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Drilling Down

Drilling Down Author Joseph A. Tainter
ISBN-10 1441976779
Release 2011-09-18
Pages 242
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For more than a century, oil has been the engine of growth for a society that delivers an unprecedented standard of living to many. We now take for granted that economic growth is good, necessary, and even inevitable, but also feel a sense of unease about the simultaneous growth of complexity in the processes and institutions that generate and manage that growth. As societies grow more complex through the bounty of cheap energy, they also confront problems that seem to increase in number and severity. In this era of fossil fuels, cheap energy and increasing complexity have been in a mutually-reinforcing spiral. The more energy we have and the more problems our societies confront, the more we grow complex and require still more energy. How did our demand for energy, our technological prowess, the resulting need for complex problem solving, and the end of easy oil conspire to make the Deepwater Horizon oil spill increasingly likely, if not inevitable? This book explains the real causal factors leading up to the worst environmental catastrophe in U.S. history, a disaster from which it will take decades to recover.



America s Most Sustainable Cities and Regions

America   s Most Sustainable Cities and Regions Author John W. Day
ISBN-10 9781493932436
Release 2016-01-23
Pages 348
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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 2007-2009. However, these attitudes were formed during a unique 100-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. Are you ready to look beyond “America’s Most Livable Cities” to the critical factors that will determine the sustainability of your municipality and region? Find out where your city or region ranks according to the forces that will impact our lives in the next years and decades. Find out how: ·resource availability and ecological services shaped the modern landscape ·emerging megatrends will make cities and regions more or less livable in the new century ·your city or region ranks on a “sustainability” map of the United States ·urban metabolism puts large cities at particular risk ·sustainability factors will favor economic solutions at a local, rather than global, level ·these principles apply to industrial economies and countries globally. This book should be cited as follows: J. Day, C. Hall, E. Roy, M. Moersbaecher, C. D'Elia, D. Pimentel, and A. Yanez. 2016. America's most sustainable cities and regions: Surviving the 21st century megatrends. Springer, New York. 348 p.



Living Well Now and in the Future

Living Well Now and in the Future Author Randall Curren
ISBN-10 9780262339117
Release 2017-03-24
Pages 312
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Most people acknowledge the profound importance of sustainability, but few can define it. We are ethically bound to live sustainably for the sake of future generations, but what does that mean? In this book Randall Curren, a philosopher, and Ellen Metzger, a scientist, clarify normative aspects of sustainability. Combining their perspectives, they propose that sustainability can be understood as the art of living well together without diminishing opportunity to live well in the future.Curren and Metzger lay out the nature and value of sustainability, survey the problems, catalog the obstacles, and identify the kind of efforts needed to overcome them. They formulate an ethic of sustainability with lessons for government, organizations, and individuals, and illustrate key ideas with three case studies. Curren and Metzger put intergenerational justice at the heart of sustainability; discuss the need for fair (as opposed to coercive) terms of cooperation to create norms, institutions, and practices conducive to sustainability; formulate a framework for a fundamental ethic of sustainability derived from core components of common morality; and emphasize the importance of sustainability education. The three illustrative case studies focus on the management of energy, water, and food systems, examining the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Australia's National Water Management System, and patterns of food production in the Mekong region of Southeast Asia.



