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The Climate Book
How the Modern World Was Madeav Vaclav Smil309
What makes the modern world work? The answer to this deceptively simple question lies in four "grand transitions" of civilizationin populations, agriculture, energy, and economicswhich have transformed the way we live. Now a fifth transition is underway: the environmental changes that will determine the success or eventual failure of the preceding transitions that have made the world we inhabit today.
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John Roy Porter, Natures Sciences Socits Grand Transitions shows Vaclav Smil truly to be Bringing It All Back Home
Bill Gates, GatesNotes Vaclav Smil is my favorite author.
Andre Schmid, Literary Review of Canada His book roams impressively around the globe and across five centuries as it asks big questions and searches for big answers. . . .His five-pack of grand transitions encompasses population, agriculture and diets, energy, economy, and environment. . . . anyone who hasn't read about these subjects since graduation will be awestruck by the amount of research that has gone into these vaguely familiar stories. Smil pulls recent studies together, throws in a few of his
own, offers interpretive twists, and fills his account with delicious nuggets of information. (This book actually got me in trouble at home, as I kept asking my family, "Did you know..." about some gem of an anecdote.)
Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction, winner of the Pulitzer Prize No one writes about the great issues of our time with more rigor or erudition than Vaclav Smil. Grand Transitions is at once sweeping, sobering, and profoundly informative.
Kirkus An expert portrait of spectacular technical and economic advances that many in the 21st century enjoy but which exclude large segments of the population and are creating problems that may or may not be solvable. Ingenious, insightful, and disturbing.
Atul Arya, Chief Energy Strategist, IHS Markit Underpinned by mesmerizing data and deep analysis, Grand Transitions provides a clear and compelling framework for thinking about the future of energy, the environment, and the economy. A feast for anyone interested in the future of energy. A must read.
Didier Sornette, Professor of Entrepreneurial Risks and Finance, ETH Zurich Grand Transitions is the epitome of excellence in integrative systemic scientific analysis, anchored in a magisterial exploration of the main five transitions of mankind since civilizations emerged. And it provides a healthy antidote to the wishful thinking so prevalent today. Decision makers and the public should educate themselves with this authoritative evaluation, which will shape their decisions on how to ensure a harmonious, sustainable future for all.
David G. Victor, Professor of International Relations, University of California, San Diego For a generation, polymath Vaclav Smil has expounded on the big patterns in energy, food, and other means through which humans have transformed their environment. In Grand Transitions he has zoomed out even further to paint a picture of how the pieces fit together and to explain how the modern world works. In elegant prose with relentless attention to fact and reality-rare these days-he has written a masterpiece that forces you to think, disagree, wonder,
and grapple with the accomplishments and challenges of today's industrial society.
Diane Coyle, Bennett Professor of Public Policy, ...
Vaclav Smil is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba. The author of more than 40 books, he conducts interdisciplinary research in energy, environmental and population change, food production and nutrition, technical innovation, risk assessment, and public policy. He has worked globally as a consultant and frequently delivers invited talks at conferences and workshops throughout the world.
1 EPOCHAL TRANSITIONS 2 POPULATIONS 3 AGRICULTURES AND DIETS 4 ENERGIES 5 ECONOMIES 6 ENVIRONMENT 7 OUTCOMES AND OUTLOOKS