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About the Author

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.

Inclui os nomes: Smil Vaclav, Vaclav Smial

Obras por Vaclav Smil

Energy and Civilization: A History (The MIT Press) (2017) 456 exemplares, 3 críticas
Global Catastrophes and Trends: The Next Fifty Years (2008) 139 exemplares, 2 críticas
Oil: A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's Guides) (2008) 97 exemplares, 1 crítica
Why America Is Not a New Rome (2010) 70 exemplares, 2 críticas
Size: How It Explains the World (2023) 68 exemplares, 2 críticas
COMO O MUNDO FUNCIONA (2024) 2 exemplares

Associated Works

Etiquetado

Conhecimento Comum

Nome canónico
Smil, Vaclav
Data de nascimento
1943
Sexo
male
Nacionalidade
Czechoslovakia (birth)
Ocupações
professor
Organizações
University of Manitoba (professor)

Membros

Discussions

Críticas

Indeholder "About the Author", "Introduction: Why Do We Need This Book?", "1. Understanding Energy: Fuels and Electricity", " Fundamental shifts", " Modern energy uses", " What is energy?", " Crude oil's rise and relative retreat", " The many advantages of electricity", " Before you flip a switch", " Decarbonization: pace and scale", "2. Understanding Food Production: Eating Fossil Fuels", " Three valleys, two centuries apart", " What goes in", " The energy costs of bread, chicken, and tomatoes", " Diesel oil behind seafood", " Fuel and food", " Can we go back?", " Doing with less - and doing without", "3. Understanding Our Material World: The Four Pillars of Modern Civilization", " Ammonia: the gas that feeds the world", " Plastics: diverse, useful, troublesome", " Steel: ubiquitous and recyclable", " Concrete: a world created by cement", " Material outlook: old and new inputs", "4. Understanding Globalization: Engines, Microchips, and Beyond", " Globalization's distant origins", " Wind-driven globalization", " Steam engines and telegraph", " The first diesel engines, flight, and radio", " Large diesels, turbines, containers, and microchips", " Enter China, Russia, India", " Globalization's multiples", " The long reach of Moore's law", " Inevitability, setbacks, and overreach", "5. Understanding Risks: From Viruses to Diets to Solar Flares", " Eating as in Kyoto - or as in Barcelona", " Risk perceptions and tolerances", " Quantifying the risks of everyday life", " Voluntary and involuntary risks", " Natural hazards: less risky than they look on TV", " Ending our civilization", " Some lasting attitudes", "6. Understanding the Environment: The Only Biosphere We Have", " Oxygen is in no danger", " Will we have enough water and food?", " Why the Earth is not permanently frozen", " Who discovered global warming?", " Oxygen, waterm and food in a warmer world", " Uncertainties, promises, and realities", " Wishful thinking", " Models, doubts, and realities", "7. Understanding the Future: Between Apocalypse and Singularity", " Failed predictions", " Inertia, scale, and mass", " Ignorance, persistence, and humility", " Unprecedented commitments, delayed rewards", "Appendix: Understanding Numbers: Orders of Magnitude", " Multiples in the International System of Units used in the text", "References and Notes", "Acknowledgments", "Index".

Hmm, han har klart tænkt og regnet på en masse. Jeg ved bare ikke om jeg er helt enig i konklusionerne. Kapitel 1 handler om energi og pointen er klart at vi har fået en meget stor stigning i velstand ved at bruge løs af fossile brændstoffer og ved at bruge dem effektivt. Kapitel 2 handler om at vi bruger fossile brændstoffer til at skaffe os mad. Kapitel 3 om ammoniak, stål, beton og plastik. Kapitel 4 om globalisering og global transport og kommunikation. Kapitel 5 om risiko. Kapitel 6 om ilt, vand og mad. Og global opvarmning. Og måske skal nogle læsere begynde med appendixet om at forstå store tal.