Energy and the Wealth of Nations

Energy and the Wealth of Nations Author Charles A.S. Hall
ISBN-10 9783319662190
Release 2018-03-05
Pages 511
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In this updated edition of a groundbreaking text, concepts such as energy return on investment (EROI) provide powerful insights into the real balance sheets that drive our “petroleum economy.” Hall and Klitgaard explore the relation between energy and the wealth explosion of the 20th century, and the interaction of internal limits to growth found in the investment process and rising inequality with the biophysical limits posed by finite energy resources. The authors focus attention on the failure of markets to recognize or efficiently allocate diminishing resources, the economic consequences of peak oil, the high cost and relatively low EROI of finding and exploiting new oil fields, including the much ballyhooed shale plays and oil sands, and whether alternative energy technologies such as wind and solar power can meet the minimum EROI requirements needed to run society as we know it. For the past 150 years, economics has been treated as a social science in which economies are modeled as a circular flow of income between producers and consumers. In this “perpetual motion” of interactions between firms that produce and households that consume, little or no accounting is given of the flow of energy and materials from the environment and back again. In the standard economic model, energy and matter are completely recycled in these transactions, and economic activity is seemingly exempt from the Second Law of Thermodynamics. As we enter the second half of the age of oil, when energy supplies and the environmental impacts of energy production and consumption are likely to constrain economic growth, this exemption should be considered illusory at best. This book is an essential read for all scientists and economists who have recognized the urgent need for a more scientific, empirical, and unified approach to economics in an energy-constrained world, and serves as an ideal teaching text for the growing number of courses, such as the authors’ own, on the role of energy in society.



The Energy of Slaves

The Energy of Slaves Author Andrew Nikiforuk
ISBN-10 9781553659792
Release 2012-08-17
Pages 272
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By the winner of the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award Ancient civilizations relied on shackled human muscle. It took the energy of slaves to plant crops, clothe emperors, and build cities. Nineteenth-century slaveholders viewed critics as hostilely as oil companies and governments now regard environmentalists. Yet the abolition movement had an invisible ally: coal and oil. As the world's most versatile workers, fossil fuels replenished slavery's ranks with combustion engines and other labor-saving tools. Since then, cheap oil has transformed politics, economics, science, agriculture, and even our concept of happiness. Many North Americans today live as extravagantly as Caribbean plantation owners. We feel entitled to surplus energy and rationalize inequality, even barbarity, to get it. But endless growth is an illusion. What we need, Andrew Nikiforuk argues in this provocative new book, is a radical emancipation movement that ends our master-and-slave approach to energy. We must learn to use energy on a moral, just, and truly human scale.



Lessons amid the Rubble

Lessons amid the Rubble Author Sarah K. A. Pfatteicher
ISBN-10 9780801899508
Release 2010-12-29
Pages 192
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Sophisticated and engagingly written, this volume combines history, engineering, ethics, and philosophy to provoke a deep discussion about the symbolic meaning of buildings and other structures and the nature of engineering.



Gaviotas

Gaviotas Author Alan Weisman
ISBN-10 9781603580922
Release 2008-09-03
Pages 256
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Los Llanos—the rain-leached, eastern savannas of war-ravaged Colombia—are among the most brutal environments on Earth and an unlikely setting for one of the most hopeful environmental stories ever told. Here, in the late 1960s, a young Colombian development worker named Paolo Lugari wondered if the nearly uninhabited, infertile llanos could be made livable for his country’s growing population. He had no idea that nearly four decades later, his experiment would be one of the world’s most celebrated examples of sustainable living: a permanent village called Gaviotas. In the absence of infrastructure, the first Gaviotans invented wind turbines to convert mild breezes into energy, hand pumps capable of tapping deep sources of water, and solar collectors efficient enough to heat and even sterilize drinking water under perennially cloudy llano skies. Over time, the Gaviotans’ experimentation has even restored an ecosystem: in the shelter of two million Caribbean pines planted as a source of renewable commercial resin, a primordial rain forest that once covered the llanos is unexpectedly reestablishing itself. Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez has called Paolo Lugari “Inventor of the World.” Lugari himself has said that Gaviotas is not a utopia: “Utopia literally means ‘no place.’ We call Gaviotas a topia, because it’s real.” Relive their story with this special 10th-anniversary edition of Gaviotas, complete with a new afterword by the author describing how Gaviotas has survived and progressed over the past decade.



Drilling Down

Drilling Down Author Jim Novo
ISBN-10 1591135192
Release 2004
Pages 356
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How to track customers using simple value metrics, set up early warning reports to alert you to positive or negative changes, and launch a marketing action with customers flagged by the reports.



