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The Metabolic Landscape navigates the disciplines of art, science and philosophy to picture and interpret the planet's current state of metabolic distress. Humankind's search for more powerful sources of energy to sustain an urbanising existence has created an energy transition that, while hugely beneficial to human existence, is now being identified as a source of harm. Just as metabolic disease refers to energy-sourced medical problems, so too the planet, the authors propose, is showing increasing signs of metabolic distress. The distinctive approaches of each author within the book allow for a diverse and comprehensive discourse on these emerging themes of progressive ecological disturbance: Gina Glover's work exploits atmospheric weather and ambient lighting conditions to draw attention to such energetic places and artefacts as coalfields in the Arctic, nuclear installations in France and hydraulic fracturing sites in the USA; Jessica Rayner observes how theories of the sun have varied according to the symbolic or scientific precepts of the day, drawing comparison between manufacturing, properties of the sun and changing theories of energy; and Geof Rayner constructs an accompanying textual narrative which shows how the energy transition has profound evolutionary consequences, not only for external nature, but how we see and interpret the landscape. The Metabolic Landscape is a beautifully illustrated, fascinating and engaging exploration of the unfolding relationship between energy and the landscape, and our interpretation of it.
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