Engine of Evolution

First published on September 15, 2005

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  • Author: Frank Niele
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080459035
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780444518866

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Energy: Engine of Evolution is a compelling book that provides a compact history of energy over the last four billion years, with the aim of creating a sound basis to understanding the possible futures of the energy industry. It describes the role that energy has played in the evolution of nature and culture, the impact it has had on the world over time and the implications that we are faced with concerning the role of energy in the future. This book describes the relationship between life and energy through time, outlining how the major revolutions in the evolution of life on earth were driven by developments at the energy frontiers. Energy: Engine of Evolution states that we are on the verge of the next energy revolution, where we will learn how to master new energy forms in a new way. As a result of years of research and discussions by leading experts in the oil and gas industry, this publication offers inspiring insights and examples of new approaches to technological and evolutionary developments, paving the way towards a more sustainable future.

Key Features

* 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 sustainable development


This publication is recommended to a broad audience with an interest in sustainable development, energy, evolution and the environment including researchers, government agencies, business professionals, as well as socially engaged intellectuals.

Table of Contents

    -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

Product details

  • No. of pages: 214
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier Science 2005
  • Published: September 15, 2005
  • Imprint: Elsevier Science
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080459035
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780444518866

About the Author

Frank Niele

Affiliations and Expertise

Shell Global Solutions International, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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