Wednesday, April 30, 2014

"EXTRACTED" published

My new book, "Extracted" is now on sale. It is an updated version in English of the German version which was published last year. You can get it directly from the editor, Chelsea Green or from the usual sources.

This book was a lot of work, but I must say that I am very happy about the final result and I would like to thank my co-authors, who provided the specialized expertise for the "glimpses" about specific mineral commodities, the staff of Chelsea Green for their highly professional help in editing, and the staff of the Club of Rome for having made the task possible.

The first reactions to the book seem to be highly favorable, which is, I think, a bit worrisome. Fortunately, there has been at least one negative review on by someone who says he feels "insulted" by the book, but nevertheless he gives it three stars out of five!

Here is an example of the reviews received, this one appeared on "Publishers Weekly"

Our massive global mining infrastructure is showing signs of strain, writes Bardi (The Limits of Growth Revisited), University of Florence professor of chemistry, in this insightful if pessimistic description of the industry’s history, operation, and future. All mined minerals including carbon (coal, oil, gas) are unrenewable resources whose supply is already dwindling. Sadly, as with global warming, there are skeptics and denialists who insist that (a) it’s not true, and (b) technology will fix matters. These same opponents state, correctly, that we have extracted a minuscule fraction of the oil, iron, or even gold in the earth’s crust. But they ignore that, as ore quality diminishes and extracting becomes harder, the price rises. For example, platinum (essential in catalytic converters), silver, and oil cost four times more than in the year 2000. They also assume that technology will produce a “universal mining machine,” which will consume ordinary rock, extracting whatever is valuable. Although theoretically possible, such a machine would require immense amounts of energy and leave behind unthinkable quantities of waste. Bardi concludes that things must change, and though his is not an encouraging book, readers will appreciate his intelligent, lucid, and disturbing account of our mishandling of mineral resources. (May)

So, the book seems to have had a good start, we'll see how things will progress. The "official" launch of the book will be in Brussels on June 12.


  1. I am glad to be a co-author in this effort, the right book at the right time. Congratulations to Ugo for bringing it together.

  2. As a former mining geologist, now ecologist, this looks like an interesting book. I'll be placing my order.

  3. I'm not a creationist -- I'm insulted that you think people interested in fossil fuels would need to be warned off creationism!

  4. Hi, Avery, and thanks for commenting here. About your point, I read your comment on Amazon where you say "When Bardi warned me not to believe in creationism, it was difficult for me to avoid feeling insulted," and I seemed logic to me that you were referring to yourself. Instead, I understand that you meant to say that one of the sentences in the text was unnecessary.

    Well, first of all, let me apologize for the misunderstanding (but please, also understand that your comment was not so clear!). Then, about that sentence in my book about creationism, well, there is a traditional clash of absolutes between old-earthists and young-earthists that goes back to the early days of geology. Young-earthists are often openly creationists, so I thought it was appropriate to say something about that. I didn't mean to insult anyone and if you felt insulted I apologize again. In a book there are many sentences and it is not easy to calibrate every single one for every single reader. And, BTW, thanks for having been the first to comment my book on!

    1. Anyway, I removed the reference to creationism from the post

    2. Prof. Bardi-- Thank you very much for your considerate response. In any case I appreciate any book attempting to bring these problems to the consideration of a wider audience!

      The popular American magazine Foreign Affairs has a big special on fracking this month and it is clear that they have heard the voices of peak oilists and are somewhat worried. This of course is due to the efforts of you and other environmental scientists.



Ugo Bardi is a member of the Club of Rome and the author of "Extracted: how the quest for mineral resources is plundering the Planet" (Chelsea Green 2014)