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Carbon is a vital component of environmental and economic systems. Its unique chemistry makes it important biologically, geologically, and climatically. Its domestication in time and space has many manifestations, including the control of fire, development of agriculture, fossil-fuel use and biotechnology. All have exacted an environmental price. Many agencies exist to manage carbon through conservation, etc. Carbon management is now a highly charged international political issue in which energy provision is a primary factor. This cross-disciplinary text focuses on the pivotal role of carbon in society and in the environment.