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Since the financial crash, the world has witnessed an unprecedented outbreak of social unrest in every major continent. Beginning with the birth of the Occupy movement and the Arab Spring, the eruption of civil disorder continues to wreak havoc unpredictably from Greece to Ukraine, from China to Thailand, from Brazil to Turkey, and beyond.

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This book for the first time develops an empirically-ground theoretical model of the complex interaction between biophysical processes and geopolitical crises, demonstrated through the analysis of a wide range of detailed case studies of historic, concurrent and probable state failures in the Middle East, Northwest Africa, South and Southeast Asia, Europe and North America. Geopolitical crises across these regions, Ahmed argues, are being driven by the proliferation of climate, food and economic crises which have at their root the common denominator of a fundamental and permanent disruption in the energy basis of industrial civilization.

This inevitable energy transition, which will be completed well before the close of this century, entails a paradigm shift in the organization of civilization. For this to be achieved, the stranglehold of conventional models achieved through the hegemony of establishment media reporting — dominated by fossil fuel interests — must be broken. While geopolitics cannot be simplistically reduced to the biophysical, this book shows that international relations today can only be understood by recognizing the extent to which the political is embedded in the biophysical. Although the book offers a rigorous scientific analysis, it is written in a clean, journalistic style to ensure readability and accessibility to a general audience.

It contains a large number of graphical illustrations concerning oil production data, population issues, the food price index, economic growth and debt, and other related issues to demonstrate the interconnections and correlations across key sectors. It is everywhere and it is everything. In this newly updated and engaging introduction, renowned scientist Vaclav Smil explores energy in all its facets — from the inner workings of the human body to what we eat, the car we drive and the race for more efficient and eco-friendly fuels.

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This authoritative guide, written by international expert Vaclav Smil, has been fully revised to reveal how every aspect of our existence is governed by one of the most important concepts in our universe. The Economics Of Oil: This book examines the ways that oil economics will impact the rapidly changing global economy, and the oil industry itself, over the coming decades. The predictions of peak oil were both right and wrong. Oil production has been constrained in relation to demand for the past decade, with a resulting four-fold increase in the oil price slowing the entire global economy.

The high oil price has also engendered massive exploration investments, but remaining hydrocarbon stocks generally offer poor returns in energy the energy return on investment or EROI and financial terms, and no longer replace the reserves being produced.

The Decision to Risk the Future: Harry Truman, the Atomic Bomb and the Apocalyptic Narrative

As a result, the economically powerful oil companies are under great pressure, both financially and politically, as oil remains the backbone of the global economy. Development scenarios and political pressure for growth as a means of solving economic woes both require more net energy, which is the amount of energy available after energy and thus financial inputs required for new sources to come on line are deducted. The role of oil in the global economy is not easily changed.

Since currently installed infrastructure assumes oil, a change implies more than just substitution of an energy source.

The speed with which such basic structural changes can be made is also constrained, and ultimately themselves dependent on fossil fuel inputs. It remains unclear how this scenario will evolve, and that uncertainty adds additional economic pressure to the investment decisions that must be made. A Tool for Assessing Sustainability is the first book on energy analysis that is up-to-date and specifically dedicated to agriculture. It is written from an agroecological perspective and goes beyond the conventional analysis of the efficient use of energy.

The book provide a methodological guide to assess energy efficiency and sustainability from an eco-energetic point of view. Energy Return on Investment: This authoritative but highly accessible book presents the reader with a powerful framework for understanding the critical role of the energy return on investment EROI in the survival and well-being of individuals, ecosystems, businesses, economies and nations. Growth and development are fundamental and ubiquitous processes at all scales, from individuals to food crops to national economies.

While we are all familiar with the concepts of economic growth and living standards as measured by gross domestic product GDP , we often take for granted the energy use that underpins GDP and our expectations for year-on-year growth. Nothing is made or moved without an energy surplus, and it is the EROI of available energy sources more than any other single factor that determines the shape of civilization.

Nearly all politics and economics assume that policy and market forces are the levers upon which future outcomes will hinge. However, this book presents many examples of historical and current events that can be explained much more clearly from an energetic perspective. In addition, a future scenario is developed that gives a central place to EROI in assessing the potential of governmental and private initiatives to substitute so-called renewable energy sources for diminishing stocks of fossil fuels.

