Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Energy in Nature and Society: General Energetics of Complex Systems” as Want to Read:
Energy in Nature and Society: General Energetics of Complex Systems
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Energy in Nature and Society: General Energetics of Complex Systems

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  34 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Energy in Nature and Society is a systematic and exhaustive analysis of all the major energy sources, storages, flows, and conversions that have shaped the evolution of the biosphere and civilization. Vaclav Smil uses fundamental unifying metrics (most notably for power density and energy intensity) to provide an integrated framework for analyzing all segments of energetic ...more
Published January 1st 2008 by MIT Press (MA) (first published December 21st 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Energy in Nature and Society, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Energy in Nature and Society

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nick Black
Jan 29, 2009 Nick Black rated it it was amazing
Shelves: likely-reread
updated 2009-01-29 15:43:27 EST: not finished yet, but will be after classes. wow, wow, wow, this book is so incredibly awesome and touches me so deeply. why isn't vaclav smil president of some major nation (and what's up with Czechoslovakia having so many presidents named vaclav?)? BECAUSE HE'S TOO DAMN BUSY BEING THE FINEST SCIENTIFIC AUTHOR IN THE WORLD, THAT'S WHY. this book is so dense with beautiful, connective information as to make me sing. you can find the preface online; i urge you (al ...more
Mar 07, 2011 unperspicacious rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, energy
This is an ambitious but accessible introduction to a holistic anatomy of energy flows in both the past and present. It is also, I think, a good entry point into Smil's vast collection of energy-related books, if one is not sure where to begin.

Smil has a great gift for explaining a plethora (and I mean plethora) of technical concepts in a lively, clear and concise manner to the non-technically trained reader. There are boatloads of numbers and figures in the text, but these have been inserted m
Peter Mcloughlin
Vaclav Smil has been writing on energy for some time. A subject like energy is a systems topic with lots of stats and charts about energy use, production and growth and change. For people who are interested in the physical patterns of earth and human civilization they will get much from this book which places our lives, our communities, politics and way of life in the context of greater physical transformations and forces. It is not a bodice ripper but can be enlightening and pleasurable to see ...more
Jan 22, 2010 DJ marked it as to-read
treatise on how energy drives all (and surprisingly has been misappropriated by new-agey crackpots)
Ellis rated it it was amazing
Dec 17, 2008
Zoe rated it really liked it
Jan 20, 2013
Dan Robertson
Dan Robertson rated it it was amazing
Jul 30, 2010
Neal Grout
Neal Grout rated it really liked it
Nov 06, 2012
Austin Lopez
Austin Lopez rated it it was amazing
Feb 07, 2014
Eshwar rated it really liked it
Dec 10, 2016
Drew Ringsmuth
Drew Ringsmuth rated it it was amazing
Feb 21, 2012
Germán rated it it was amazing
Apr 10, 2015
Joshua Galloway
Joshua Galloway rated it it was amazing
Dec 17, 2011
John rated it really liked it
Jan 20, 2015
Yves rated it really liked it
Apr 13, 2015
Dick rated it it was amazing
Nov 06, 2011
Meredith Stills
Meredith Stills rated it did not like it
Jun 30, 2016
Raj Rajkumar
Raj Rajkumar rated it really liked it
Oct 05, 2014
Jovany Agathe
Jovany Agathe rated it it was ok
Aug 25, 2015
Josh Johnson
Josh Johnson rated it it was amazing
Oct 14, 2015
Dan Murphy
Dan Murphy rated it it was amazing
Oct 10, 2007
Allen rated it really liked it
Sep 18, 2010
Jay rated it liked it
Jan 16, 2014
Matthew rated it really liked it
Dec 04, 2009
Arthur Yip
Arthur Yip rated it it was amazing
Sep 19, 2014
Juan Rivas
Juan Rivas rated it really liked it
Nov 29, 2014
Jani-Petri rated it liked it
Jul 19, 2015
Mats Frick
Mats Frick rated it really liked it
May 28, 2014
Bterhal rated it really liked it
Mar 14, 2013
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Cosmosapiens: Human Evolution From the Origin Of the Universe
  • Death and the Afterlife: A Chronological Journey, from Cremation to Quantum Resurrection
  • What are the Seven Wonders of the World?: And 100 Other Great Cultural Lists--Fully Explicated
  • The Things That Nobody Knows: 501 Mysteries of Life, the Universe and Everything
  • The Physics of War: From Arrows to Atoms
  • The God Problem: How a Godless Cosmos Creates
  • The Lost Art of Finding Our Way
  • The Space Book: From the Beginning to the End of Time, 250 Milestones in the History of Space & Astronomy
  • A Short History of Christianity
  • Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made
  • Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future
  • A Survival Guide to the Misinformation Age: Scientific Habits of Mind
  • War! What Is It Good For?: Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots
  • Atheism for Dummies
  • The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change
  • God and the Multiverse: Humanity's Expanding View of the Cosmos
  • Masters of the Word: How Media Shaped History
  • The Great Divide: History and Human Nature in the Old World and the New

Vaclav Smil does interdisciplinary research in the fields of energy, environmental and population change, food production and nutrition, technical innovation, risk assessment, and public policy.

He has published 35 books and more than 400 papers on these topics. He is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (Science Academy), and the
More about Vaclav Smil...

Share This Book