I 2020 var det globale forbrug ca 34 GJ brugbar energi pr menneske. I 1950 var det 10 GJ pr menneske. I et rigt samfund svarer det til at alle mennesker har ca 200 menneskers muskelkraft ekstra. Vi bruger også olie til smøremidler og asfalt. Og som grundlag for en masse kemiske processer. Elektricitet bruges til lys og til at drive motorer og pumper. Men stadig er det kun ca 18% af energiforbruget, der kommer fra el. Energitætheden af olie er meget større end den batterier kan klare, så el-fly over længere strækninger er ikke realistiske. (Vi mangler ca en faktor 20).
Moderne fødevareforsyning er afhængig af fossile brændsler til at lave gødning og til at transportere produkterne med. For at lave et kilogram kyllingkød skal man bruge ca tre kilogram korn. Almeria provinsen har ca 400 km2 under drivhustag. For at fiske skal man bruge diesel.
Haber-Bosch processen til at lave ammoniak. Plastik, beton og stål.

God bog til at få indsigt og forstand af. Han siger selv at han ikke forudsiger noget.
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
bnielsen | 15 outras críticas | Jun 28, 2024 |
Indeholder "Introduction", "People : The Inhabitants of Our World", " What happens when we have fewer children?", " The best indicator of quality of life? : Try infant mortality", " The best return on investment : vaccination", " Why it's difficult to predict how bad a pandemic will be while it is happening", " Growing taller", " Is life expectancy finally topping out?", " How sweating improved hunting", " How many people did it take to build the Great Pyramid?", " Why unemployment figures do not tell the whole story", " What makes people happy?", " The rise of megacities", "Countries : Nations in the Age of Globalization", " The First World War's extended tragedies", " Is the US really exceptional?", " Why Europe should be more pleased with itself", " Brexit : realities that matter most will not change", " Concerns about Japan's future", " How far can China go?", " India vs. China", " Why manufacturing remains important", " Russia and the USA : how things never change", " Receding empires : nothing new under the sun", "Machines, Designs, Devices : Inventions That Made Our Modern World", " How the 1880s created our modern world", " How electric motors power modern civilization", " Transformers - the unsung silent, passive devices", " Why you shouldn't write diesel off just yet", " Capturing motion - from horses to electrons", " From the phonograph to streaming", " Inventing integrated circuits", " Moore's Curse : why technical progress takes longer than you think", " The rise of data : too much too fast", " Being realistic about innovation", "Fuels and Electricity : Energizing Our Societies", " Why gas turbines are the best choice", " Nuclear electricity - an unfulfilled promise", " Why you need fossil fuels to get electricity from wind", " How big can a wind turbine be?", " The slow rise of photovoltaics", " Why sunlight is still best", " Why we need bigger batteries", " Why electric container ships are a hard sail", " The real cost of electricity", " The inevitably slow pace of energy transitions", "Transport : How We Get Around", " Shrinking the journey across the Atlantic", " Engines are older than bicycles!", " The surprising story of inflatable tires", " When did the age of the car begin?", " Modern cars have a terrible weight-to-payload ratio", " Why electric cars aren't as great as we think (yet)", " When did the jet age begin?", " Why kerosene is king", " How safe is flying?", " Which is more energy efficient - planes, trains, or automobiles?", "Food : Energizing Ourselves", " The world without synthetic ammonia", " Multiplying wheat yields", " The inexcusable magnitude of global food waste", " The slow addio to the Mediterranean diet", " Bluefin tuna : on the way to etinction", " Why chicken rules", " (Not) drinking wine", " Rational meat-eating", " The Japanese diet", " Dairy products - the counter-trends", "Environment : damaging and protecting our world", " Animals vs. artifacts - which are more diverse?", " Planet of the cows", " The deaths of elephants", " Why calls for the Anthropocene era may be premature", " Concrete facts", " What's worse for the environment - your car or your phone?", " Who has better insulation?", " Triple-glazed windows : a see-through energy solution", " Improving the efficiency of household heating", " Running into carbon", "Epilogue", "Further Reading", "Acknowledgments", "Index".

Et emne ad gangen bliver taget op og regnet lidt på. Fx regner han på vindmøller og gætter på at det er svært at få lavet 100 MW vindmøller, der kan konkurrere kommercielt. Men hvorfor grænsen lige går der? Børnedødeligheden er hans bedste bud på en indikator for livskvalitet. Og hvis man plotter lykkeindekset mod selvmordsfrekvens kan man se at der ingen sammenhæng er. Spøjst.
Og Første verdenskrig trak ud fordi industrien kunne producere alt muligt til erstatning af varer, man ellers ikke kunne importere mere.
Og han synes at Det moderne Europa er en fantastisk konstruktion, som vi - med alle dets mangler - burde være mere stolte af.
Elmotorer findes fra bittesmå vibratorer på brøkdele af W til mobiltelefoner til 60 MW motorer til transportbånd.