Supply side Sustainability

Supply side Sustainability Author T. F. H. Allen
ISBN-10 0231105878
Release 2003
Pages 459
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This is the first book to integrate ecological and social science in an interdisciplinary treatment of sustainability. The book explains sustainability and collapse in human societies ranging from hunter-gatherers to empires and today's industrial world.



The Watchman s Rattle

The Watchman s Rattle Author Rebecca Costa
ISBN-10 9781593156503
Release 2010-10-12
Pages 384
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Why can't we solve our problems anymore? Why do threats such as the Gulf oil spill, worldwide recession, terrorism, and global warming suddenly seem unstoppable? Are there limits to the kinds of problems humans can solve? Rebecca Costa confronts- and offers a solution to-these questions in her highly anticipated and game-changing book, The Watchman's Rattle. Costa pulls headline for today's news to demonstrate how accelerating complexity quickly outpaces that rate at which the human brain can develop new capabilities. With compelling evidenced based on research in the rise and fall of Mayan, Khmer, and Roman empires, Costa shows how t ht tendency to find a quick solutions- leads to frightening long term consequence: Society's ability to solve its most challenging, intractable problems becomes gridlocked, progress slows, and collapse ensues. A provocative new voice in the tradition of thought leaders Thomas Friedman, Jared Diamond and Malcolm Gladwell, Costa reveals how we can reverse the downward spiral. Part history, part social science, part biology, The Watchman's Rattle is sure to provoke, engage and incite change.



The Limits to Growth Revisited

The Limits to Growth Revisited Author Ugo Bardi
ISBN-10 1441994165
Release 2011-05-27
Pages 119
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“The Limits to Growth” (Meadows, 1972) generated unprecedented controversy with its predictions of the eventual collapse of the world's economies. First hailed as a great advance in science, “The Limits to Growth” was subsequently rejected and demonized. However, with many national economies now at risk and global peak oil apparently a reality, the methods, scenarios, and predictions of “The Limits to Growth” are in great need of reappraisal. In The Limits to Growth Revisited, Ugo Bardi examines both the science and the polemics surrounding this work, and in particular the reactions of economists that marginalized its methods and conclusions for more than 30 years. “The Limits to Growth” was a milestone in attempts to model the future of our society, and it is vital today for both scientists and policy makers to understand its scientific basis, current relevance, and the social and political mechanisms that led to its rejection. Bardi also addresses the all-important question of whether the methods and approaches of “The Limits to Growth” can contribute to an understanding of what happened to the global economy in the Great Recession and where we are headed from there.



Collapse

Collapse Author Jared Diamond
ISBN-10 9780141976969
Release 2013-03-21
Pages 608
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From the author of Guns, Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond's Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive is a visionary study of the mysterious downfall of past civilizations. Now in a revised edition with a new afterword, Jared Diamond's Collapse uncovers the secret behind why some societies flourish, while others founder - and what this means for our future. What happened to the people who made the forlorn long-abandoned statues of Easter Island? What happened to the architects of the crumbling Maya pyramids? Will we go the same way, our skyscrapers one day standing derelict and overgrown like the temples at Angkor Wat? Bringing together new evidence from a startling range of sources and piecing together the myriad influences, from climate to culture, that make societies self-destruct, Jared Diamond's Collapse also shows how - unlike our ancestors - we can benefit from our knowledge of the past and learn to be survivors. 'A grand sweep from a master storyteller of the human race' Daily Mail 'Riveting, superb, terrifying' Observer 'Gripping ... the book fulfils its huge ambition, and Diamond is the only man who could have written it' Economist 'This book shines like all Diamond's work' Sunday Times Jared Diamond (b. 1937) is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. Until recently he was Professor of Physiology at the UCLA School of Medicine. He is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the widely acclaimed Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies, which also is the winner of Britain's 1998 Rhone-Poulenc Science Book Prize.



