Grand transitions : how the modern world was made (Book, 2021) [WorldCat.org]
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Grand transitions : how the modern world was made

Author: Vaclav Smil
Publisher: New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2021]
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"The modern world was created through the combination and complex interactions of five grand transitions. First, the demographic transition changed the total numbers, dynamics, structure, and residential pattern of populations. The agricultural and dietary transition led to the emergence of highly productive cropping and animal husbandry (subsidized by fossil energies and electricity), which eliminated famines,  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Smil, Vaclav,
Grand transitions
New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2020]
(DLC) 2020029031
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Vaclav Smil
ISBN: 9780190060664 0190060662
OCLC Number: 1200832076
Description: xi, 363 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: Epochal transitions --
Populations --
Agricultures and diets --
Energies --
Economies --
Environment --
Outcomes and outlooks.
Responsibility: Vaclav Smil.

Abstract:

"The modern world was created through the combination and complex interactions of five grand transitions. First, the demographic transition changed the total numbers, dynamics, structure, and residential pattern of populations. The agricultural and dietary transition led to the emergence of highly productive cropping and animal husbandry (subsidized by fossil energies and electricity), which eliminated famines, reduced malnutrition, and improved the health of populations but also resulted in enormous food waste and had many environmental consequences. The energy transition brought the world from traditional biomass fuels and human and animal labor to fossil fuel, ever more efficient electricity, lights, and motors, which transformed both agricultural and industrial production and enabled mass-scale mobility and instant communication. Economic transition has been marked by relatively high growth rates of total national and global product, by fundamental structural transformation (from farming to industries to services) and by an increasing share of humanity living in affluent societies, enjoying unprecedented quality of life. These transitions have made many intensifying demands on the environment, resulting in ecosystemic degradation, loss of biodiversity, pollution, and eventually change on the planetary level, with global warming being the most worrisome development. This book traces the genesis of these transitions, their interactions and complicated progress as well as their outcomes and impacts, explaining how the modern world was made-and then offers a forward-thinking examination of some key unfolding transitions and appraising their challenges and possible results"--

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Vaclav Smil is my favorite author. * Bill Gates, GatesNotes * His book roams impressively around the globe and across five centuries as it asks big questions and searches for big answers. . . .His Read more...

 
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