Energy - Engine of Evolution

Frank Niele 
Elsevier  September 2005  

Hardback  212 pp  ISBN 9780444518866      £88.00
  • Provides evolutionary insight
  • Introduces an Energy Time Scale that shows key relationships between energy and the history of planet Earth
  • Contains exciting examples of new approaches to technological and evolutionary developments
Energy: Engine of Evolution is a book about evolution, energy and sustainable development. Since the origin of life, five energy revolutions have passed and Earth is again at the threshold of a new era. This highly practical book paves the way in the search for efficient techniques. In it, the author argues that a sixth energy revolution is required to support the new way of life, and explores possible energy pathways to a more endurable future. Packed with inspiring insights, and examples of new approaches to technological and evolutionary developments, Energy: Engine of Evolution is exceptional reading for business professionals, politicians and scientists.

Of interest to chemists and chemical engineers, environmental scientists, power resources engineers, and business managers (decision/policy makers)


-a time journey through the history of life-

Chapter 1. The Photo-Energy Revolution
The origin of life
The origin of sunlight
The origin of planet Earth
The origin of the living cell
The Thermophilic Regime
Photosynthesis and free oxygen
The origin of photosynthesis
Sunlight-driven energy technology
The Phototropic Regime
And the face of the earth changed
Two grand carbon cycles
The self-inflicted crisis

Chapter 2. The Oxo-Energy Revolution
The origin of aerobic respiration
The origin of breathable air
Global oxygen crisis
Aerobic respiration
Oxygen-driven energy technology
Microbial symbiosis
The origin of the eukaryotic cell design
The microbial energy majors
The Aerobic Regime
Biological diversification
Ecological growth
And the face of the earth changed
The changing landscape
Competition and adaptation

Chapter 3. The Pyro-Energy Revolution
The origin of hominids
It needed a crisis
The origin of human culture
The quest for the human advantage
Man the fire master
The human advantage
The origin of fire
Active use of fire
The Pyrocultural Regime
Societal metabolism
The Symbolisational Signal
And the face of the earth changed
A changing lifestyle
And life changed the land

Chapter 4. The Agro-Energy Revolution
Man the solar farmer
The Agricultural Revolution
The forces that shaped the revolution
The Agrocultural Regime
The emergence of competing energy chains
A new reality emerges
The Quantificational Signal
The Scientific Revolution
And the face of the earth changed
From farms to nation states
The growing human footprint

Chapter 5. The Carbo-Energy Revolution
Hydrocarbon Man
The agrocultural energy crisis
The dawn of ancient sunlight
The Carbocultural Regime
The Carbian Explosion
An explosion of competing energy chains
Electric energy as information carrier
Carbocultural, non-fossil energy chains
Sensitive scientific senses
And the face of the earth changed
The surging human footprint
From fire master to fire addict

-evolutionary energetics, models and scenarios-

Chapter 6. The Staircase of Energy Regimes
Energy regimes
The foundation of the Staircase model
The rise and fall of complexity
The evolution of information
Generating information
From genes to memes and artefacts
Socio-technological development
The rhythm of societal development
The pushes and pulls of progress
The evolution of system earth

Chapter 7. The Emerging Helio-Energy Revolution
Signs of a coming energy revolution
The Macroscopical Signal
Two perceptions of reality
Leaving Carbon Valley
Nuclear Valley
Green Valley
Sustainable development
Limits to nuclear
Limits to green
The next energy revolution
Symbian Man
The Helio-Energy Revolution
Socio-metabolic complexes
And the face of the earth will change

Energy, Complexity and Evolution
The nature of energy
Energy-driven organisation

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