P owering cars with corn and burning wood to make electricity might seem like a way to lessen dependence on fossil fuels and help solve the climate crisis. But although some forms of bioenergy can play a helpful role, dedicating land specifically for generating bioenergy is unwise. Much of the rest contains natural ecosystems that keep climate-warming carbon out of the atmosphere, protect freshwater supplies, and preserve biodiversity. Because land and the plants growing on it are already generating these benefits, diverting land — even degraded, under-utilised areas — to bioenergy means sacrificing much-needed food, timber, and carbon storage. Thus, it takes a lot of land and water to yield a small amount of fuel from plants. The push for bioenergy extends beyond transportation fuels to the harvest of trees and other sources of biomass for electricity and heat generation.
Radiocarbon dating at the University of Bern
Late Palaeolithic cave art and permafrost in the Southern Ural | Scientific Reports
To call a book a "philosophical introduction" is to invoke at least two different connotations. First, the topic might be well studied but students, both undergraduate and graduate, need a survey of the landscape to help enter into the scholarly conversation. Second, the topic might not have been considered philosophical in the past, and thus the book serves as a portal into the kinds of conceptual issues that arise in the vicinity. In each case there is a justification for the present volume. Having taught an undergraduate course on fossils and philosophy, I can attest to the dearth of material that provides the right balance of examples, clarity, and philosophical depth. Usually it is the first two that are present in general audience books by practicing scientists e.
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