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The story of N : a social history of the nitrogen cycle and the challenge of sustainability

Author: Hugh S Gorman
Publisher: New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, ©2013.
Series: Studies in modern science, technology, and the environment.
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
In The Story of N, Hugh S. Gorman analyzes the notion of sustainability from a fresh perspective; the integration of human activities with the biogeochemical cycling of nitrogen and provides a supportive alternative to studying sustainability through the lens of climate change and the cycling of carbon. It is the first book to examine the social processes by which industrial societies learned to bypass a fundamental  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Gorman, Hugh S. (Hugh Scott), 1957-
Story of N.
New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, ©2013
(OCoLC)971459671
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Hugh S Gorman
ISBN: 9780813554389 0813554381 9780813554396 081355439X
OCLC Number: 788264221
Description: xiii, 241 pages ; 24 cm.
Contents: The emergence of a biogeochemical cycle --
From adaption to innovation --
Innovation within an ecological limit --
N and the emergence of market capitalism --
N and the rise of science --
Bypassing an ecological limit --
Industrializing a biogeomical cycle --
N in the well --
N in the air --
N in the law --
N and the seeds of an ecological economy --
Conclusion: the challenge of sustainability.
Series Title: Studies in modern science, technology, and the environment.
Responsibility: Hugh S. Gorman.

Abstract:

In The Story of N, Hugh S. Gorman analyzes the notion of sustainability from a fresh perspective; the integration of human activities with the biogeochemical cycling of nitrogen and provides a supportive alternative to studying sustainability through the lens of climate change and the cycling of carbon. It is the first book to examine the social processes by which industrial societies learned to bypass a fundamental ecological limit and, later, began addressing the resulting concerns by establishing limits of their own. The book is organized into three parts. Part I, "The Knowledge of Nature," explores the emergence of the nitrogen cycle before humans arrived on the scene and the changes that occurred as stationary agricultural societies took root. Part II, "Learning to Bypass an Ecological Limit," examines the role of science and market capitalism in accelerating the pace of innovation, eventually allowing humans to bypass the activity of nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Part III, "Learning to Establish Human-Defined Limits," covers the twentieth-century response to the nitrogen-related concerns that emerged as more nitrogenous compounds flowed into the environment. A concluding chapter, "The Challenge of Sustainability," places the entire story in the context of constructing an ecological economy in which innovations that contribute to sustainable practices are rewarded.

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"Gorman has written an extremely readable natural and human history and a compelling account of the foundations of science that continue to reshape our view of what is possible in the natural future Read more...

 
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