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Biography of an American Technology

The North American power grid has been called the world’s largest machine. The grid connects nearly every living soul on the continent; Americans rely utterly on the miracle of electrification. In this book, Julie Cohn tells the history of the grid, from early linkages in the 1890s through the grid’s maturity as a networked infrastructure in the 1980s.

Combating Nuclear Terror and Climate Change

Humanity faces two existential threats: nuclear annihilation and catastrophic climate change. Both have human origins, and both are linked to the use of nuclear energy. Inherent in the use of atomic fission is the risk that the technology and materials can be diverted to terrorists or hostile nations and used to make nuclear weapons. The key question is whether we can use nuclear energy to reduce the threat of climate change without increasing the risk that nuclear weapons will be used.

The Natural Resource Negotiation Playbook

Transboundary natural resource negotiations, often conducted in an atmosphere of entrenched mistrust, confrontation, and deadlock, can go on for decades. In this book, Bruno Verdini outlines an approach by which government, private sector, and nongovernmental stakeholders can overcome grievances, break the status quo, trade across differences, and create mutual gains in high-stakes water, energy, and environmental negotiations. 

Sourcing the Scales, Systems, and States of Canada's Global Resource Empire

Extraction is the process and practice that defines Canada, at home and abroad. Of the nearly 20,000 mining projects in the world from Africa to Latin America, more than half are Canadian operated. Not only does the mining economy employ close to 400,000 people in Canada, it contributed $57 billion CAD to Canada’s GDP in 2014 alone. Globally, more than 75 percent of the world’s mining firms are based in Canada. The scale of these statistics naturally extends the logic of Canada’s historical legacy as state, nation, and now as global resource empire.

The Global Effort for Open Access to Environmental Satellite Data

Key to understanding and addressing climate change is continuous and precise monitoring of environmental conditions. Satellites play an important role in collecting climate data, offering comprehensive global coverage that can’t be matched by in situ observation. And yet, as Mariel Borowitz shows in this book, much satellite data is not freely available but restricted; this remains true despite the data-sharing advocacy of international organizations and a global open data movement.

The Drive for Justice at America’s Port

In Blue and Green, Scott Cummings examines a campaign by the labor and environmental movements to transform trucking at America’s largest port in Los Angeles. Tracing the history of struggle in an industry at the epicenter of the global supply chain, Cummings shows how an unprecedented “blue-green” alliance mobilized to improve working conditions for low-income drivers and air quality in nearby communities. The campaign for “clean trucks,” Cummings argues, teaches much about how social movements can use law to challenge inequality in a global era.