Global Catastrophes and Trends: The Next Fifty Years (2020)

Global Catastrophes and Trends: The Next Fifty Years Vaclav Smil 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
  • Title: Global Catastrophes and Trends: The Next Fifty Years
  • Author: Vaclav Smil
  • ISBN: 9780262195867
  • Page: 191
  • Format: Hardcover
Global Catastrophes and Trends: The Next Fifty Years Vaclav Smil 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 oveFundamental 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.
Global Catastrophes and Trends: The Next Fifty Years Vaclav Smil

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    Published :2020-04-10T23:07:43+00:00

One thought on “Global Catastrophes and Trends: The Next Fifty Years

  1. Steve

    Vaclav Smil is a very intelligent man This book is food for thought for any person who thinks about the future All scenarios are examined and the probabilities weighed Geophysical, geopolitical So what should we be worried about Global warming Asteroid collision Islamic fundamentalists Perhaps none of them, because the author shows how similar predictions and fears have been very wrong In the 1970s, the fear was global cooling But he does point out some possibilities that are grosly overlooked t [...]

  2. E

    Fascinating analysis of trendsPredicting the future is still impossible, but science has gotten much better at forecasting it, at least to the extent that it is informed by statistics and probabilities Vaclav Smil speaks the truth as he sees it, according to mathematical information and indications For instance, he refutes the peak oil scenario, but asserts that society s transition to an economy that is less reliant on fossil fuel is long overdue, environmentally and politically Smil predicted [...]

  3. Tirath

    Its a properly brilliant book What makes this book great is the quantitative approach, the scientific approach and the author s reluctance to arriving at a conclusion.And even then, it s amusing to read certain bits on geopolitics 8 years after the book was published so much changed that even Smil could not have seen.The book covers Climate, biosphere, geopolitics, religious issues and histories, natural causes of great misery to dominant species, water, nitrogen cycles, fossil fuels, and phytom [...]

  4. Ryan

    Smil is an intellectual with extensive knowledge in many fields, as apparent in this book A specialist in energy by origin, his comprehensive study of all aspects of the energy systems utilized by mankind has led him to many other related areas like the study of our biosphere and climate Global catastrophes goes even further by examining all kinds of potential big risks that could have large effects on civilization, ranging from natural disaster like asteroids, volcanoes and tsunamis to human in [...]

  5. Fabien

    An interesting read, Smil does a good job in explaining the effects and comparative probability of various natural catastrophes and environmental changes Unfortunately the chapters on upcoming geopolitical trends are not as good, they seemed to me partial and much too short for the task intended Anyway this section will probably be outdated an order of magnitude faster than the rest of the book.

  6. Tyler

    goes over catastrophes meteors, volcanoes, world wars and trends climate change in particular that could have very meaningful consequences The guy is super smart and approaches issues from a multidisciplinary viewpoint that is second to none Most interesting idea from the book the inherent predictability of war or at least the outbreak of war , i.e they re going to happen on average so often over a certain time period causes can always be found later.

  7. Vlad

    This is the best non forecasting book about the future I have read Smil insists on not making predictions but the plethora of data is enough to paint a clear probabilistic picture of the next 50 years Very well documented 36 pages of references The future ain t what it used to be.

  8. Chris Kramolis

    Very interesting Smil is careful not to predict but only observe trends and possible outcomes Looking forward to reading by the author.

  9. Garret Seinen

    A book I had a hard time finishing as I have some difficulty even considering major catastrophes.

  10. unperspicacious

    Interesting survey of political risks, but again relatively little on the possible consequences of transitions to lower energy density infrastructures.

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