Pursuing new alternative-energy technologies is fine and good, but society will not resolve its energy troubles unless it changes the underlying problem of energy and resource overuse, argues University of California–Berkeley visiting scholar Ozzie Zehner.
by Robert Swan with Gil Reavill. Broadway. 2009. 290 pages. $24.99.
Antarctica’s long-term survival is in question, warns Robert Swan, a researcher who has led expeditions to both the North and South poles. In 2041, he explains, the international treaty protecting Antarctica from human development is up for review. He fears that human development might win, due to the continent’s vast oil, natural gas, and mineral resources, and the likelihood that—if current consumption trends continue—existing oil wells will be mostly drained and no longer sufficient to sustain industrialized civilization.
Ridding the world of nuclear weapons is both feasible and necessary for survival, argues science journalist Tad Daley. As long as nations keep them, it is only a matter of time before they fire them at each other, he warns.
by Peter H. Gleick. 2010. 211 pages. AMACOM. $26.96.
Consumption of bottled water has skyrocketed over the last few decades, says globally recognized water expert Peter Gleick. However, he thinks that the tide may be turning. In Bottled and Sold, Gleick describes a “war on bottled water” now under way in offices, recreation centers, restaurants, and private homes across the globe.
by Faith Hickman Brynie. AMACOM. 2009. 274 pages. $24.
The brain is much more dynamic than scientists used to think, according to science and health writer Faith Hickman Brynie in Brain Sense. She takes readers on a tour of how the brain and the senses interact, sharing discoveries that she says have dramatic implications for brain research and medical practice. Examples:
Wooly mammoths could once again roam the frozen tundras. People recently killed by freezing or drowning could be brought back to life. And chimpanzees might take up day jobs in professional movie studios as cinematographers and camera operators.