This book provides a detailed, global examination of energy transitions, supplying a long-term historical perspective, an up-to-date assessment of recent and near-term advances in energy production technology and implementation, and an explanation of why efforts to limit global warming and to shift away from fossil fuels have been gradual. Based on the best international and national statistical sources, the second edition of Energy Transitions: Global and National Perspectives supplies an in-depth evaluation of how economies and nations around the world are striving to move away from traditional energy sources, the unfolding decarbonization process, and problems with intermittent energies and national transition plans.

The last chapters focus on the advances in the decarbonization of the global energy supply and consider how the energy transition will continue in the coming decades. This fully updated and substantially expanded edition addresses the many new developments affecting energy supply, such as the recent expansion of hydraulic fracturing, oil price fluctuations, the Fukushima nuclear power plant catastrophe, advances in solar and wind generation, adoption of combined cycle gas turbines, and increased availability of electric cars.

The coverage highlights the differences in the pace of transitions in various countries, thereby providing a complete and accurate picture of the current state of energy development in different parts of the world. The book serves as an invaluable resource for students as well as for anyone interested in a realistic appraisal of the current state of energy transitions in various nations and regions and the likely future development of the global energy supply. Rethinking Climate and Energy Policies: This book calls for rethinking current climate, energy and sustainability policy-making by presenting new insights into the rebound phenomenon; i.

It pursues an innovative and novel approach to the political and scientific rebound discourse and hence, supplements the current state-of-knowledge discussed in the field of energy economics and recent reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Building on central rebound publications from the past four decades, this book is divided into three main sections: Part I highlights new aspects of rebound economics by presenting insights into issues that have so far not been satisfactorily researched, such as rebounds in countries of the Global South, rebounds on the producer-side, and rebounds from sufficiency behaviour as opposed to rebounds from technical efficiency improvements.

In turn, Part II goes beyond conventional economic rebound research, exploring multidisciplinary perspectives on the phenomenon, in particular from the fields of psychology and sociology. Part III puts rebounds into practice and presents several policy cases and sector-specific approaches, including the contexts of labour markets, urban planning, tourism, information and communication technologies, and transport.

Lastly, the book embeds the issue into the larger debate on decoupling, green growth and degrowth, and identifies key lessons learned for sustainable development strategies and policies at large. By employing such varied and in-depth analyses, the book makes an essential contribution to the discussion of the overall question: Can resource-, energy-use and greenhouse gas emissions be substantially reduced without hindering economic growth?

Will it sputter or continue along the path of evolutionary progress that we have come to expect? Can the new immaterial wealth of information and ideas, which makes up the so-called knowledge economy, replace depleted natural wealth?

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These questions have no simple answers, but this masterful book will help you to understand the grand challenge of our time. The conceptual and methodological foundations of Social Ecology are discussed in detail, allowing the reader to obtain a broad overview of current socioecological thinking. Issues covered include socio-metabolic transitions, socioecological approaches to land use, the relation between actor-centered and system approaches, a socioecological theory of labor and the importance of legacies, as conceived in Environmental History and in Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research.

To underpin this overview empirically, the strengths of socioecological research are elucidated in cases of cutting-edge research, introducing a variety of themes the Vienna School has been tackling empirically over the past years. Given how the field is presented — reflecting research carried out on different scales, reaching from local to global as well as from past to present and future — and due to the way the book is structured, it is suitable for classroom use, as a primer, and also as an overview of how Social Ecology evolved, right up to its current research frontiers.

The next few decades will see a profound energy transformation throughout the world. By the end of the century and perhaps sooner , we will shift from fossil fuel dependence to rely primarily on renewable sources like solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal power. Driven by the need to avert catastrophic climate change and by the depletion of easily accessible oil, coal, and natural gas, this transformation will entail a major shift in how we live. Which technologies will play a crucial role in our energy future?

