Global Catastrophes And Trends: The Next Fifty Years

September 14, 2012|
Global Catastrophes And Trends: The Next Fifty Years by Vaclav Smil
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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.

Vaclav Smil is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba. He is the author of forty books, including Energy and Civilization, published by the MIT Press. In 2010 he was named by Foreign Policy as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers. In 2013 Bill Gates wrote on his website that “there is no author whose books I...
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Title:Global Catastrophes And Trends: The Next Fifty Years
Format:Paperback
Product dimensions:320 pages, 9 X 7 X 0.6 in
Shipping dimensions:320 pages, 9 X 7 X 0.6 in
Published:September 14, 2012
Publisher:MIT Press
Language:English
Appropriate for ages:All ages
ISBN - 13:9780262518222

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