The Control of Nature

The Control of Nature
Author: John McPhee
Publsiher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Total Pages: 272
Release: 2011-04-01
Genre: Nature
ISBN: 9780374708498

Download The Control of Nature Book in PDF, Epub and Kindle

While John McPhee was working on his previous book, Rising from the Plains, he happened to walk by the engineering building at the University of Wyoming, where words etched in limestone said: "Strive on--the control of Nature is won, not given." In the morning sunlight, that central phrase--"the control of nature"--seemed to sparkle with unintended ambiguity. Bilateral, symmetrical, it could with equal speed travel in opposite directions. For some years, he had been planning a book about places in the world where people have been engaged in all-out battles with nature, about (in the words of the book itself) "any struggle against natural forces--heroic or venal, rash or well advised--when human beings conscript themselves to fight against the earth, to take what is not given, to rout the destroying enemy, to surround the base of Mt. Olympus demanding and expecting the surrender of the gods." His interest had first been sparked when he went into the Atchafalaya--the largest river swamp in North America--and had learned that virtually all of its waters were metered and rationed by a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' project called Old River Control. In the natural cycles of the Mississippi's deltaic plain, the time had come for the Mississippi to change course, to shift its mouth more than a hundred miles and go down the Atchafalaya, one of its distributary branches. The United States could not afford that--for New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and all the industries that lie between would be cut off from river commerce with the rest of the nation. At a place called Old River, the Corps therefore had built a great fortress--part dam, part valve--to restrain the flow of the Atchafalaya and compel the Mississippi to stay where it is. In Iceland, in 1973, an island split open without warning and huge volumes of lava began moving in the direction of a harbor scarcely half a mile away. It was not only Iceland's premier fishing port (accounting for a large percentage of Iceland's export economy) but it was also the only harbor along the nation's southern coast. As the lava threatened to fill the harbor and wipe it out, a physicist named Thorbjorn Sigurgeirsson suggested a way to fight against the flowing red rock--initiating an all-out endeavor unique in human history. On the big island of Hawaii, one of the world's two must eruptive hot spots, people are not unmindful of the Icelandic example. McPhee went to Hawaii to talk with them and to walk beside the edges of a molten lake and incandescent rivers. Some of the more expensive real estate in Los Angeles is up against mountains that are rising and disintegrating as rapidly as any in the world. After a complex coincidence of natural events, boulders will flow out of these mountains like fish eggs, mixed with mud, sand, and smaller rocks in a cascading mass known as debris flow. Plucking up trees and cars, bursting through doors and windows, filling up houses to their eaves, debris flows threaten the lives of people living in and near Los Angeles' famous canyons. At extraordinary expense the city has built a hundred and fifty stadium-like basins in a daring effort to catch the debris. Taking us deep into these contested territories, McPhee details the strategies and tactics through which people attempt to control nature. Most striking in his vivid depiction of the main contestants: nature in complex and awesome guises, and those who would attempt to wrest control from her--stubborn, often ingenious, and always arresting characters.

The Control of Nature

The Control of Nature
Author: John McPhee
Publsiher: Macmillan
Total Pages: 272
Release: 1989-08-16
Genre: Nature
ISBN: 9780374128906

Download The Control of Nature Book in PDF, Epub and Kindle

Profiles various effects by humankind to thwart the course of nature, detailing the changing physical landscapes, as well as the political, economic, and legal battles that have arisen from these struggles.

Under a White Sky

Under a White Sky
Author: Elizabeth Kolbert
Publsiher: Crown
Total Pages: 256
Release: 2021-02-09
Genre: Science
ISBN: 9780593136294

Download Under a White Sky Book in PDF, Epub and Kindle

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Sixth Extinction returns to humanity’s transformative impact on the environment, now asking: After doing so much damage, can we change nature, this time to save it? RECOMMENDED BY PRESIDENT OBAMA AND BILL GATES • SHORTLISTED FOR THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE FOR WRITING • ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Washington Post • ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Time, Esquire, Smithsonian Magazine, Vulture, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal • “Beautifully and insistently, Kolbert shows us that it is time to think radically about the ways we manage the environment.”—Helen Macdonald, The New York Times That man should have dominion “over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” is a prophecy that has hardened into fact. So pervasive are human impacts on the planet that it’s said we live in a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene. In Under a White Sky, Elizabeth Kolbert takes a hard look at the new world we are creating. Along the way, she meets biologists who are trying to preserve the world’s rarest fish, which lives in a single tiny pool in the middle of the Mojave; engineers who are turning carbon emissions to stone in Iceland; Australian researchers who are trying to develop a “super coral” that can survive on a hotter globe; and physicists who are contemplating shooting tiny diamonds into the stratosphere to cool the earth. One way to look at human civilization, says Kolbert, is as a ten-thousand-year exercise in defying nature. In The Sixth Extinction, she explored the ways in which our capacity for destruction has reshaped the natural world. Now she examines how the very sorts of interventions that have imperiled our planet are increasingly seen as the only hope for its salvation. By turns inspiring, terrifying, and darkly comic, Under a White Sky is an utterly original examination of the challenges we face.

