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Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities

Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities (Hardback)

By Smil, Vaclav

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A systematic investigation of growth in nature and society, from tiny organisms to the trajectories of empires and civilizations. Growth has been both an unspoken and an explicit aim of our individual and collective striving. It governs the lives of microorganisms and galaxies; i...t shapes the capabilities of our extraordinarily large brains and the fortunes of our economies. Growth is manifested in annual increments of continental crust, a rising gross domestic product, a child's growth chart, the spread of cancerous cells. In this magisterial book, Vaclav Smil offers systematic investigation of growth in nature and society, from tiny organisms to the trajectories of empires and civilizations. Smil takes readers from bacterial invasions through animal metabolisms to megacities and the global economy. He begins with organisms whose mature sizes range from microsopic to enormous, looking at disease-causing microbes, the cultivation of staple crops, and human growth from infancy to adulthood. He examines the growth of energy conversions and man-made objects that enable economic activities-developments that have been essential to civilization. Finally, he looks at growth in complex systems, beginning with the growth of human populations and proceeding to the growth of cities. He considers the challenges of appraising the growth trajectories of empires and civilizations, explaining that we can chart the growth of organisms across individual and evolutionary time, but that the progress of societies and economies, not so linear, encompasses both decline and renewal. The trajectory of modern civilization, driven by competing imperatives of material growth and biospheric limits, Smil tells us, remains uncertain.
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ISBN 9780262042833
Released NZ 15 Sep 2019
Publisher MIT Press Ltd
Format Hardback
Alternate Format(s) View All (2 other possible title(s) available)
Series The MIT Press
Availability
4 In stock at publisher; ships 6-12 working days

Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780262042833
Stock Available
Status In stock at publisher; ships 6-12 working days
Publisher MIT Press Ltd
Imprint MIT Press
Released 15 Sep 2019
Publication Country United States United States
Format Hardback
Author(s) By Smil, Vaclav
Series The MIT Press
Category Human Geography
The Environment
Number of Pages 664
Dimensions Width: 152mm
Height: 229mm
Spine: 41mm
Dewey Code 304.2
Weight Not specified - defaults to 1,000g
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
Library of Congress Growth, Economic development, Technology and civilization, Population, Human ecology
NBS Text Environment & Ecology: General Interest
ONIX Text General/trade

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