Energies: An Illustrated Guide to the Biosphere and Civilization

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9780262692359: Energies: An Illustrated Guide to the Biosphere and Civilization

Accurate, balanced AND imaginative.

Energy is the only universal currency. One of its many forms must be transformed into another in order for stars to shine, planets to rotate, living things to grow, and civilizations to evolve. Recognition of this universality was one of the great achievements of nineteenth-century science, yet even today there is little literature that tries to view the world broadly through the prism of energy.In this highly original book, ecologist Vaclav Smil takes the principle of universality seriously, presenting a comprehensive and integrated survey of all the forms of energy that shape our world, from the sun to the human body, from bread to microchips. Written in a scientifically sophisticated yet accessible style, Energies consists of eighty-two short essays organized under six headings: Sun and Earth, Plants and Animals, People and Food, Preindustrial Societies, Fossil-Fueled Civilization, and Motion and Information. Each essay explains the science of the energy form as well as its implications for the functioning of the universe, life, or human society. Cross-links and summary diagrams allow easy comparisons among the various levels and flows of energy.

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Review:

The energy of solar radiation reaching the earth clocks in at 5,500,000 exajoules, an exajoule being one watt per second taken to 10 to the 18th power. The energy used to strike a typewriter key is 20 millijoules, a millijoule being one watt per second taken to 10 to the negative 3rd power; that keyboard-striking energy is a full order of magnitude larger than the energy a flea expends in hopping from one spot to another. Such is the sort of information that geographer Vaclav Smil delights in presenting in his endlessly interesting handbook of the various energy technologies of nature and culture. "Energy is the only universal currency," Smil writes, but, he notes, it is little understood. Beginning with a grand tour of the solar system and the terrestrial biosphere, and taking into account such matters as the movement and latent heat of waves, Smil moves on to consider the energy of natural food chains, the efficiency of human growth, the energy requirements of agriculture, and the terrible force of modern weapons, among hundreds of other subjects. His heavily illustrated book is one of a kind, and it makes for both entertaining bedside reading and a highly useful reference. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author:

Eduardo Kac is an internationally renowned artist who has received critical acclaim for net and bio works including Genesis, GFP Bunny, and Move 36. His work has been widely exhibited and is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, among others.

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Smil, Vaclav
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ISBN 10: 026269235X ISBN 13: 9780262692359
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Descrizione libro MIT Press Ltd, United States, 2000. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Energy is the only universal currency. One of its many forms must be transformed into another in order for stars to shine, planets to rotate, living things to grow, and civilizations to evolve. Recognition of this universality was one of the great achievements of nineteenth-century science, yet even today there is little literature that tries to view the world broadly through the prism of energy.In this highly original book, ecologist Vaclav Smil takes the principle of universality seriously, presenting a comprehensive and integrated survey of all the forms of energy that shape our world, from the sun to the human body, from bread to microchips. Written in a scientifically sophisticated yet accessible style, Energies consists of eighty-two short essays organized under six headings: Sun and Earth, Plants and Animals, People and Food, Preindustrial Societies, Fossil-Fueled Civilization, and Motion and Information. Each essay explains the science of the energy form as well as its implications for the functioning of the universe, life, or human society. Cross-links and summary diagrams allow easy comparisons among the various levels and flows of energy. Codice libro della libreria AAH9780262692359

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Descrizione libro 2000. PAP. Condizione libro: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Codice libro della libreria TM-9780262692359

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Descrizione libro MIT Press Ltd, United States, 2000. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Energy is the only universal currency. One of its many forms must be transformed into another in order for stars to shine, planets to rotate, living things to grow, and civilizations to evolve. Recognition of this universality was one of the great achievements of nineteenth-century science, yet even today there is little literature that tries to view the world broadly through the prism of energy.In this highly original book, ecologist Vaclav Smil takes the principle of universality seriously, presenting a comprehensive and integrated survey of all the forms of energy that shape our world, from the sun to the human body, from bread to microchips. Written in a scientifically sophisticated yet accessible style, Energies consists of eighty-two short essays organized under six headings: Sun and Earth, Plants and Animals, People and Food, Preindustrial Societies, Fossil-Fueled Civilization, and Motion and Information. Each essay explains the science of the energy form as well as its implications for the functioning of the universe, life, or human society. Cross-links and summary diagrams allow easy comparisons among the various levels and flows of energy. Codice libro della libreria AAH9780262692359

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Descrizione libro MIT Press Ltd, United States, 2000. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Energy is the only universal currency. One of its many forms must be transformed into another in order for stars to shine, planets to rotate, living things to grow, and civilizations to evolve. Recognition of this universality was one of the great achievements of nineteenth-century science, yet even today there is little literature that tries to view the world broadly through the prism of energy.In this highly original book, ecologist Vaclav Smil takes the principle of universality seriously, presenting a comprehensive and integrated survey of all the forms of energy that shape our world, from the sun to the human body, from bread to microchips. Written in a scientifically sophisticated yet accessible style, Energies consists of eighty-two short essays organized under six headings: Sun and Earth, Plants and Animals, People and Food, Preindustrial Societies, Fossil-Fueled Civilization, and Motion and Information. Each essay explains the science of the energy form as well as its implications for the functioning of the universe, life, or human society. Cross-links and summary diagrams allow easy comparisons among the various levels and flows of energy. Codice libro della libreria BTE9780262692359

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Descrizione libro The MIT Press, 2000. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria M026269235X

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Descrizione libro Mit Pr, 2000. Paperback. Condizione libro: Brand New. reprint edition. 228 pages. 9.25x8.25x0.75 inches. In Stock. Codice libro della libreria __026269235X

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