Technological Trajectories and the Human Environment provides a surprising projection of a much greener planet, based on long-range analysis of trends in the efficient use of energy, materials, and land. The authors argue that we will decarbonize the global energy system and drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We will dematerialize the economy by leaner manufacturing, better product design, and smart use of materials. We will significantly increase land areas reserved for nature by conducting highly productive and environmentally friendly agriculture on less land than is used today, even as global population doubles. The book concludes that the technological opportunities before us offer the possibility of a vastly superior industrial ecology. Rich in both data and theory, the book offers fresh analyses essential for everyone in the environmental arena concerned with global change, sustainable development, and profitable investments in technology.
Jesse H. Ausubel and H. Dale Langford, Editors; National Academy of Engineering
1 FRONT MATTER; 2 The Liberation of the Environment; 3 Time for a Change: On the Patterns of Diffusion of Innovation; 4 Population, Technology, and the Human Environment: A Thread Through Time; 5 How Much Land Can Ten Billion People Spare for Nature?; 6 Freeing Energy from Carbon; 7 Life-styles and the Environment: The Case of Energy; 8 Elecktron: Electrical Systems in Retrospect and Prospect; 9 Materialization and Dematerialization: Measures and Trends; 10 Toward the End of Waste: Reflections on a New Ecology of Industry; 11 Humans in Nature: Toward a Physiocentric Philosophy; 12 Sustaining the Human Environment: The Next Two Hundred Years; 13 Biographical Data; 14 Index