Energy in Nature and Society

General Energetics of Complex Systems

Author: Vaclav Smil

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262195658

Category: Science

Page: 480

View: 8420

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Energy in Nature and Society is a systematic and comprehensive analysis of all the major energy sources, storages, flows, and conversions that have shaped the evolution of the biosphere and civilization. Vaclav Smil uses fundamental unifying metrics (most notably for power density and energy intensity) to provide an integrated framework for analyzing all segments of energetics (the study 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 from hunter-gatherer and agricultural societies through modern-day industrial civilization. Included are chapters on heterotrophic conversions, traditional agriculture, preindustrial complexification, fossil fuels, fossil-fueled civilization, the energetics of food, and the implications of energetics for the environment. The book concludes with an examination of general patterns, trends, and socioeconomic 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, Smil chooses to emphasize the complexities and peculiarities of the real world, and the counterintuitive outcomes of many of its processes, over abstract models. Energy in Nature and Societyis a broad and unique, 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 possible energy futures, and can serve as a text for courses in energy studies, global ecology, earth systems science, biology, and chemistry.

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: 3085

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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.

The Energy of Slaves

Oil and the New Servitude

Author: Andrew Nikiforuk

Publisher: Greystone Books

ISBN: 1553659791

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 4597

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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.

Environment, Modernization and Development in East Asia

Perspectives from Environmental History

Author: Ts'ui-jung Liu,James Beattie

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137572310

Category: History

Page: 301

View: 542

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Environment, Modernization and Development in East Asia critically examines modernization's long-term environmental history. It suggests new frameworks for understanding as inter-related processes environmental, social, and economic change across China and Japan.

Jenseits von Natur und Kultur

Author: Philippe Descola

Publisher: Suhrkamp Verlag

ISBN: 3518768409

Category: Social Science

Page: 638

View: 8744

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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: 1049

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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: 1171

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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/

Nature and Society

Anthropological Perspectives

Author: Philippe Descola,Gisli Palsson

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134827156

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 5909

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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.

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: 1191

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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.

The Ethics of Global Climate Change

Author: Denis G. Arnold

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139501003

Category: Philosophy

Page: N.A

View: 1564

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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.

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: 8431

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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 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: 1674

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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.

Energy

What Everyone Needs to Know®

Author: Jose Goldemberg

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199942730

Category: Political Science

Page: 192

View: 1675

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Without a doubt, the topic of energy--from coal, oil, and nuclear to geothermal, solar and wind--is one of the most pressing across the globe. It is of paramount importance to policy makers, economists, environmentalists, and industry as they consider which technologies to invest in, how to promote use of renewable energy sources, and how to plan for dwindling reserves of non-renewable energy. In Energy: What Everyone Needs to Know®, José Goldemberg, a nuclear physicist who has been hailed by Time magazine as one of the world's top "leaders and visionaries on the environment," takes readers through the basics of the world energy system, its problems, and the technical as well as non-technical solutions to the most pressing energy problems. Addressing the issues in a Q-and-A format, Goldemberg answers such questions as: What are wind, wave, and geothermal energy? What are the problems of nuclear waste disposal? What is acid rain? What is the greenhouse gas effect? What is Carbon Capture and Storage? What are smart grids? What is the Kyoto Protocol? What is "cap and trade"? The book sheds light on the role of population growth in energy consumption, renewable energy resources, the amount of available energy reserves (and when they will run out), geopolitical issues, environmental problems, the frequency of environmental disasters, energy efficiency, new technologies, and solutions to changing consumption patterns. It will be the first place to look for information on the vital topic of energy. What Everyone Needs to Know® is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press.

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: 9471

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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.

Einfach intelligent produzieren

cradle to cradle: die Natur zeigt, wie wir die Dinge besser machen können

Author: Michael Braungart,William McDonough

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9783833301834

Category: Recycling

Page: 236

View: 1327

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"Autos aus Autos? Schuhe als Düngemittel für unsere Balkonblumen? Zukünftig gibt es nur noch zwei Arten von Produkten: Verbrauchsgüter, die vollständig biologisch abgebaut werden können, und Gebrauchsgüter, die sich endlos recyclen lassen. Die Devise lautet: Nicht weniger müssen wir produzieren, sondern verschwenderisch und in technischen und biologischen Kreisläufen. Eine ökologisch-industrielle Revolution steht uns bevor, mit der Natur als Vorbild. Und was die beiden Fachleute in anschaulicher Weise darbieten, ist keineswegs nur graue Theorie, sondern das Ergebnis eigener praktischer Erfahrungen: Michael Braungart und William McDonough erproben seit Jahren mit Firmen wie Ford, Nike, Unilever und BP erfolgreich die Realisierbarkeit ihrer Ideen." -- Herausgeber.

Der stumme Frühling

Author: Rachel Carson

Publisher: C.H.Beck

ISBN: 3406704220

Category: Nature

Page: 348

View: 6671

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Der stumme Frühling erschien erstmals 1962. Der Titel bezieht sich auf das eingangs erzählte Märchen von der blühenden Stadt, in der sich eine seltsame, schleichende Seuche ausbreitet … Das spannend geschriebene Sachbuch wirkte bei seinem Erscheinen wie ein Alarmsignal und avancierte rasch zur Bibel der damals entstehendenÖkologie-Bewegung. ZumerstenMal wurde hier in eindringlichem Appell die Fragwürdigkeit des chemischen Pflanzenschutzes dargelegt. An einer Fülle von Tatsachen machte Rachel Carson seine schädlichen Auswirkungen auf die Natur und die Menschen deutlich. Ihre Warnungen haben seither nichts von ihrer Aktualität verloren.