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Material world : the six raw materials that shape modern civilization

Title
Material world : the six raw materials that shape modern civilization / Ed Conway.
ISBN
9780593534342
0593534344
9780593534359
Edition
First United States edition.
Publication
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2023.
Copyright Notice Date
©2023
Physical Description
viii, 500 pages ; 25 cm
Notes
"This is a Borzoi book." -- title page verso.
Summary
"The story of civilization from an entirely new vantage point-the six raw materials that have shaped and will continue to shape humanity's destiny. Sand, iron, salt, oil, copper and lithium: The struggle for these fundamental materials has created empires, razed civilizations, and fed our ingenuity and our greed for thousands of years. It is a story that is far from finished. Though we are told we now live in a weightless world of information, we dug more stuff out of the earth in 2017 than in all of human history before 1950. And it's getting exponentially worse. To make one bar of gold, we now have to dig 5,000 tons of earth. For every ton of fossil fuels, we extract six tons of other materials-from sand to stone to wood to metal. Even as we pare back our consumption of fossil fuels we continue to redouble our consumption of everything else. Why? Because these ingredients are the basis for everything. They power our phones and electric cars, build our homes and offices, enable the printing of our books, and supply our packaging. Our modern world would not exist without them, and the hidden battle to control them will shape our future. This is an epic journey across continents, cultures and epochs that captures the astonishing extent to which humanity's prosperity is intertwined with what we extract from the earth and adapt to our needs and desires. It is a story of our past and future, from the ground up"-- Provided by publisher.
Variant and related titles
6 raw materials that shape modern civilization
Other formats
Online version: Conway, Ed, 1979- Material world New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2023
Format
Books
Language
English
Added to Catalog
November 20, 2023
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents
Introduction
Sand
Salt
Iron
Copper
Oil
Lithium
Conclusion.
Citation

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