Author: David S. Abraham
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2015-10-28
Our future hinges on a set of elements that few of us have even heard of. In this surprising and revealing book, David S. Abraham unveils what rare metals are and why our electronic gadgets, the most powerful armies, and indeed the fate of our planet depend on them. These metals have become the building blocks of modern society; their properties are now essential for nearly all our electronic, military, and “green” technologies. But their growing use is not without environmental, economic, and geopolitical consequences. Abraham traces these elements’ hidden paths from mines to our living rooms, from the remote hills of China to the frozen Gulf of Finland, providing vivid accounts of those who produce, trade, and rely on rare metals. He argues that these materials are increasingly playing a significant role in global affairs, conferring strength to countries and companies that can ensure sustainable supplies. Just as oil, iron, and bronze revolutionized previous eras, so too will these metals. The challenges this book reveals, and the plans it proposes, make it essential reading for our rare metal age.
Author: Jeremy Black
Release Date: 2011-08-18
Genre: Social Science
A thought-provoking and important book that raises essential issues crucial not only for our past but also the present day. In this panoramic history, Jeremy Black tells how slavery was first developed in the ancient world, and reaches all the way to present day and the contemporary crimes of trafficking and bonded labour. He shows how slavery has taken many forms throughout history and across the world - from the uprising of Spartacus, the plantations of the Indies, and the murderous forced labour of the gulags and concentration camps. Slavery helped consolidated transoceanic empires and helped mould new world societies such as America and Brazil. In the Atlantic trade, Black also looks at the controversial area of how complicit the African peoples were in the trade. He then charts the long fight for abolition in the 19th century, including both the campaigners as well as the lost voices of the slaves themselves who spoke of their misery. Finally, as Black points out, slavery has not been completely abolished today and coerced labour can be found closer to home than is comfortable.
Author: Jacques Lucas
Release Date: 2014-09-09
Genre: Technology & Engineering
High-technology and environmental applications of the rare-earth elements (REE) have grown dramatically in diversity and importance over the past four decades. This book provides a scientific understanding of rare earth properties and uses, present and future. It also points the way to efficient recycle of the rare earths in end-of-use products and efficient use of rare earths in new products. Scientists and students will appreciate the book's approach to the availability, structure and properties of rare earths and how they have led to myriad critical uses, present and future. Experts should buy this book to get an integrated picture of production and use (present and future) of rare earths and the science behind this picture. This book will prove valuable to.non-scientists as well in order to get an integrated picture of production and use of rare earths in the 21st Century, and the science behind this picture. Defines the chemical, physical and structural properties of rare earths. Gives the reader a basic understanding of what rare earths can do for us. Describes uses of each rare earth with chemical, physics, and structural explanations for the properties that underlie those uses. Allows the reader to understand how rare earths behave and why they are used in present applications and will be used in future applications. Explains to the reader where and how rare earths are found and produced and how they are best recycled to minimize environmental impact and energy and water consumption.
Author: Terry R. Bacon
Publisher: AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn
Release Date: 2011
Genre: Business & Economics
"Terry Bacon breaks down the sources of power and influence at a very granular level, allowing readers greater insight into both sides of the `Midas Touch'---use and abuse."--- Rahm Sitaraman, EAG Franchise Leadership Development Director, Coca-Cola --
Author: Robin Hanson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2016-05-13
Robots may one day rule the world, but what is a robot-ruled Earth like? Many think the first truly smart robots will be brain emulations or ems. Scan a human brain, then run a model with the same connections on a fast computer, and you have a robot brain, but recognizably human. Train an em to do some job and copy it a million times: an army of workers is at your disposal. When they can be made cheaply, within perhaps a century, ems will displace humans in most jobs. In this new economic era, the world economy may double in size every few weeks. Some say we can't know the future, especially following such a disruptive new technology, but Professor Robin Hanson sets out to prove them wrong. Applying decades of expertise in physics, computer science, and economics, he uses standard theories to paint a detailed picture of a world dominated by ems. While human lives don't change greatly in the em era, em lives are as different from ours as our lives are from those of our farmer and forager ancestors. Ems make us question common assumptions of moral progress, because they reject many of the values we hold dear. Read about em mind speeds, body sizes, job training and career paths, energy use and cooling infrastructure, virtual reality, aging and retirement, death and immortality, security, wealth inequality, religion, teleportation, identity, cities, politics, law, war, status, friendship and love. This book shows you just how strange your descendants may be, though ems are no stranger than we would appear to our ancestors. To most ems, it seems good to be an em.
