Alley, Richard B.

Earth : the operators' manual / Richard B. Alley. - 1st ed. - New York ; London : W.W. Norton, c2011. - x, 479 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Prepare to come about -- Burning to learn -- Peak trees and peak whale oil -- Fossil fuelish; some telling facts -- Abraham Lincoln or your brother-in-law? -- Red, white, and blue-green -- Canting the kayak -- Why accountants and physicists care about the past -- The moving finger writes -- And having writ, moves on -- The great ice that covers the land -- Kindergarten soccer and the last century of climate -- But my brother-in-law said -- The future -- Valuing the future -- Toilets and the smart grid -- Sustainable solutions on the wind -- Sun and water -- Down by the sea, where the water power grows -- Power from the land -- Put it where the sun doesn't shine: nuclear energy and carbon sequestration -- Conservation; why saving energy doesn't mean sitting around in the dark -- Game-changers? Geoengineering, fusion, and -- Ten billion and smiling.

Since the discovery of fire, humans have been energy users. And this is a good thing--our mastery of energy is what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom and has allowed us to be the dominant species on the planet. However, this mastery comes with a price: we are changing our environment in a profoundly negative way by heating it up. Using one engaging story after another, coupled with accessible scientific facts, world authority Richard B. Alley explores the history of energy use by humans over the centuries, gives a doubt-destroying proof that already-high levels of carbon dioxide are causing damaging global warming, and surveys the alternative energy options that are available to exploit right now. These new energy sources might well be the engines for economic growth in the twenty-first century.--From publisher description.

9780393081091 (hardcover) 0393081095 (hardcover)

2010054016

015761957 Uk


Energy development--Environmental aspects--History.
Renewable energy sources--History.
Global warming--History.

TJ163.2 / .A43 2011