Carbon and its Domestication

A M Mannion 
Springer  2006  

Hardcover  XVI, 319 p.  ISBN 9781402039560      £103.00

Softcover  XVI, 319 p.  ISBN 9781402039577      £54.00
Carbon is chemically versatile and is thus the body and soul of biological, geological, ecological and economic systems. Its appropriation by humans through diversion of its biogeochemical cycle has been a mainstay of development. This domestication is characterized by a number of thresholds: control of fire, development of agriculture, expansion of Europe, fossil-fuel use and biotechnology. All have exacted an environmental toll, not least being climatic change and biodiversity loss. Carbon management now and in the future is a 'hot' political issue.

There is no existing book which focuses on the pivotal role of carbon in the environment and society and the ways in which carbon has been domesticated in time and space to generate wealth and political advantage. Students of environmental science, geography, biology and general science will find this work invaluable as a cross-disciplinary text.

Written for: Students of environmental science, geography, biology and general science


List of Figures.
List of Tables.

1 Introduction. 1.1 What is carbon?
1.2 Why is carbon so important? 1.3 Carbon and climate . 1.4 Carbon and the environment in the last 3 million years. 1.5 Carbon and technology through prehistory and history. 1.6 Carbon and development. 1.7 Carbon and the future.

2 The Chemistry Of Carbon.
2.1 The mineral world. 2.2 Organic compounds. 2.3 The biogeochemistry of carbon.

3 The Biology Of Carbon.
3.1 The web of life. 3.2 Domain Archaea. 3.3 Domain Bacteria. 3.4 Domain Eukaryote. 3.5 Viruses etc. 3.6 Vital processes. 3.7 Food chains and food webs.

4 The Geology Of Carbon.
4.1 Carbon, life and climate: the last 5 x 109 years. 4.2 Sedimentary rocks. 4.3 Coal. 4.4 Oil (petroleum) and natural gas. 4.5 Wetlands.

5 The History And Consequences Of Carbon Domestication.
5.1 The harnessing of fire. 5.2 The origins and spread of agriculture. 5.3 Carbon exchanges during the Holocene. 5.4 History of fossil-fuel use and industrialization. 5.5 Pollution history. 5.6 Biotechnology.

6 The Geography Of Carbon.
6.1 World ecosystems. 6.2 Marine ecosystems. 6.3 The alteration of the world€s biomes. 6.4 Measures of human impact.

7 The Politicization Of Carbon.
7.1 Initiatives 1860 to 1939. 7.2 Initiatives 1945 to the early 1970s. 7.3 Green politics. 7.4 Petropolitics and oil crises. 7.5 NGOs. 7.6 UN, UNEP, international agreements and the Earth Charter. 7.7 International initiatives on atmosphere/climate. 7.8 The politics of biodiversity. 7.9 Trade.

8 Conclusion And Prospect.
8.1 Conclusion. 8.2 Prospect. 8.3 Envoi. 8.4 Addendum.



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