In 2004, Kentaro Toyama, an award-winning computer scientist, moved to India to start a new research group for Microsoft. Its mission: to explore novel technological solutions to the world's persistent social problems. Together with his team, he invented electronic devices for under-resourced urban schools and developed digital platforms for remote agrarian communities. But after a decade of designing technologies for humanitarian causes, Toyama concluded that no technology, however dazzling, could cause social change on its own. Technologists and policy-makers love to boast about modern innovation, and in their excitement, they exuberantly tout technology's boon to society. But what have our gadgets actually accomplished? Over the last four decades, America saw an explosion of new technologies – from the Internet to the iPhone, from Google to Facebook – but in that same period, the rate of poverty stagnated at a stubborn 13%, only to rise in the recent recession. So, a golden age of innovation in the world's most advanced country did nothing for our most prominent social ill. Toyama's warning resounds: Don't believe the hype! Technology is never the main driver of social progress. Geek Heresy inoculates us against the glib rhetoric of tech utopians by revealing that technology is only an amplifier of human conditions. By telling the moving stories of extraordinary people like Patrick Awuah, a Microsoft millionaire who left his lucrative engineering job to open Ghana's first liberal arts university, and Tara Sreenivasa, a graduate of a remarkable South Indian school that takes children from dollar-a-day families into the high-tech offices of Goldman Sachs and Mercedes-Benz, Toyama shows that even in a world steeped in technology, social challenges are best met with deeply social solutions.
Author: Allan Savory
Publisher: Island Press
Release Date: 2016-11-10
"Holistic Management is a systems-thinking approach developed by biologist Allan Savory to restore the world's grassland soils and minimize the damaging effects of climate change and desertification on humans and the natural world. This long-awaited third edition of this title is comprehensively updated with reorganized, stramlined chapters and new color photos featuring before-and-after examples of land restored through livestock manipulation designed to mimic wildlife migrations of the past. Written for new generations of ranchers, farmers, pastoralists, social entrepreneurs, government agencies, and NGOs working to address global environmental degradation, it offers new hope for a sustainable future."--Page  of cover.
Author: Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Publisher: Random House Incorporated
Release Date: 2014
Genre: Business & Economics
Shares insights into how adversity can bring out the best in individuals and communities, drawing on multiple disciplines to consider such topics as the superiority of city states over nation states and the drawbacks of debt.
Author: Ozzie Zehner
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Technology & Engineering
We don’t have an energy crisis. We have a consumption crisis. And this book, which takes aim at cherished assumptions regarding energy, offers refreshingly straight talk about what’s wrong with the way we think and talk about the problem. Though we generally believe we can solve environmental problems with more energy—more solar cells, wind turbines, and biofuels—alternative technologies come with their own side effects and limitations. How, for instance, do solar cells cause harm? Why can’t engineers solve wind power’s biggest obstacle? Why won’t contraception solve the problem of overpopulation lying at the heart of our concerns about energy, and what will? This practical, environmentally informed, and lucid book persuasively argues for a change of perspective. If consumption is the problem, as Ozzie Zehner suggests, then we need to shift our focus from suspect alternative energies to improving social and political fundamentals: walkable communities, improved consumption, enlightened governance, and, most notably, women’s rights. The dozens of first steps he offers are surprisingly straightforward. For instance, he introduces a simple sticker that promises a greater impact than all of the nation’s solar cells. He uncovers why carbon taxes won’t solve our energy challenges (and presents two taxes that could). Finally, he explores how future environmentalists will focus on similarly fresh alternatives that are affordable, clean, and can actually improve our well-being. Watch a book trailer.
Author: Colin Mason
Release Date: 2012-06-25
Genre: Business & Economics
Has the future a future? Are we bringing history to an end? Observing any one of several individual but critical trends suggests that, without rapid and positive action, history may have only a very short way to run. Whether it is the growth of world population, of greenhouse gas concentrations and the accelerating rate of climate change, the running down of oil and natural gas reserves, growing shortages of fresh water for agriculture, industry and domestic use, or the increasing difficulty in controlling epidemic diseases we are facing a mounting global crisis that will peak in less than a generation, around the year 2030. Taken together, these trends point to a potentially apocalyptic period, if not for the planet itself then certainly for human societies and for humankind. In this compelling book, and update to The 2030 Spike, Colin Mason explains in clear and irrefutable terms what is going on largely below the surface of our daily or weekly news bulletins. The picture he paints is stark, and yet it is not bleak. Being forewarned, we are forearmed, and he draws on his own extensive political experience to describe how much we can do as individuals, and above all collectively, not merely to avert crisis but to engineer thoroughgoing change that can usher in genuinely sustainable and valuable alternatives to the way we live now.
Author: Judith S. Weis
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2015
Marine pollution occurs today in varied forms - chemical, industrial, and agricultural - and the sources of pollution are endless. In recent history, we've seen oil spills, untreated sewage, eutrophication, invasive species, heavy metals, acidification, radioactive substances, marine litter, and overfishing, among other significant problems. Though marine pollution has long been a topic of concern, it has very recently exploded in environmental, economic, and political debate circles; scientists and non-scientists alike continue to be shocked and dismayed at the sheer diversity of water pollutants and the many ways they can come to harm our environment and our bodies. In Marine Pollution: What Everyone Needs to Know, Judith Weis covers marine pollution from many different angles, each fascinating in its own right. Beginning with its sources and history, the book describes in detail each common pollutant, why exactly it is harmful, why it may draw controversy, and how we can prevent it from destroying our aquatic ecosystems. Weis discusses topics like what actually happened with the Exxon Valdez, and why Harmful Algal Blooms are a serious concern. Later chapters will discuss pollutants that are only now surfacing as major threats, such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and metal nanoparticles, and explain how these can begin in the water and progress up the food chain and emerge in human bodies. The book's final section will discuss the effects of climate change and acidification on marine pollution levels, and how we can reduce pollution at the local and global levels.