About this book
Energy: Engine of Evolution is a book about evolution, energy and sustainable development. Since the origin of life, five energy revolutions have passed and Earth is again at the threshold of a new era. This highly practical book paves the way in the search for efficient techniques. In it, the author argues that a sixth energy revolution is required to support the new way of life, and explores possible energy pathways to a more endurable future.
PART I. THE FIRST FIVE ENERGY REVOLUTIONS -a time journey through the history of life-
Chapter 1. The Photo-Energy Revolution The origin of life; The origin of sunlight; The origin of planet Earth; The origin of the living cell; The Thermophilic Regime; Photosynthesis and free oxygen; The origin of photosynthesis; Sunlight-driven energy technology; The Phototropic Regime; And the face of the earth changed; Two grand carbon cycles; The self-inflicted crisis.
Chapter 2. The Oxo-Energy Revolution The origin of aerobic respiration; The origin of breathable air; Global oxygen crisis; Aerobic respiration; Oxygen-driven energy technology; Microbial symbiosis; The origin of the eukaryotic cell design; The microbial energy majors; The Aerobic Regime; Biological diversification; Ecological growth; And the face of the earth changed; The changing landscape; Competition and adaptation.
Chapter 3. The Pyro-Energy Revolution The origin of hominids; It needed a crisis; The origin of human culture; The quest for the human advantage; Man the fire master; The human advantage; The origin of fire; Active use of fire; The Pyrocultural Regime; Societal metabolism; The Symbolisational Signal; And the face of the earth changed; A changing lifestyle; And life changed the land.
Chapter 4. The Agro-Energy Revolution Man the solar farmer; The Agricultural Revolution; The forces that shaped the revolution; The Agrocultural Regime; The emergence of competing energy chains; A new reality emerges; The Quantificational Signal; The Scientific Revolution; And the face of the earth changed; From farms to nation states; The growing human footprint.
Chapter 5. The Carbo-Energy Revolution Hydrocarbon Man ; The agrocultural energy crisis; The dawn of ancient sunlight; The Carbocultural Regime; The Carbian Explosion; An explosion of competing energy chains; Electric energy as information carrier; Carbocultural, non-fossil energy chains; Sensitive scientific senses; And the face of the earth changed; The surging human footprint; From fire master to fire addict.
PART II. THE NEXT ENERGY REVOLUTION -evolutionary energetics, models and scenarios-
Chapter 6. The Staircase of Energy Regimes Energy regimes; The foundation of the Staircase model; The rise and fall of complexity; The evolution of information; Generating information; From genes to memes and artefacts; Socio-technological development; The rhythm of societal development; The pushes and pulls of progress; The evolution of system earth.
Chapter 7. The Emerging Helio-Energy Revolution Signs of a coming energy revolution; The Macroscopical Signal; Two perceptions of reality; Leaving Carbon Valley; Nuclear Valley; Green Valley; Sustainable development; Limits to nuclear; Limits to green; The next energy revolution; Symbian Man; The Helio-Energy Revolution; Socio-metabolic complexes; And the face of the earth will change.