By Smil, Vaclav
We have never had so much information at our fingertips, and yet until recently we lived our hermetically-sealed lives at a distance from the complex realities of the physical world. But crises strip away the covers of obfuscation and misdirection to reveal truths. Any ideas of h...uman supremacy were dashed by Covid-19; it was a stark reminder of our limited grasp on reality. If we are to successfully navigate our uncertain future, understanding the inner workings of our modern world is vital. Professor Vaclav Smil is not a pessimist or an optimist, he is a scientist. Championing a rational fact-based approach - and on topics ranging from food production and nutrition, through energy and the environment, to globalization and the future - Smil shows, for example, how our food is inexorably linked to the massive combustion of fossil fuels, that globalization is much older than you think (but not inevitable), and why from horse riding to solar flares we consistently miscalculate risk. Tackling sources of misinformation head on - from Yuval Noah Harari to Gwyneth Paltrow - he addresses the most consequential of all contemporary questions: are we irrevocably doomed or is a brighter utopia ahead? He explains faults with both extremes. Compelling, data-rich and revisionist, How the World Really Works draws on half a century of Smil's own research and distils the ideas of his over forty books into one peerlessly authoritative yet accessible masterpiece.Read more
Vaclav Smil is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba. He is the author of over forty books on topics including energy, environmental and population change, food production and nutrition, technical innovation, risk assessment, and public policy. No other living scientist has had more books (on a wide variety of topics) reviewed in Nature. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, in 2010 he was named by Foreign Policy as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers.
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