger Kantz

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 354028611X

Category: Science

Page: 352

View: 4461

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Significant, and usually unwelcome, surprises, such as floods, financial crisis, epileptic seizures, or material rupture, are the topics of Extreme Events in Nature and Society. The book, authored by foremost experts in these fields, reveals unifying and distinguishing features of extreme events, including problems of understanding and modelling their origin, spatial and temporal extension, and potential impact. The chapters converge towards the difficult problem of anticipation: forecasting the event and proposing measures to moderate or prevent it. Extreme Events in Nature and Society will interest not only specialists, but also the general reader eager to learn how the multifaceted field of extreme events can be viewed as a coherent whole.

Aufklärung jetzt

Für Vernunft, Wissenschaft, Humanismus und Fortschritt. Eine Verteidigung

Author: Steven Pinker

Publisher: S. Fischer Verlag

ISBN: 3104030685

Category: Philosophy

Page: 736

View: 6902

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Eine leidenschaftliche Antithese zum üblichen Kulturpessimismus und ein engagierter Widerspruch zu dem weitverbreiteten Gefühl, dass die Moderne dem Untergang geweiht ist. Hass, Populismus und Unvernunft regieren die Welt, Wissenschaftsfeindlichkeit macht sich breit, Wahrheit gibt es nicht mehr: Wer die Schlagzeilen von heute liest, könnte so denken. Doch Bestseller-Autor Steven Pinker zeigt, dass das grundfalsch ist. Er hat die Entwicklung der vergangenen Jahrhunderte gründlich untersucht und beweist in seiner fulminanten Studie, dass unser Leben stetig viel besser geworden ist. Heute leben wir länger, gesünder, sicherer, glücklicher, friedlicher und wohlhabender denn je, und nicht nur in der westlichen Welt. Der Grund: die Aufklärung und ihr Wertesystem. Denn Aufklärung und Wissenschaft bieten nach wie vor die Basis, um mit Vernunft und im Konsens alle Probleme anzugehen. Anstelle von Gerüchten zählen Fakten, anstatt überlieferten Mythen zu glauben baut man auf Diskussion und Argumente. Anschaulich und brillant macht Pinker eines klar: Vernunft, Wissenschaft, Humanismus und Fortschritt sind weiterhin unverzichtbar für unser Wohlergehen. Ohne sie wird die Welt auf keinen Fall zu einem besseren Ort für uns alle. »Mein absolutes Lieblingsbuch aller Zeiten.« Bill Gates

Evolution and the Emergent Self

The Rise of Complexity and Behavioral Versatility in Nature

Author: Raymond L. Neubauer

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231521685

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 7225

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Evolution and the Emergent Self is an eloquent and evocative new synthesis that explores how the human species emerged from the cosmic dust. Lucidly presenting ideas about the rise of complexity in our genetic, neuronal, ecological, and ultimately cosmological settings, the author takes readers on a provocative tour of modern science's quest to understand our place in nature and in our universe. Readers fascinated with "Big History" and drawn to examine big ideas will be challenged and enthralled by Raymond L. Neubauer's ambitious narrative. How did humans emerge from the cosmos and the pre-biotic Earth, and what mechanisms of biological, chemical, and physical sciences drove this increasingly complex process? Neubauer presents a view of nature that describes the rising complexity of life in terms of increasing information content, first in genes and then in brains. The evolution of the nervous system expanded the capacity of organisms to store information, making learning possible. In key chapters, the author portrays four species with high brain:body ratios—chimpanzees, elephants, ravens, and dolphins—showing how each species shares with humans the capacity for complex communication, elaborate social relationships, flexible behavior, tool use, and powers of abstraction. A large brain can have a hierarchical arrangement of circuits that facilitates higher levels of abstraction. Neubauer describes this constellation of qualities as an emergent self, arguing that self-awareness is nascent in several species besides humans and that potential human characteristics are embedded in the evolutionary process and have emerged repeatedly in a variety of lineages on our planet. He ultimately demonstrates that human culture is not a unique offshoot of a language-specialized primate, but an analogue of fundamental mechanisms that organisms have used since the beginning of life on Earth to gather and process information in order to buffer themselves from fluctuations in the environment. Neubauer also views these developments in a cosmic setting, detailing open thermodynamic systems that grow more complex as the energy flowing through them increases. Similar processes of increasing complexity can be found in the "self-organizing" structures of both living and nonliving forms. Recent evidence from astronomy indicates that planet formation may be nearly as frequent as star formation. Since life makes use of the elements commonly seeded into space by burning and expiring stars, it is reasonable to speculate that the evolution of life and intelligence that happened on our planet may be found across the universe.