What challenges will we face in this transition? And how can we make sure our new system is just and equitable? In Our Renewable Future , energy expert Richard Heinberg and scientist David Fridley explore the challenges and opportunities presented by the shift to renewable energy. Beginning with a comprehensive overview of our current energy system, the authors survey issues of energy supply and demand in key sectors of the economy, including electricity generation, transportation, buildings, and manufacturing.

In their detailed review of each sector, the authors examine the most crucial challenges we face, from intermittency in fuel sources to energy storage and grid redesign. The book concludes with a discussion of energy and equity and a summary of key lessons and steps forward at the individual, community, and national level. The transition to clean energy will not be a simple matter of replacing coal with wind power or oil with solar; it will require us to adapt our energy usage as dramatically as we adapt our energy sources.

Our Renewable Future is a clear-eyed and urgent guide to this transformation that will be a crucial resource for policymakers and energy activists. The Earth has entered a new age—the Anthropocene—in which humans are the most powerful influence on global ecology. Since the mid-twentieth century, the accelerating pace of energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and population growth has thrust the planet into a massive uncontrolled experiment. The Great Acceleration explains its causes and consequences, highlighting the role of energy systems, as well as trends in climate change, urbanization, and environmentalism.

More than any other factor, human dependence on fossil fuels inaugurated the Anthropocene. Before , people used little in the way of fossil fuels, but over the next two hundred years coal became the most important energy source. When oil entered the picture, coal and oil soon accounted for seventy-five percent of human energy use. This allowed far more economic activity and produced a higher standard of living than people had ever known—but it created far more ecological disruption. We are now living in the Anthropocene.

Three-quarters of the carbon dioxide humans have contributed to the atmosphere has accumulated since World War II ended, and the number of people on Earth has nearly tripled. If we try to control these systems through geoengineering, we will inaugurate another stage of the Anthropocene. Where it might lead, no one can say for sure. This book examines the physical and economic characteristics of the global oil resource to explain why peak oil has been so poorly understood. The author draws on information held in oil industry datasets that are not widely available outside of the specialist literature, and describes a number of methods that have been successfully used to predict oil peaks.

Current oil forecasts are then compared to evaluate the expected dates for regional and global oil peaks for conventional oil, all-oils, and all-liquids. The dates of global peaks in the production of all-oil and all-liquids appear to be reasonably soon, while the oil price that is needed to support these global production levels continues to rise.

Still the Iron Age: Although the last two generations have seen an enormous amount of attention paid to advances in electronics, the fact remains that high-income, high-energy societies could thrive without microchips, etc. Because of the importance of this material to contemporary civilization, a comprehensive resource is needed for metallurgists, non-metallurgists, and anyone with a background in environmental studies, industry, manufacturing, and history, seeking a broader understanding of the history of iron and steel and its current and future impact on society.

Day and Charles A. This book takes you on a unique journey through American history, taking time to consider the forces that shaped the development of various cities and regions, and arrives at an unexpected conclusion regarding sustainability. From the American Dream to globalization to the digital and information revolutions, we assume that humans have taken control of our collective destinies in spite of potholes in the road such as the Great Recession of However, these attitudes were formed during a unique year period of human history in which a large but finite supply of fossil fuels was tapped to feed our economic and innovation engine.

Today, at the peak of the Oil Age, the horizon looks different. Cities such as Los Angeles, Phoenix and Las Vegas are situated where water and other vital ecological services are scarce, and the enormous flows of resources and energy that were needed to create the megalopolises of the 20th century will prove unsustainable. Climate change is a reality, and regional impacts will become increasingly severe.

Economies such as Las Vegas, which are dependent on discretionary income and buffeted by climate change, are already suffering the fate of the proverbial canary in the coal mine. Finite resources will mean profound changes for society in general and the energy-intensive lifestyles of the US and Canada in particular. But not all regions are equally vulnerable to these 21st-century megatrends.

Empire of Ideas

Find out where your city or region ranks according to the forces that will impact our lives in the next years and decades. All economies were organic, dependent on plant photosynthesis to provide food, raw materials, and energy.

This was true both of heat energy, derived from burning wood, and mechanical energy provided chiefly by human and animal muscle. The flow of energy from the sun captured by plant photosynthesis was the basis of all production and consumption.