Global Catastrophes and Trends: The Next 50 Years

Forsideomslag
From the Publisher: 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. This is not a book of forecasts or scenarios but one that reminds us to pay attention to, and plan for, the consequences of apparently unpredictable events and the ultimate direction of long-term trends. Smil first looks at rare but cataclysmic events, both natural and human-produced, then at trends of global importance: the transition from fossil fuels to other energy sources; demographic and political shifts in Europe, Japan, Russia, China, the United States, and Islamic nations; the battle for global primacy; 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, relying on long-term historical perspectives and a distaste for the rigid compartmentalization of knowledge, Smil argues that understanding change will help us reverse negative trends and minimize the risk of catastrophe.
 

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LibraryThing Review

Brugeranmeldelse  - fpagan - LibraryThing

A futurology book that eschews forecasts and scenarios! There are identifications of trends, such as "U.S. global leadership is in its twilight phase" (p 156). Environmental matters and catastrophe risks too. Cogent. Læs hele anmeldelsen

LibraryThing Review

Brugeranmeldelse  - JohnCouke - LibraryThing

Impressive. Truly impressive. Læs hele anmeldelsen

Indhold

1 How Not to Look Ahead
1
2 Fatal Discontinuities
9
3 Unfolding Trends
71
4 Environmental Change
171
5 Dealing with Risk and Uncertainty
219
Units and Abbreviations Prefi xes
255
References
259
Name Index
297
Subject Index
299
Copyright

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Om forfatteren (2008)

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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