Monday, September 30, 2019

The Empty Sea: What Future for the Blue Economy? A New Book by Ugo Bardi and Ilaria Perissi

Cover of the Italian version by Viola, Ilaria's daughter, 7 years old. 

Note of January 2019 -- the Italian version of this book is a little delayed, but still in progress. But the English version is progressing very well, it will be published by Springer.  Both versions should appear more or less together this Spring.

For this Monday post, I can only put together a very short text. We (myself and Ilaria) have been very busy with the last retouched of the manuscript for our new book that we hope to be able to ship to the publisher ("Editori Riuniti") maybe tomorrow. It should be available for purchase before Christmas.

We spent a lot of time on this book, and I can tell you that we like it a lot. We hope that the readers will like it, too. I am sorry that this first version is only in Italian, but we are planning a version in English to appear as soon as possible. In the meantime, let me pass to you a text that should appear on the back cover, translated into English.

What you will learn from this book

  • How humans have been gradually discovering the sea and its resources from the time of our remote ancestors
  • What is the “fisherman’s curse,” why fishermen have always been poor, and they still are!
  • Why humans tend to destroy the resources that make them live: how overexploitation has destroyed many fish stocks and is still destroying them
  • How pollution is affecting the sea: from the great plastic gyre to the rising sea levels
  • Why aquaculture may not be the magic solution to feed the world and what we can expect from the future of fisheries.
  • Can we really extract minerals and energy from the sea? It may be much more difficult than the way it is sometimes described.
  • What are the limits to resources of the sea and what can we realistic expect for the future?

In addition, you will learn how the Neanderthals crossed the sea on their canoes, how it was possible that five men on a small boat could kill a giant whale, what kind of oil did the virgins of the Gospel put into their lamps, how a professor of mathematics, Vito Volterra, discovered the “equations of fishing,” of the return of sailing ships for transportation, and why it has become so easy to be stung by a jellyfish while swimming in the sea. And much, much more. You will also learn how to play the “Moby Dick game,” a simple boardgame that simulates the overexploitation of natural resources.



Ugo Bardi is a member of the Club of Rome, faculty member of the University of Florence, and the author of "Extracted" (Chelsea Green 2014), "The Seneca Effect" (Springer 2017), and Before the Collapse (Springer 2019)