Die Macht der Geographie

Wie sich Weltpolitik anhand von 10 Karten erklären lässt

Author: Tim Marshall

Publisher: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag

ISBN: 3423428562

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 4429

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Wie Geografie Geschichte macht Weltpolitik ist auch Geopolitik. Alle Regierungen, alle Staatschefs unterliegen den Zwängen der Geographie. Berge und Ebenen, Flüsse, Meere, Wüsten setzen ihrem Entscheidungsspielraum Grenzen. Um Geschichte und Politik zu verstehen, muss man selbstverständlich die Menschen, die Ideen, die Einstellungen kennen. Aber wenn man die Geographie nicht mit einbezieht, bekommt man kein vollständiges Bild. Zum Beispiel Russland: Von den Moskauer Großfürsten über Iwan den Schrecklichen, Peter den Großen und Stalin bis hin zu Wladimir Putin sah sich jeder russische Staatschef denselben geostrategischen Problemen ausgesetzt, egal ob im Zarismus, im Kommunismus oder im kapitalistischen Nepotismus. Die meisten Häfen frieren immer noch ein halbes Jahr zu. Nicht gut für die Marine. Die nordeuropäische Tiefebene von der Nordsee bis zum Ural ist immer noch flach. Jeder kann durchmarschieren. Russland, China, die USA, Europa, Afrika, Lateinamerika, der Nahe Osten, Indien und Pakistan, Japan und Korea, die Arktis und Grönland: In zehn Kapiteln zeigt Tim Marshall, wie die Geographie die Weltpolitik beeinflusst und beeinflusst hat.

The Ethics of Global Climate Change

Author: Denis G. Arnold

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139501003

Category: Philosophy

Page: N.A

View: 6259

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Global climate change is one of the most daunting ethical and political challenges confronting humanity in the twenty-first century. The intergenerational and transnational ethical issues raised by climate change have been the focus of a significant body of scholarship. In this new collection of essays, leading scholars engage and respond to first-generation scholarship and argue for new ways of thinking about our ethical obligations to present and future generations. Topics addressed in these essays include moral accountability for energy consumption and emissions, egalitarian and libertarian perspectives on mitigation, justice in relation to cap and trade schemes, the ethics of adaptation and the ethical dimensions of the impact of climate change on nature.

The Measure of Civilization

How Social Development Decides the Fate of Nations

Author: Ian Morris

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400844762

Category: Social Science

Page: 400

View: 8842

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In the last thirty years, there have been fierce debates over how civilizations develop and why the West became so powerful. The Measure of Civilization presents a brand-new way of investigating these questions and provides new tools for assessing the long-term growth of societies. Using a groundbreaking numerical index of social development that compares societies in different times and places, award-winning author Ian Morris sets forth a sweeping examination of Eastern and Western development across 15,000 years since the end of the last ice age. He offers surprising conclusions about when and why the West came to dominate the world and fresh perspectives for thinking about the twenty-first century. Adapting the United Nations' approach for measuring human development, Morris's index breaks social development into four traits--energy capture per capita, organization, information technology, and war-making capacity--and he uses archaeological, historical, and current government data to quantify patterns. Morris reveals that for 90 percent of the time since the last ice age, the world's most advanced region has been at the western end of Eurasia, but contrary to what many historians once believed, there were roughly 1,200 years--from about 550 to 1750 CE--when an East Asian region was more advanced. Only in the late eighteenth century CE, when northwest Europeans tapped into the energy trapped in fossil fuels, did the West leap ahead. Resolving some of the biggest debates in global history, The Measure of Civilization puts forth innovative tools for determining past, present, and future economic and social trends.

The Solar Revolution

One World. One Solution. Providing the Energy and Food for 10 Billion People.

