Presented as a series of short vignettes, on topics as wide ranging as the height of Japanese men to the manufacturing challenges of wind turbines, Smil’s latest work is a move away from his more traditional academic style. His emphasis remains on the importance of data and numbers in assessing the state of the world, but this is a very accessible book intended for a wide audience. I’ve read nearly all of Smil’s books and this is the one I recommend to friends who don’t have the time to read an 800-page academic work.

Barry

By Vaclav Smil

From Earth’s nations and inhabitants, through the fuels and foods that energize them, to the transportation and inventions of our modern world – and how all of this affects the planet itself – in Numbers Don’t Lie, Professor Vaclav Smil takes us on a fact-finding adventure, using surprising statistics and illuminating graphs to challenge lazy thinking. Smil is on a mission to make facts matter, because after all, numbers may not lie, but which truth do they convey?

More Books

The Displacements

The Displacements

As 'The Displacements' slows down and sinks into the frustrations of life in a massive relief camp, the story recalls the Houston Astrodome after Katrina — except that here we witness what one character sardonically labels a 'catastrophe of whiteness.'… What unfolds...

Limits and Beyond

Limits and Beyond

Edited by Ugo Bardi & Carlos Alvarez Pereira In 1972, a book changed the world. The Club of Rome commissioned a report that shifted how we see what humans are doing to the planet. Looking back five decades later, what happened next, what did we do and not do, what...

We Are the Middle of Forever

We Are the Middle of Forever

This book adds an indigenous perspective on the polycrisis–it’s perspective-shifting and adds what has been missing in polycrisis conversations. And makes the important point that the actual idea of a polycrisis is a colonial construct. Susan An innovative work of...

Mutual Accompaniment and the Creation of the Commons

Mutual Accompaniment and the Creation of the Commons

Mary Watkins brings together activist, archetypal, and community-based work with beauty and grace. How do we show up—for all humans and all species—in the name of peace and liberation? If this question haunts you or sparks your imagination, dig into this offering....

Designs for the Pluriverse

Designs for the Pluriverse

Arturo Escobar, thank you for being alive on this planet at this time. And, thank you for this beautiful book and elevating how we think of design—and the role it has in human culture.Susan By Arturo Ecobar In Designs for the Pluriverse Arturo Escobar presents a new...