Sød lille bog med et hav af kondenseret viden.
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
bnielsen | 12 outras críticas | Feb 18, 2024 |
This is my first dip into the much lauded social critique by Prof. Smil on the affairs of our civilization and its dependence on converting energy to useful purposes.

In this volume he focuses on four pillars of our civilization: cement, steel, plastics, and ammonia. Without huge dependence on fossil fuels, he maintains, we would never be able to produce the volumes of these substances to drive our civilization forward.

He provides a convincing case, for example, that without manufactured fertilizers we would not be able to feed one-half of the world’s population.

Decarbonization of our food system, he believes, is an unobtainable delusion without significant changes the diet of people in developed nations, significant reductions in food waste, and allowances to African nations where malnourishment is still a significant social ill.

While his facts are compelling, the disorganization of his thoughts I find distract from the tale.

Smil is a realist at heart and doesn’t see the point in charging ahead with the empty promises of government intervention on climate change without social commitment at the grassroots.

He doesn’t accept prima facie some of the doomsday scenarios environmentalists foist on the narrative, scenarios his cases seem to support.
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
MylesKesten | 15 outras críticas | Jan 23, 2024 |
В списке пяти лучших книг 2017 года Билла Гейтса эта самая любопытная. Гейтс — фанат автора и прочел все 36 его предыдущих книг! 74-летний канадский профессор удивительно плодовит, только в 2013-м вышло сразу четыре его работы. Эта же, судя по всему, итоговый труд.

Вацлав Смил представил захватывающий рассказ о цивилизации с точки зрения джоулей и калорий. «Все природные процессы и вся человеческая деятельность в наиболее фундаментальном физическом смысле являются преобразованием энергии», — уверен он. Надев очки Смила и взглянув на окружающий мир, вы, как в «Матрице», за изображением увидите ползущие цифры кода: свеча преобразует в свет лишь 0,01% химической энергии, лошадь спит стоя благодаря анатомическому читингу, все остальные млекопитающие лежа потребляют на 10% энергии меньше, взмахи руками при ходьбе снижают расход калорий на 3%... Книга при этом не превращается в таблицу, цифры приводятся лишь в качестве доказательства. Например, вы со школы в восторге от архимедова винта, а вам доходчиво рассказывают (и табличкой иллюстрируют), насколько он малоэффективен и, более того, уступает целой плеяде бедуинских приспособлений для подъема воды.

Удивительно, но на протяжении всего повествования от каменного века до «кремниевого» автор умудряется не терять ни темпа, ни читательского интереса. Темы, грозящие увести нарратив в сторону, аккуратно упаковываются в лейденские банки виньеток и обвешиваются гирляндами ссылок для самостоятельного изучения на досуге. С энергетической точки зрения изобретения и находки не возникают как из воздуха, а обретают довольно стройную причинно-следственную связь. За технологическими пробуксовками случались и весьма своевременные открытия. Так, начало добычи нефти в США связано с возросшими потребностями в освещении, которые ранее обеспечивались за счет китового жира. Увы, использование электричества этот вариант применения нефтепродуктов сделало малоэффективным, но, к счастью для нефтяников, тут же подоспел двигатель внутреннего сгорания и автомобили.

Питание, оружие, урбанистика, транспорт, производство, сельское хозяйство — все в книге охвачено и переплетено проводами. Смил не согласился бы с Фрейдом: вовсе не cекс основной мотиватор человечества. Двигатель прогресса — это желание поменьше работать, более известное нам как лень.
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
Den85 | 2 outras críticas | Jan 3, 2024 |

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Tetyana Pavlovna Cover artist

Estatísticas

Obras
52
Also by
1
Membros
3,707
Popularidade
#6,838
Avaliação
3.8
Críticas
51
ISBN
239
Línguas
12
Marcado como favorito
5

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