How the world really works: The science behind how we got here and where we are going By Vaclav Smil
Published in May 2022.
The best book I’ve read this year about the future is Vaclav Smile How the world really works.
The irony is that Smiley is an outspoken proponent, repeatedly mentioning that he refuses to predict the state of the world in 2030, 2050 or later.
What a nice smile How the world really works Using data to undermine the claims of both catastrophic and techno-optimistic.
Regardless of what you want to believe, the world is not heading for a climate change catastrophe or a mono-techno-utopia. Electric cars will replace gas-powered vehicles more slowly than we would like, and we will have decades to come where our energy needs depend on fossil carbon fuels.
How the world really works A great guide to understanding the power and material basis of modern life. The earth is made on the basis of ammonia (fertilizer), plastic, cement and steel. Each of these elements is essential for the continuity and progress of civilization, and each requires a great deal of energy to produce.
What How the world really works I won’t tell you about how High Ed really works. How does the way we think about our universities affect smile reading?
First, Smile may notice that what we do in academia depends on energy. We rarely think about the energy needed to produce the tools we use for teaching, research and services. Everything from our building to our laptop is a product of energy conversion.
We also do not consider that academic life on campus depends on the presence of reliable electricity. Perhaps this month the power outage at Stanford will raise the profile of electricity across the academy.
Second, Smile is highly skeptical of attempts to predict the future of higher education. I’m obsessed with what the university might look like in the 2050s. Thirty-one years ago, I graduated from college. When you think of college in 2053, it doesn’t seem so tense.
Yet the smile will indicate that the fan of potential university futures expands as we wait years. He used to say that universities are built on energy. And the transfer of that energy happens slowly.
Smile argues that we should stop looking at the iPhone as an indication of progress, and that large-scale material changes are nothing more than a transfer from a mute to a smartphone.
Finally, Smile might say that the heart of a campus-based university is found in our power plants – not in our classrooms, labs or administrative buildings. He will mention that many universities produce at least part of their heat and electricity, yet the co-generation plant never stays on campus.
Acolyte of Smile can argue that the aggressive installation of solar panels on the roofs of academic buildings and residential halls is not only a strategy to support clean energy but also a visible and practical statement of the values of the organization.
Are you reading