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Description - Global Catastrophes and Trends by Vaclav Smil

A wide-ranging, interdisciplinary look at global changes that may occur over the next fifty years-whether sudden and cataclysmic world-changing events or gradually unfolding trends.Fundamental change occurs most often in one of two ways- as a "fatal discontinuity," a sudden catastrophic event that is potentially world changing, or as a persistent, gradual trend. Global catastrophes include volcanic eruptions, viral pandemics, wars, and large-scale terrorist attacks; trends are demographic, environmental, economic, and political shifts that unfold over time. In this provocative book, scientist Vaclav Smil takes a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary look at the catastrophes and trends the next fifty years may bring.
Smil first looks at rare but cataclysmic events, both natural and human-produced, then at trends of global importance, including the transition from fossil fuels to other energy sources and growing economic and social inequality. He also considers environmental change-in some ways an amalgam of sudden discontinuities and gradual change-and assesses the often misunderstood complexities of global warming.
Global Catastrophes and Trends does not come down on the side of either doom-and-gloom scenarios or techno-euphoria. Instead, Smil argues that understanding change will help us reverse negative trends and minimize the risk of catastrophe.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780262518222
ISBN-10: 0262518228
Format: Paperback / softback
(229mm x 178mm x 14mm)
Pages: 320
Imprint: MIT Press
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Publish Date: 14-Sep-2012
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Vaclav Smil

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. In 2010 he was named by Foreign Policy as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers.

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