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Energy at the Crossroads: Global Perspectives and Uncertainties

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

andlt;Pandgt;In Energy at the Crossroads, Vaclav Smil considers the twenty-first century's crucial question: how to reconcile the modern world's unceasing demand for energy with the absolute necessity to preserve the integrity of the biosphere. With this book he offers a comprehensive, accessible guide to today's complex energy issues — how to think clearly and logically about what is possible and what is desirable in our energy future.After a century of unprecedented production growth, technical innovation, and expanded consumption, the world faces a number of critical energy challenges arising from unequal resource distribution, changing demand patterns, and environmental limitations. The fundamental message of Energy at the Crossroads is that our dependence on fossil fuels must be reduced not because of any imminent resource shortages but because the widespread burning of oil, coal, and natural gas damages the biosphere and presents increasing economic and security problems as the world relies on more expensive supplies and Middle Eastern crude oil.Smil begins with an overview of the twentieth century's long-term trends and achievements in energy production. He then discusses energy prices, the real cost of energy, and "energy linkages" — the effect energy issues have on the economy, on quality of life, on the environment, and in wartime. He discusses the pitfalls of forecasting, giving many examples of failed predictions and showing that unexpected events can disprove complex models. And he examines the pros and cons not only of fossil fuels but also of alternative fuels such as hydroenergy, biomass energy, wind power, and solar power. Finally, he considers the future, focusing on what really matters, what works, what is realistic, and which outcomes are most desirable.andlt;/Pandgt;

Synopsis:

An objective, comprehensive and accessible examination of today's most crucial problem: preserving the environment in the face of society's insatiable demand for energy.

Synopsis:

In Energy at the Crossroads, Vaclav Smil considers the twenty-first century's crucial question: how to reconcile the modern world's unceasing demand for energy with the absolute necessity to preserve the integrity of the biosphere. With this book he offers a comprehensive, accessible guide to today's complex energy issues — how to think clearly and logically about what is possible and what is desirable in our energy future.After a century of unprecedented production growth, technical innovation, and expanded consumption, the world faces a number of critical energy challenges arising from unequal resource distribution, changing demand patterns, and environmental limitations. The fundamental message of Energy at the Crossroads is that our dependence on fossil fuels must be reduced not because of any imminent resource shortages but because the widespread burning of oil, coal, and natural gas damages the biosphere and presents increasing economic and security problems as the world relies on more expensive supplies and Middle Eastern crude oil.Smil begins with an overview of the twentieth century's long-term trends and achievements in energy production. He then discusses energy prices, the real cost of energy, and "energy linkages" — the effect energy issues have on the economy, on quality of life, on the environment, and in wartime. He discusses the pitfalls of forecasting, giving many examples of failed predictions and showing that unexpected events can disprove complex models. And he examines the pros and cons not only of fossil fuels but also of alternative fuels such as hydroenergy, biomass energy, wind power, and solar power. Finally, he considers the future, focusing on what really matters, what works, what is realistic, and which outcomes are most desirable.

About the Author

Vaclav Smil is Distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba and the author of many books, including Energy at the Crossroads: Global Perspectives and Uncertainties (2005), Energy in Nature and Society: General Energetics of Complex Systems (2007), Global Catastrophes and Trends: The Next Fifty Years (2008), and Why America Is Not a New Rome (2010), all published by the MIT Press. He was awarded the 2007 Olivia Schieffelin Nordberg Award for excellence in writing and editing in the population sciences.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780262693240
Author:
Smil, Vaclav
Publisher:
MIT Press (MA)
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
Environmental Science
Subject:
Energy
Subject:
Power Resources
Subject:
Petroleum industry and trade
Subject:
Energy policy
Subject:
Power Resources - General
Subject:
History, modern
Subject:
Energy policy -- United States.
Subject:
Environmental Studies-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Energy at the Crossroads
Publication Date:
20050231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 17
Language:
English
Illustrations:
136 illus.
Pages:
443
Dimensions:
9 x 7 in

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Related Subjects


Reference » Science Reference » Technology
Science and Mathematics » Energy » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Alternative Energy
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Energy
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General
Textbooks » General

Energy at the Crossroads: Global Perspectives and Uncertainties Used Trade Paper
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Product details 443 pages MIT Press - English 9780262693240 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , An objective, comprehensive and accessible examination of today's most crucial problem: preserving the environment in the face of society's insatiable demand for energy.
"Synopsis" by , In Energy at the Crossroads, Vaclav Smil considers the twenty-first century's crucial question: how to reconcile the modern world's unceasing demand for energy with the absolute necessity to preserve the integrity of the biosphere. With this book he offers a comprehensive, accessible guide to today's complex energy issues — how to think clearly and logically about what is possible and what is desirable in our energy future.After a century of unprecedented production growth, technical innovation, and expanded consumption, the world faces a number of critical energy challenges arising from unequal resource distribution, changing demand patterns, and environmental limitations. The fundamental message of Energy at the Crossroads is that our dependence on fossil fuels must be reduced not because of any imminent resource shortages but because the widespread burning of oil, coal, and natural gas damages the biosphere and presents increasing economic and security problems as the world relies on more expensive supplies and Middle Eastern crude oil.Smil begins with an overview of the twentieth century's long-term trends and achievements in energy production. He then discusses energy prices, the real cost of energy, and "energy linkages" — the effect energy issues have on the economy, on quality of life, on the environment, and in wartime. He discusses the pitfalls of forecasting, giving many examples of failed predictions and showing that unexpected events can disprove complex models. And he examines the pros and cons not only of fossil fuels but also of alternative fuels such as hydroenergy, biomass energy, wind power, and solar power. Finally, he considers the future, focusing on what really matters, what works, what is realistic, and which outcomes are most desirable.
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