Author: Steve McKevitt,Tony Ryan

Publisher: Icon Books

ISBN: 1848316550

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 320

View: 8445

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It’s an astonishing fact that capturing all the energy in just one hour’s worth of sunlight would enable us to meet the planet’s food and energy needs for an entire year. The Solar Revolution tells the story of how scientists are working to reconnect us to the ‘solar economy’, harnessing the power of the sun to provide sustainable food and energy for a global population of 10 billion people: an achievement that would end our dependence on ‘fossilised sunshine’ in the form of coal, oil and gas and remake our connection with the soil that grows our food. Steve McKevitt and Tony Ryan describe the human race’s complex relationship with the sun and take us back through history to see how our world became the place it is today – chemically, geologically, ecologically, climatically and economically – before moving on to the cutting-edge science and technology that will enable us to live happily in a sustainable future.

Value and Economy of Marine Resources

Author: André Monaco,Patrick Prouzet

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 111900781X

Category: Science

Page: 316

View: 2861

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Marine resources and their exploitation, recovery and economic networks they generate are here from the perspective now inevitable growing environmental constraints, policy management and technical innovation. The recent development of marine biotechnology , the discovery of a great pharmacopoeia especially in reef environments , the development of marine renewables , are examples which show that man can develop through these new technologies property and services of the ocean. But this development resources under pressure of global change requires not only taking into account technical, but also social and political. This is the price that the analysis of maritime activities will assess the sustainability and development of various economic sectors and coastal populations, faced with the objectives of a "blue growth" associated with a return to the "good state" of the marine environment.

Citizen Explorer

The Life of Zebulon Pike

Author: Jared Orsi

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199314551

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 8745

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It was November 1806. The explorers had gone without food for one day, then two. Their leader, not yet thirty, drove on, determined to ascend the great mountain. Waist deep in snow, he reluctantly turned back. But Zebulon Pike had not been defeated. His name remained on the unclimbed peak-and new adventures lay ahead of him and his republic. In Citizen Explorer, historian Jared Orsi provides the first modern biography of this soldier and explorer, who rivaled contemporaries Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Born in 1779, Pike joined the army and served in frontier posts in the Ohio River valley before embarking on a series of astonishing expeditions. He sought the headwaters of the Mississippi and later the sources of the Arkansas and Red Rivers, which led him to Pike's Peak and capture by Spanish forces. Along the way, he met Aaron Burr and General James Wilkinson; Auguste and Pierre Couteau, patriarchs of St. Louis's most powerful fur-trading family, who sought to make themselves indispensible to Jefferson's administration; as well as British fur-traders, Native Americans, and officers of the Spanish empire, all of whom resisted the expansion of the United States. Through Pike's life, Orsi examines how American nationalism thinned as it stretched west, from the Jeffersonian idealism on the Atlantic to a practical, materialist sensibility on the frontier. Surveying and gathering data, Pike sought to incorporate these distant territories into the republic, to overlay the west with the American map grid; yet he became increasingly dependent for survival on people who had no attachment to the nation he served. He eventually died in that service, in a victorious battle in the War of 1812. Written from an environmental perspective, rich in cultural and political context, Citizen Explorer is a state-of-the-art biography of a remarkable man.

Metabolic Ecology

A Scaling Approach

Author: Richard M. Sibly,James H. Brown,Astrid Kodric-Brown

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1119968518

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 2964

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One of the first textbooks in this emerging important field of ecology. Most of ecology is about metabolism: the ways that organisms use energy and materials. The energy requirements of individuals – their metabolic rates – vary predictably with their body size and temperature. Ecological interactions are exchanges of energy and materials between organisms and their environments. So metabolic rate affects ecological processes at all levels: individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems. Each chapter focuses on a different process, level of organization, or kind of organism. It lays a conceptual foundation and presents empirical examples. Together, the chapters provide an integrated framework that holds the promise for a unified theory of ecology. The book is intended to be accessible to upper-level undergraduate, and graduate students, but also of interest to senior scientists. Its easy-to-read chapters and clear illustrations can be used in lecture and seminar courses. Together they make for an authoritative treatment that will inspire future generations to study metabolic ecology.