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This author tries very hard to express the stark realities of the energy issues facing the US and the world. He tries to cut through the hype regarding most green technologies and present the current realities. This involves a lot of numbers and predictions that are not the most fun to listen to.
The author’s main point is, given the expected world energy needs, the only viable primary source of energy is NtoN (Natural Gas transitioning to Nuclear). He gives detailed analysis of each alternative and demonstrates, while each may have a place, none of the alternatives, individually or in combination, can come close to meeting the enormous expected energy demands as the third world rushes to first world energy use.
The author tries to be careful with numbers but minorly cuts corners in favor of fossil fuels and does not do so for alternatives (except Nuclear). For Nuclear, the author does not fairly address the real safety concerns from spent fuel to melt downs.
The author does not, but should have, addressed fairly how unexpected and transformative new technologies like fusion, new energy storage technologies, new energy transmission technologies, or radical energy production or saving technologies might have on his assumptions. If history is any guide the unexpected will likely make a huge different in our energy outlook.
Occasionally the author is a snarky about people he disagrees with (which the narrator expresses quite well). I really dislike such snarkiness in a persuasive piece; more so when I agree with the author.
With all my nits, I would recommend this book to anyone who really wants to understand the energy issues we will face in the future. If you think a transition or solar and wind is currently reasonable, you should definitely read this book then run the numbers for yourself in Excel
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Working in the renewable energy field, I had a lot of questions on the "math of energy", and how to separate the fact from legend. I enjoyed this book from start to finish, although I had to go to the hard-copy occasionally when the facts & figures got to dense to absorb. The conclusion that "renewable energy" is not energy dense enough to replace coal/gas/oil, and that our future is is gas & nuclear makes mathematical sense, but left me feeling uneasy, with nuclear's cost & proliferation downside.Nothing comes without costs, I guess.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
The author sets out what could be extremely important arguments. However, about a fifth into the book even though he states clearly that he has no bias, his proofs don't seem to follow. In fact the strongest argument that he has is that, "it's cheaper not to change and that change is unobtainable so why bother". His compares apples and pears and says, "see it doesn't match". All I can say is disappointing
5 of 5 people found this review helpful