類別:人文科普/科技創新史.
 (版權窗口 繁體: David  簡體:已售 )
The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis
文明的齒輪: 天然災害如何激發人類創造力
版本: 精裝288頁  2014 年 9 月 9 日  Basic Books出版
ISBN:978-0465044979
內容介紹

人類的文明長久以來一直與饑餓奮鬥,然而今日人類足以生產足夠的食物養活70億的人口,讓每個人每天都能攝取3,000大卡的能量。從人類文明史而言這是不可思議的成就。在《文明的齒輪: 天然災害如何激發人類創造力》(The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis)書中,作者茹絲•德弗里斯(Ruth DeFries)緩緩到來這一切是如何實現的,人類的文明發展就像是齒輪一樣,越挫越勇、精亦求精,不同時段人類遇到的天災逼迫人類智力的激盪與創造,進而產生大大小小科技的發明與創新,人類才得以從獵人、採集者的生活方式轉變成在超級市場裡輕鬆的購買日常所需的食物。

《文明的齒輪: 天然災害如何激發人類創造力》一書中提到二十世紀中最重要的一些科學發明如何讓人類的人口在一百年內成長了四倍,並且用更有效率的方式提高食物生產量,其中包括了化石燃料的使用、科學植物育種與氮肥的發明等。

對有些人來說,上述的科學發明是人類偉大的象徵,對另外的人而言這些科學發明則是人類的傲慢。哥倫比亞大學教授茹絲•德弗里斯(Ruth DeFries)認為人類不應該陷入無謂的口水戰。生活裡的確處處都看的到極限與限制,然而人類往往不安於室,總是想超越既有的極限與限制。1950年,全世界約有25億人口,其中百分之三十居住在都市中。目前全世界約有70億人口,百分之五十居住在城市裡。作者預計2050年全世界人口將來到90億,百分之七十的人居住在都市中。

災難危機與成長的循環是人類歷史的縮影,未來人類也能繼續推動文明的齒輪,向前邁進。

作者介紹

茹絲•德弗里斯(Ruth DeFries)是哥倫比亞大學生態與環境生物學系教授,曾獲得麥克阿瑟研究獎(MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship),致力研究人類發展如何影響環境,目前居住在美國紐約市

書評

“An admirable history of human ingenuity that does not claim it will overcome such looming crises as overpopulation and global warming.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“DeFries places her faith in human creativity as a primary means to our survival, an appealing point of view for the hopeful but concerned reader.”
—PublishersWeekly

"Timely... Clearly demonstrates the role of science in converting calamities into opportunities. The Big Ratchet provides a message of hope in the midst of the sea of despair we see in the areas of sustainable development and environmental protection. Ruth DeFries has rendered an invaluable service.”
--M. S. Swaminathan, Founder and Chairman, M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation

“A page turner and an eye opener, clearly written and well told. If you are alive today, especially if you live in a city, this is the story of how you got here and why you eat what you eat. Defries deftly guides us through our species' unending quest to squeeze more food out of the earth, introducing us along the way to buffalo bone pickers, ancient plant breeders, guano wars, the extinction of the Rocky Mountain Locust, medieval human poop tradesmen, Arctic "doomsday" seed vaults and the Nobel Prizes awarded to the inventors of DDT and trans fats. A fascinating history of human innovation.”
--Emma Marris, author of Rambunctious Garden

“Is there a tale more astonishing and improbable than the human story? Lurching between triumph and catastrophe, humankind has transformed itself from a run-of-the-mill forager on the African savanna into a species that dominates every corner of the planet. Now, as our numbers surpass 7 billion, Ruth DeFries shows how our remarkable past can serve as a guide to thinking about our uncertain future. Neither a hymn to optimism nor an invocation of catastrophe, The Big Ratchet is an essential account of how we got to be where we are.”
—Charles C. Mann, author of 1491

海外授權

此書版權已授日本Nikkei BP