Numbers Don't Lie: 71 Stories to Help Us Understand the Modern World

May 4, 2021
Numbers Don't Lie: 71 Stories to Help Us Understand the Modern World

"There is no author whose books I look forward to morethan Vaclav Smil."—Bill GatesAn essential guide to understanding how numbers revealthe true state of our world—exploring a wide range of topicsincluding energy, the environment, technology, transportation, andfood production.Vaclav Smil's mission is to make facts matter. An environmentalscientist, policy analyst, and a hugely prolific author, he is BillGates' go-to guy for making sense of our world. In NumbersDon't Lie, Smil answers questions such as: What's worse forthe environment—your car or your phone? How much do the world'scows weigh (and what does it matter)? And what makes peoplehappy?From data about our societies and populations, through measuresof the fuels and foods that energize them, to the impact oftransportation and inventions of our modern world—and how all ofthis affects the planet itself—in Numbers Don't Lie,Vaclav Smil takes us on a fact-finding adventure, using surprisingstatistics and illuminating graphs to challenge conventionalthinking. Packed with fascinating information and memorableexamples, Numbers Don't Lie reveals how the US is leadinga rising worldwide trend in chicken consumption, that vaccinationyields the best return on investment, and why electric cars aren'tas great as we think (yet). Urgent and essential, with a mix ofscience, history, and wit—all in bite-sized chapters on a broadrange of topics—Numbers Don't Lie inspires readers tointerrogate what they take to be true.