Making Weight Control Second Nature

Making Weight Control Second Nature
Author: Susan Burke March
Publsiher: Mansion
Total Pages: 338
Release: 2009
Genre: Health & Fitness
ISBN: 9781932421194

Download Making Weight Control Second Nature Book in PDF, Epub and Kindle

March inspires readers with her personal weight-control triumph and her professional expertise. She presents an exciting, easy-to-follow way of living that puts dieters in control of their weight and health--one day at a time, one meal at a time, one food at a time, and one walk at a time.

The Control Heuristic

The Control Heuristic
Author: Luca Dellanna
Publsiher: Luca Dell'anna
Total Pages: 348
Release: 2020-07-31
Genre: Psychology
ISBN: PKEY:6610000268481

Download The Control Heuristic Book in PDF, Epub and Kindle

“A SUPERB book [...] by one of the profound thinkers in our field [behavioral economics].” – Michal G. Bartlett on the second edition “Luca’s book was so helpful to my work. Opened my eyes up to some more reasons why change is so hard.” – Chris Murman on the first edition “So insightful with common sense applications of complexity and the ability to communicate clearly!!” – Bob Klapetzky Seen on Nudgestock. Reviews of Luca Dellanna's previous books "Absolutely brilliant." – Alberto Pisanello "A very thoughtful piece of writing, deep and wiring!" – David Krejca "A thoughtfully written book in very straightforward language." – A.L. Peevey "Very good book. Read it in in two evenings. Great insights straight to the point (not the usual self-help babble). Highly recommended." "One of the best works I have read in that matter (I have read a few) and it's surprising how realistically he depicts the condition." – Manel Vilar (on Luca's book on autism) "A profound, useful and insightful book" – Lorenzo Dragani THE BOOK At a first look, human behavior seems an inexplicable mess. Why do we behave irrationally? Why is change so hard? What is happiness and why does it seem to escape us? The Control Heuristic offers a new perspective to answer these questions and provides a guiding light to understand the subconscious processes that guide our behavior. Luca Dellanna, author of 5 books, writes here a revealing journey into the true motivations for human behavior. Understanding how the human mind really works is the first step to personal change. Suddenly, the frustrating becomes clear and the complex becomes simple.

Einstein and Our World

Einstein and Our World
Author: David C. Cassidy
Publsiher: Unknown
Total Pages: 120
Release: 1995
Genre: Intellectual life
ISBN: UCSD:31822021609342

Download Einstein and Our World Book in PDF, Epub and Kindle

This work offers an assessment of the impact of the great scientist Einstein on our ideas of our world.

Autonomous Nature

Autonomous Nature
Author: Carolyn Merchant
Publsiher: Routledge
Total Pages: 196
Release: 2015-08-27
Genre: Social Science
ISBN: 9781317395874

Download Autonomous Nature Book in PDF, Epub and Kindle

Autonomous Nature investigates the history of nature as an active, often unruly force in tension with nature as a rational, logical order from ancient times to the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century. Along with subsequent advances in mechanics, hydrodynamics, thermodynamics, and electromagnetism, nature came to be perceived as an orderly, rational, physical world that could be engineered, controlled, and managed. Autonomous Nature focuses on the history of unpredictability, why it was a problem for the ancient world through the Scientific Revolution, and why it is a problem for today. The work is set in the context of vignettes about unpredictable events such as the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, the Bubonic Plague, the Lisbon Earthquake, and efforts to understand and predict the weather and natural disasters. This book is an ideal text for courses on the environment, environmental history, history of science, or the philosophy of science.

Information and Its Role in Nature

Information and Its Role in Nature
Author: Juan G. Roederer
Publsiher: Springer Science & Business Media
Total Pages: 235
Release: 2006-01-27
Genre: Science
ISBN: 9783540276982

Download Information and Its Role in Nature Book in PDF, Epub and Kindle

Presents an in-depth interdisciplinary discussion of the concept of information and its role in the control of natural processes. Reviews briefly classical and quantum information theory. Addresses numerous questions, including: Is information reducible to the laws of physics and chemistry? Does the Universe, in its evolution, constantly generate new information? Or are information and information-processing exclusive attributes of living systems, related to the very definition of life? If so, what is the role of information in classical and quantum physics? In what ways does information-processing in the human brain bring about self-consciousness? Accessible to graduate students and professionals from all scientific disciplines, this stimulating book will help to shed light on many controversial issues at the heart of modern science.