This is a wide-ranging and persuasive book written by an undisputed expert. Beginning with a broad history of the Universe, Earth, Life and Man, it considers the origins and rise of science and technology, before moving on to discuss the present state of the world and its and our possible futures.
"Humans on Earth" then addresses the main challenges for social and economic development in the 21st century in the context of global change. It presents a detailed but non-technical analysis of questions relating to climate change, our dependence on fossil fuels, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, desertification, air, water, soil, and ocean pollution as well as problems related to overpopulation, poverty, social and economic inequities and conflict potential. The main emphasis is on the risks and uncertainties of the short-term future--the next 50 to 100 years--with regard to environmental degradation and the sustainability of our growth paradigm.
Science and Technology
From the Origins to the 21st Century
A Very Short History of the Universe, Earth, Life and Man
Discourses on Development and the Environment
Filipe Duarte Santos is professor of physics and environmental sciences at the University of Lisbon. He has been visiting professor or visiting researcher at the universities of Oxford, Surrey, Munich (LMU), Amsterdam (Vrije Universiteit), North Carolina (Chapel Hill), Wisconsin (Madison), and Indiana, among others. He is presently review editor of the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report, Vice-Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in 2008-2009 and elected for 2012-2013, and Director of the Ibero-American Program CYTED for Science, Technology, and Development in the field of Sustainable Development, Ecosystems, and Global Change.
Professor Filipe Duarte Santos, a physicist and scholar of environmental sciences at the University of Lisbon, provides a sweeping, thoughtful view of the role of humans in shaping our modern world. Beginning with a short history of the universe, he crafts an easily accessible narrative, weaving together an exploration of the laws of physics, an examination of human evolution, and an illuminating discussion of the roles played by art, religion, science, and technology. From the Foreword by Paul Epstein, Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School