Global Catastrophes and Trends: The Next Fifty Years

Global Catastrophes and Trends: The Next Fifty Years

by Vaclav Smil
Pub. Date:
MIT Press
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Global Catastrophes and Trends: The Next Fifty Years

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262518222
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 09/30/2012
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,161,862
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

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