Two Prime Movers Of Globalization

Author: Vaclav Smil
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262014432
Size: 53.65 MB
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The story of how diesel engines and gas turbines, used to power cargo ships and jet airplanes, made today's globally integrated economy possible.

Why America Is Not A New Rome

Author: Vaclav Smil
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 026228829X
Size: 10.13 MB
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America's post--Cold War strategic dominance and its pre-recession affluence inspired pundits to make celebratory comparisons to ancient Rome at its most powerful. Now, with America no longer perceived as invulnerable, engaged in protracted fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and suffering the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, comparisons are to the bloated, decadent, ineffectual later Empire. In Why America Is Not a New Rome, Vaclav Smil looks at these comparisons in detail, going deeper than the facile analogy-making of talk shows and glossy magazine articles. He finds profound differences.Smil, a scientist and a lifelong student of Roman history, focuses on several fundamental concerns: the very meaning of empire; the actual extent and nature of Roman and American power; the role of knowledge and innovation; and demographic and economic basics--population dynamics, illness, death, wealth, and misery. America is not a latter-day Rome, Smil finds, and we need to understand this in order to look ahead without the burden of counterproductive analogies. Superficial similarities do not imply long-term political, demographic, or economic outcomes identical to Rome's.

The Solar Revolution

Author: Steve McKevitt
Publisher: Icon Books
ISBN: 1848316550
Size: 55.57 MB
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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.

Oil

Author: Gavin Bridge
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745661378
Size: 73.83 MB
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Oil pulses through our daily lives. It is the plastic we touch, the food we eat, and the way we move. Oil politics in the twentieth century was about the management of abundance, state power, and market growth. The legacy of this age of plenty includes declining conventional oil reserves, volatile prices, climate change, and enduring poverty in many oil-rich countries. The politics of oil are now at a turning point, and oil's future will not be like its past. In this in-depth primer to one of the world's most significant industries, authors Gavin Bridge and Philippe Le Billon take a fresh look at the contemporary political economy of oil. Going beyond simple assertions of peak oil and an oil curse, they point to an industry reordered by global shifts in demand towards Asia, growing reliance on unconventional reserves, international commitments to reduce carbon emissions and a growing campaign for fossil fuel divestment, and violent political struggles in producer-states. As a new geopolitics of oil emerges, the need for effective global oil governance becomes imperative. Highlighting the growing influence of civil society and attentive to the efforts of firms and states to craft new institutions, this fully updated second edition identifies the challenges and opportunities to curtail price volatility, curb demand and the growth of dirty oil, decarbonize energy systems, and improve governance in oil-producing countries.

Energy And Society

Author: Gavin Bridge
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351019007
Size: 48.72 MB
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Energy and Society is the first major text to provide an extensive critical treatment of energy issues informed by recent research on energy in the social sciences. Written in an engaging and accessible style it draws new thinking on uneven development, consumption, vulnerability and transition together to illustrate the social significance of energy systems in the global North and South. The book features case studies, examples, discussion questions, activities, recommended reading and more, to facilitate its use in teaching. Energy and Society deploys contemporary geographical concepts and approaches but is not narrowly disciplinary. Its critical perspective highlights connections between energy and significant socio-economic and political processes, such as globalisation, urban isation, international development and social justice, and connects important issues that are often treated in isolation, such as resource availability, energy security, energy access and low-carbon transition. Co-authored by leading researchers and based on current research and thinking in the social sciences, Energy and Society presents a distinctive geographical approach to contemporary energy issues. It is an essential resource for upperlevel undergraduates and Master’s students in geography, environmental studies, urban studies, energy studies and related fields.

The Globalization Of American Infrastructure

Author: Matthew Heins
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 131728237X
Size: 76.86 MB
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This book gives an account of how the U.S. freight transportation system has been impacted and “globalized,” since the 1950s, by the presence of the shipping container. A globally standardized object, the container carries cargo moving in international trade, and it utilizes and fits within the existing transportation infrastructures of shipping, trucking and railroads. In this way it binds them together into a nearly seamless worldwide logistics network. This process occurs not only in ocean shipping and at ports, but also deep within national territories. In its dependence on existing infrastructural systems, though, the network of container movement as it pervades domestic space is shaped by the history and geography of the nation-state. This global network is not invariably imposed in a top-down manner—to a large degree, it is cobbled together out of national, regional and local systems. Heins describes this in the American context, examining the freight transportation infrastructures of railroads, trucking and inland waterways, and also the terminals where containers are transferred between train and truck. The book provides a detailed historical narrative, and is also theoretically informed by the contemporary literature on infrastructure and globalization.

Feeding The World

Author: Vaclav Smil
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262194327
Size: 60.83 MB
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A realistic yet encouraging look at how society can change in ways that will allow us to feed an expanding global population.

Harvesting The Biosphere

Author: Vaclav Smil
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 026201856X
Size: 28.96 MB
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The biosphere -- the Earth's thin layer of life -- dates from nearly four billion years ago, when the first simple organisms appeared. Many species have exerted enormous influence on the biosphere's character and productivity, but none has transformed the Earth in so many ways and on such a scale as Homo sapiens. In Harvesting the Biosphere, Vaclav Smil offers an interdisciplinary and quantitative account of human claims on the biosphere's stores of living matter, from prehistory to the present day. Smil examines all harvests -- from prehistoric man's hunting of megafauna to modern crop production -- and all uses of harvested biomass, including energy, food, and raw materials. Without harvesting of the biomass, Smil points out, there would be no story of human evolution and advancing civilization; but at the same time, the increasing extent and intensity of present-day biomass harvests are changing the very foundations of civilization's well-being. In his detailed and comprehensive account, Smil presents the best possible quantifications of past and current global losses in order to assess the evolution and extent of biomass harvests. Drawing on the latest work in disciplines ranging from anthropology to environmental science, Smil offers a valuable long-term, planet-wide perspective on human-caused environmental change.

Japan S Dietary Transition And Its Impacts

Author: Vaclav Smil
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262017822
Size: 58.62 MB
Format: PDF
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In a little more than a century, the Japanese diet has undergone a dramatic transformation. This book points out that the gains in the quality of Japans diet have exacted a price in terms of land use changes, water requirements, & marine resource depletion; & because Japan imports so much food, this price is paid globally as well as domestically.

Natural Gas

Author: Vaclav Smil
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1119012848
Size: 37.39 MB
Format: PDF
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Natural gas is the world’s cleanest fossil fuel; it generates less air pollution and releases less CO2 per unit of useful energy than liquid fuels or coals. With its vast supplies of conventional resources and nonconventional stores, the extension of long-distance gas pipelines and the recent expansion of liquefied natural gas trade, a truly global market has been created for this clean fuel. Natural Gas: Fuel for the 21st Century discusses the place and prospects of natural gas in modern high-energy societies. Vaclav Smil presents a systematic survey of the qualities, origins, extraction, processing and transportation of natural gas, followed by a detailed appraisal of its many preferred, traditional and potential uses, and the recent emergence of the fuel as a globally traded commodity. The unfolding diversification of sources, particularly hydraulic fracturing, and the role of natural gas in national and global energy transitions are described. The book concludes with a discussion on the advantages, risks, benefits and costs of natural gas as a leading, if not dominant, fuel of the 21st century. This interdisciplinary text will be of interest to a wide readership concerned with global energy affairs including professionals and academics in energy and environmental science, policy makers, consultants and advisors with an interest in the rapidly-changing global energy industry.