Earth: The Operators' Manual

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9780393081091: Earth: The Operators' Manual

The book―companion to a PBS series―that proves humans are causing global warming and offers a path to the future.

Since the discovery of fire, humans have been energy users and always will be. And this is a good thing-our mastery of energy is what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom and has allowed us to be the dominant species on the planet. However, this mastery comes with a price: we are changing our environment in a profoundly negative way by heating it up.

Using one engaging story after another, coupled with accessible scientific facts, world authority Richard B. Alley explores the fascinating history of energy use by humans over the centuries, gives a doubt-destroying proof that already-high levels of carbon dioxide are causing damaging global warming, and surveys the alternative energy options that are available to exploit right now. These new energy sources might well be the engines for economic growth in the twenty-first century. 50 black-and-white photographs

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About the Author:

Richard B. Alley is a professor of geology at Penn State University and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He was a member of the UN climate change committee that was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He lives in State College, Pennsylvania.

From Publishers Weekly:

In this companion book to the PBS television series of the same name, Alley, a Penn State professor of geology who served as a member of the U.N. climate change committee, presents a primer on combatting global warming. The book begins with a history of how fuel-from trees, whale oil, and petroleum-has been instrumental to civilization and how we tend to exhaust our sources. He goes on to explain how scientists study climate change and why the evidence is convincing, and ends with a call to action and an overview of possible solutions. Laden with professorial jokes, unexpected similes (studying climate change is like watching kindergarten soccer; stabilizing the atmosphere is comparable to sewage treatment), photos of the author's daughters, and exhaustive responses that should demolish any and all misinformation about global warming circulating around the U.S., this optimistic book ought to convince even the most obstinate climate-change denier. (Apr.)
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