Earth: The Operators' Manual

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W. W. Norton & Company, Apr 18, 2011 - Science - 479 pages

The book—companion to a PBS series—that proves humans are causing global warming and offers a path to the future.

Since the discovery of fire, humans have been energy users and always will be. 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 fascinating 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.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - HadriantheBlind - LibraryThing

Companion book to recent PBS documentary series. Explains the recent discoveries of climatology lucidly and thoroughly. A good book for anybody who wants to become more literate in these fields. Read full review

EARTH: The Operators' Manual

User Review  - Kirkus

Alley (Geology/Penn State Univ.) brings the history of energy to light in this companion volume to a forthcoming PBS two-part special.The author has a noble agenda—the deployment of good science as ... Read full review

Contents

Burning to Learn
12
Peak Trees and Peak Whale Oil
21
Fossil FuelishSome Telling Facts
43
Abraham Lincoln or Your BrotherinLaw?
58
Red White and BlueGreen
73
Canting the Kayak
86
Why Accountants and Physicists Care about the Past
94
The Moving Finger Writes
106
Sun and Water
239
Down by the Sea Where the Water Power Grows
252
Power from the Land
264
Nuclear Energy
277
ConservationWhy Saving Energy Doesnt Mean Sitting
291
GameChangers? Geoengineering Fusion
303
Ten Billion and Smiling
316
Notes
333

And Having Writ Moves On
120
The Great Ice That Covers the Land
133
thE rOad tO tEn billiOn
207
Sustainable Solutions on the Wind
224
Acknowledgments
445
Index
455
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Richard B. Alley is a professor of geology at Penn State University and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He was a member of the UN climate change committee that was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He lives in State College, Pennsylvania.

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