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Academic & Professional Books  History & Other Humanities  Environmental History

Making the Modern World Materials and Dematerialization

By: Vaclav Smil(Author)
242 pages, illustrations
Making the Modern World
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  • Making the Modern World ISBN: 9781119942535 Paperback Nov 2013 Out of stock: Usually dispatched within 5 days
Price: £29.95
About this book Contents Customer reviews Related titles

About this book

How much further should the affluent world push its material consumption? Does relative dematerialization lead to absolute decline in demand for materials? These and many other questions are discussed and answered in Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization.

Over the course of time, the modern world has become dependent on unprecedented flows of materials. Now even the most efficient production processes and the highest practical rates of recycling may not be enough to result in dematerialization rates that would be high enough to negate the rising demand for materials generated by continuing population growth and rising standards of living. Making the Modern World explores the costs of this dependence and the potential for substantial dematerialization of modern economies.

Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization considers the principal materials used throughout history, from wood and stone, through to metals, alloys, plastics and silicon, describing their extraction and production as well as their dominant applications. The evolving productivities of material extraction, processing, synthesis, finishing and distribution, and the energy costs and environmental impact of rising material consumption are examined in detail. Making the Modern World concludes with an outlook for the future, discussing the prospects for dematerialization and potential constrains on materials.

This interdisciplinary text provides useful perspectives for readers with backgrounds including resource economics, environmental studies, energy analysis, mineral geology, industrial organization, manufacturing and material science.


Preface: Why and How ix

1. What Gets Included 1
2. How We Got Here 7
3. What Matters Most 45
4. How the Materials Flow 77
5. Are We Dematerializing? 119
6. Material Outlook 157

Customer Reviews

By: Vaclav Smil(Author)
242 pages, illustrations
Media reviews

Praise for the third edition:

"The new edition of The Physiology of Fishes seems likely to continue the trend of the two previous editions that have each been regarded at the time as the best single reference text for fish physiology [...] The multi-author approach of The Physiology of Fishes works well in providing detailed reviews with a high level of insight. [...] Overall, The Physiology of Fishes provides a series of stimulating and valuable reviews that emphasize future directions for research."
– Anne Brown, University of Exeter & Aquatonics Ltd, Journal of Fish Biology, March 2007, 70

"With this third edition, David Evans (now with coeditor James Claiborne) has improved on his highly successful Fish Physiology volume. [...] Most of the chapters are written by one or two of the leading researchers in the field [...] . All of the chapters have large and up-to-date bibliographies that will be a starting point for further research [...] . it will be ideal for graduate students who have already mastered the concepts and language of comparative physiology. For fish biologists whose days of coursework are over, it will be a valuable resource and reference."
– Stephen D McCormick, Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center, in The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 82, No. 2, June 2007

Praise for the second edition:

"The high quality of the chapters has been maintained. Lists of reference are extensive and up to date. This book continues to be the best single-volume, general reference to fish physiology. It is a worthwhile investment."
– Malcolm S. Gordon, University of California, Los Angeles, in The Quarterly Review of Biology, December 1998

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