Vaclav Smil

in Pilsen, Czech Republic
December 09, 1943




Vaclav Smil is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba. He is the author of forty books, including Energy and Civilization, published by the MIT Press. In 2010 he was named by Foreign Policy as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers.

Average rating: 3.92 · 5,708 ratings · 659 reviews · 52 distinct worksSimilar authors
Energy and Civilization: A ...

4.11 avg rating — 1,377 ratings — published 2017 — 10 editions
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Energy: A Beginner's Guide

3.96 avg rating — 751 ratings — published 2006 — 10 editions
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Energy Myths and Realities:...

3.85 avg rating — 450 ratings — published 2010 — 5 editions
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Making the Modern World: Ma...

3.74 avg rating — 440 ratings — published 2013 — 7 editions
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Should We Eat Meat?: Evolut...

3.53 avg rating — 434 ratings — published 2013 — 6 editions
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Growth: From Microorganisms...

3.89 avg rating — 356 ratings — published 2019 — 6 editions
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Oil: A Beginner's Guide

3.79 avg rating — 380 ratings — published 2008
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Made in the USA: The Rise a...

3.75 avg rating — 297 ratings — published 2013 — 5 editions
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Global Catastrophes and Tre...

4.01 avg rating — 170 ratings — published 2008 — 5 editions
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Creating the Twentieth Cent...

4.20 avg rating — 128 ratings — published 2004 — 5 editions
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“the world now consumes in one year nearly as much steel as it did during the first post-World War II decade, and (even more incredibly) more cement than it consumed during the first half of the twentieth century.”
Vaclav Smil, Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization

“The last time such a loss occurred was during the 1930s, and what makes it such a concern this time is that the dismal job creation statistic has been accompanied by huge and rising budget deficits, large and persistent trade deficits, enormous indebtedness, a low saving rate, a worsening state of indispensable modern infrastructure, poor achievements in education for the masses, worrisome public health (marked by a historically unprecedented incidence of obesity)—and a grossly dysfunctional government to run it all. When seen from this perspective, the state of US manufacturing is a clear cause for concern.”
Vaclav Smil, Made in the USA: The Rise and Retreat of American Manufacturing

“Life’s great dichotomy is between autotrophs, organisms that can nourish themselves, and heterotrophs, or life forms that must feed on other organisms.”
Vaclav Smil, Harvesting the Biosphere: What We Have Taken from Nature

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