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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Culture
Energy and Civilization: A History
    2017-December-6  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

《能源与人类文明的历史》

This book by Vaclav Smil, a Czech-Canadian professor emeritus at the University of Manitoba, is one of five Bill Gates has picked for “amazing books” he read in 2017.

Energy is the only universal currency*; it is necessary for getting anything done. The conversion of energy on Earth ranges from terra-forming forces of plate tectonics* to cumulative* erosive effects of raindrops. Life on Earth depends on the photosynthetic conversion of solar energy into plant biomass*. Humans have come to rely on many more energy flows — ranging from fossil fuels to the photovoltaic* generation of electricity — for their civilized existence.

Smil provides a comprehensive account of how energy has shaped society, from pre-agricultural foraging* societies through today’s fossil fuel-driven civilization.

Humans are the only species that can systematically harness energies outside their bodies, using the power of their intellect and an enormous variety of artifacts* — from the simplest tools to internal combustion engines* and nuclear reactors.

The transition to fossil fuels affected everything: agriculture, industry, transportation, weapons,

communication, economics, urbanization*, quality of life, politics, and the environment.

Smil describes humanity’s energy eras in a panoramic* and interdisciplinary fashion, offering readers a magisterial* overview.

It’s available at online bookstores like jd.com.

(SD-Agencies)

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