Engineering & Transportation
Harvesting the Biosphere: What We Have Taken from Nature and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$22.37
Qty:1
  • List Price: $29.00
  • Save: $6.63 (23%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Want it Monday, April 28? Order within and choose Two-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
Trade in your item
Get a $6.05
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Harvesting the Biosphere: What We Have Taken from Nature Hardcover


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$22.37
$18.38 $13.95

Frequently Bought Together

Harvesting the Biosphere: What We Have Taken from Nature + Made in the USA: The Rise and Retreat of American Manufacturing + Energy Myths and Realities: Bringing Science to the Energy Policy Debate
Price for all three: $73.48

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (December 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 026201856X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262018562
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Vaclav Smil is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba. He is the author of more than thirty books, including most recently Made in the USA: The Rise and Retreat of American Manufacturing (MIT Press). In 2010 he was named by Foreign Policy as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers. In 2013 Bill Gates wrote on his website that "there is no author whose books I look forward to more than Vaclav Smil."

More About the Author


Vaclav Smil is currently a Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. He completed his graduate studies at the Faculty of Natural Sciences of Carolinum University in Prague and at the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences of the Pennsylvania State University. His interdisciplinary research interests encompass a broad area of energy, environmental, food, population, economic, historical and public policy studies, and he had also applied these approaches to energy, food and environmental affairs of China.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (Science Academy) and the first non-American to receive the American Association for the Advancement of Science Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology. He has been an invited speaker in more than 250 conferences and workshops in the USA, Canada, Europe, Asia and Africa, has lectured at many universities in North America, Europe and East Asia and has worked as a consultant for many US, EU and international institutions. His wife Eva is a physician and his son David is an organic synthetic chemist.

Official Website: www.vaslavsmil.com

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Stephen C. Baer on March 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are interested in who we are and what we have been doing for millennia, read this book. The subtitle, "what we have taken from nature" sets a tone of these remarkable 300 pages. Smil has his doubts about us. Who wouldn't?
In some pages I find the tone of Scientism, the substitution of scientific jargons for what could be said more simply. Why be restricted to his prefixes when quantities could be spelled out even stated several ways for instance T remains mysterious to me until I look up that it stands for 1012, a million million or terra. Has Smil done this on purpose to jar us into a fresh look? Like a hard hat on a construction site is his language stilted for good reason?
What keeps me reading Smil after finishing most of his 30 books is the freshness of his observations, how surprising he is. An author with an identifiable agenda becomes tiresome, not Smil. Every topic, as "did early man kill off big game", draws an original stream of references, quantities and questions. How can he refer to so many books and journals without ever seeming bookish? Facts and statistics reported by this omniscient guide blend into an unfinished song or poem not a library shelf.
The wonder is in Smil's original look at things. Can't he ever learn "to play ball" he must infuriate colleagues. Imagine him comparing how the satellites see his home town, Winnipeg to what he knows better. And can he really suggest that now and then man gives to Nature? Wasn't his theme just the opposite?
This extensive study of man becoming the dominate, horrifying force throughout the planet, plowing up North America, Brazil, China and everywhere else, straining the vast oceans through our fishing nets, is alarming. We can stop and consider, before we sink into despair, that along with many degradations we have also produced a Smil.

Steve Baer
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover
This book is laden with facts and milestones about the biosphere. Here are some of the highlights of Prof. Smil's book:

a. about 40% of all of terrestrial phytomass - trees, brush, grass - has been removed. To me, this paints of picture of a world heading toward unprecedented desertification. Even at this figure, the world is rapidly clearing and burning the tropical rainforests;

b. the ocean's zoomass or animal matter is perhaps that most vulnerable area in next few decades, according to the author. This is well described in the final chapter;

c. biomass harvests for biofuel, using so-called crop waste, imperils the health and water-absorbing capability of soils. Biomass fuel is not a good answer at large scales.

d. land and ocean mammals are at 10% of historic levels, for many species. More ocean and land disruptions will imperil the final 10% of remarkable fellow mammals.

Harvesting the biosphere, crowding out the diversity of life, and the road to global desertification. Can it be turned around? Prof. Smil offers impartial and practical advice in the last chapter. This book complements the author's other excellent books. Hopefully the summary and concluding chapter of this book will be shared among many educated people in the world.

The Gates Foundation is listening to Prof. Smil. Also, Bill Gates is personally a fan of Smil's books. How many other major foundations and think tanks are paying attention?

On a final note, this book makes it clear that human civilization's strategy of natural resource exploitation combined with indefinite population growth is a culture that is thousands of years old and unfortunately one that is archaic, worn-out, and now obsolete.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I didn't know this was going to be a textbook, but it is a comprehensive guide to calculating how much life we have on our earth, and how much we take it.

Great book for anyone seriously interested in the science behind our modern society.By serious I mean you're a masters student or professor. This is NOT a bedtime read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good book, thought provoking, I have not yet finished it, but like it very much, and will definitely re read
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Search
ARRAY(0x9cfa4cc0)