book hack


Vaclav Smil

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

Energy is the evermoving force that drives our world, and scientist Vaclav Smil’s beginners' guide covers all the crucial knowledge science has collected on this perplexing subject.




by Vaclav Smil


There are a lot of things we describe as energy: lightning in the atmosphere, the sun’s rays that heat the skin, physical jolts we feel after rest, or emotional pep from an interesting interaction. But what actually is energy?

Experts still cannot agree on how to define it, but we understand energy enough to harness its powers and explain the physical and biological processes that make life possible.

In Energy: A Beginner's Guide, Dr. Vaclav Smil, Canadian economic analyst and Distinguished Professor Emeritus in Environment at the University of Manitoba, introduces the basic concepts of energy, taking us on a journey through its manifestations.

Favorite quote

The threat of rapid global warming has, during the twenty-first century, emerged as the most intractable consequence of the world’s dependence on fossil fuels.

- Vaclav Smil

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