Children of the Sun: A History of Humanity's Unappeasable Appetite for Energy

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Norton, 2006 - Nature - 192 pages
2 Reviews
We don't often recognize the humble activity of cooking for the revolutionary cultural adaptation that it is. But when the hearth fires started burning in the Paleolithic, humankind broadened the exploitation of food and initiated an avalanche of change. And we don't often associate cooking with drilling for oil, but both are innovations that allow us to tap the sun energy accumulated in organic matter. Alfred W. Crosby, a founder of the field of global history, reveals how humanity's successes hinge directly on effective uses of sun energy. But dwindling natural resources, global warming, and environmental pollution all testify to the limits of our fossil-fuel civilization. Although we haven't yet adopted a feasible alternative-just look at the embarrassment of "cold fusion" or the 2003 blackout that humbled North America-our ingenuity and adaptability as a species give us hope.

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User Review  - kday_working - LibraryThing

A short and incisive history of humans and their use of the sun's energy, in all its forms, throughout history. A timely reminder of what we are burning every single day. Read full review

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User Review  - Stbalbach - LibraryThing

I read over 100 books a year and this probably ranks as the most unmemorable book I read in the past 12 months. There is nothing terribly wrong with it, it's mostly factually accurate and well written ... Read full review

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About the author (2006)

Alfred W. Crosby is the author of the groundbreaking work The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492 and many other acclaimed works in global and environmental history. He is professor emeritus of history, geography, and American studies at the University of Texas in Austin. He and his family live in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

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