Gusher of Lies

Gusher of Lies Author Robert Bryce
ISBN-10 9781586486907
Release 2008
Pages 393
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For more than three decades, politicians have been promising to make America energy independent. According to Byrce, this rhetoric is neither doable nor desirable. This work shows why America must drop this idea of energy independence and, instead, embrace interdependence.



Capital as Power

Capital as Power Author Jonathan Nitzan
ISBN-10 9781134022298
Release 2009-06-02
Pages 464
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Conventional theories of capitalism are mired in a deep crisis: after centuries of debate, they are still unable to tell us what capital is. Liberals and Marxists both think of capital as an ‘economic’ entity that they count in universal units of ‘utils’ or ‘abstract labour’, respectively. But these units are totally fictitious. Nobody has ever been able to observe or measure them, and for a good reason: they don’t exist. Since liberalism and Marxism depend on these non-existing units, their theories hang in suspension. They cannot explain the process that matters most – the accumulation of capital. This book offers a radical alternative. According to the authors, capital is not a narrow economic entity, but a symbolic quantification of power. It has little to do with utility or abstract labour, and it extends far beyond machines and production lines. Capital, the authors claim, represents the organized power of dominant capital groups to reshape – or creorder – their society. Written in simple language, accessible to lay readers and experts alike, the book develops a novel political economy. It takes the reader through the history, assumptions and limitations of mainstream economics and its associated theories of politics. It examines the evolution of Marxist thinking on accumulation and the state. And it articulates an innovative theory of ‘capital as power’ and a new history of the ‘capitalist mode of power’.



The Collapse of Complex Societies

The Collapse of Complex Societies Author Joseph Tainter
ISBN-10 052138673X
Release 1990-03-29
Pages 250
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Dr Tainter describes nearly two dozen cases of collapse and reviews more than 2000 years of explanations. He then develops a new and far-reaching theory.



Energy in Australia

Energy in Australia Author Graham Palmer
ISBN-10 9783319029405
Release 2013-11-09
Pages 91
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With rapidly declining costs and seemingly unlimited sunshine, the choice of solar in Australia seems obvious. Yet despite its many advantages, homes with solar remain completely dependent on the electricity grid for reliable supply, which in Australia implies mostly coal-fired generation. Indeed, even countries that have invested heavily in solar, such as Spain and Germany, have been unable to deflect the trajectory of fossil fuel dependence. The reasons for this apparent paradox are varied, and this book provides a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the practical applications of photovoltaics (PV) in modern electricity systems. While the conventional life-cycle assessment (LCA) boundaries as prescribed by the IEA-PVPS provide a consistent methodology for comparing evolving PV technologies, the narrow boundaries exclude many critical downstream energy costs. Similarly, simple cost comparisons of PV versus conventional power sources overlook the significant economic and energy costs of intermittency and grid integration. Yet distributed storage, which could provide potentially valuable network support, is frequently given a low priority by advocates of solar. Treating PV as an extension of, rather than as a substitute for, the fossil fuel enterprise enables a more productive discussion of PV’s potential role in electricity generation. The sunburnt country of Australia, which has a modern electricity system, is an ideal case study for exploring the potential of solar PV. With a focus on rooftop solar, energy storage, grid integration, and electricity system issues, Energy in Australia offers valuable insights into the practical challenges of solar power. Although many national economies are already confronting a downward trend in energy return on investment (EROI) of oil and gas from both conventional and unconventional sources, the large-scale deployment of low-emission energy sources that lie below a critical minimum EROI threshold may ultimately prove counter-productive.



Pacific Currents

Pacific Currents Author Evan S. Medeiros
ISBN-10 9780833044648
Release 2008
Pages 279
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China1s importance in the Asia-Pacific has been on the rise, raising concerns about competition the United States. The authors examined the reactions of six U.S. allies and partners to China1s rise. All six see China as an economic opportunity. They want it to be engaged productively in regional affairs, but without becoming dominant. They want the United States to remain deeply engaged in the region.