Read Energy at the Crossroads: Global Perspectives and Uncertainties by Vaclav Smil Free Online
Book Title: Energy at the Crossroads: Global Perspectives and Uncertainties|
ISBN 13: 9780262693240
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 740 KB
The author of the book: Vaclav Smil
Edition: Mit Press
Date of issue: February 11th 2005
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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.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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Read information about the author
Vaclav Smil does interdisciplinary research in the fields of energy, environmental and population change, food production and nutrition, technical innovation, risk assessment, and public policy.
He has published 35 books and more than 400 papers on these topics. He is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (Science Academy), and the Member of the Order of Canada; in 2010 he was listed by Foreign Policy among the top 100 global thinkers.
He has worked as a consultant for many US, EU and international institutions, has been an invited speaker in nearly 400 conferences and workshops in the USA, Canada, Europe, Asia and Africa, and has lectured at many universities in North America, Europe and East Asia. His wife Eva is a physician and his son David is an organic chemist.