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Concrete - From Ancient Origins to a Problematic Future


From Ancient Origins to a Problematic Future

Paperback : 9780889777804, 272 pages, October 2020
Hardcover : 9780889777866, 272 pages, October 2020


A fascinating history of the carbon footprint of our concrete world—from ancient Roman architecture to urban cityscapes—and the trouble it spells for sustainability amidst rapid climate change.
For readers of The Sixth Extinction and The Uninhabitable Earth, Concrete explores the history of a material that has been central to architecture and design for thousands of years—and what its future looks like in a world experiencing rapid climate change.
Imagine a world without concrete: there’d be no skyscrapers, no grand irrigation projects, no out of season vegetables, no highways. There would be a shortage of electricity, more mud in some places, more solitude in others. But because of the fossil fuels and other resources required to make concrete, there also would also be less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and less dramatic climate change. In Concrete: From Ancient Origins to a Problematic Future, Mary Soderstrom tells the story of concrete’s surprising past, extravagant present, and uncertain future with careful research, lively anecdotes, and thoughtful reflection.


“[For] those of us who are thinking about, and educating for, deep cultural change, . . . for those of us that care about what it means to be good, in the deepest sense; to participants in an earth-system that is failing at human hands, in the context of recognizing the repercussions of the Anthropocene. ” —Laura Sewall, author of Sight and Sensibility: The Ecopsychology of Perception