I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
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
This book is not particularly well written; it jumps around, and occasionally loses focus. Nevertheless, I consider it a “must read” because it addresses, from a fundamentally liberal perspective, the glaring weaknesses of environmentalism, as well as many aspects of liberalism generally.
I used to consider myself both liberal and environmentalist. But, over the years, the underlying pessimism of both systems has driven me away. This book shines a light upon many of these aspects of pessimism, and proposes a renewed system to focus the world’s creativity and optimism on making progress towards real prosperity (which includes positive ecological change).
This is not just another global warming hysteria book. This book focuses on solutions and how to motivate the solutions needed. It focuses on each of several various proposals and the current strengths, weaknesses, and future outlooks of each proposal. The book focuses on realities that seem to elude most books on global warming. Like corn ethanol is not an efficient method to get energy from sunlight; it is just the technology that has the votes of a bunch of farm states. The book's main point is that a long term decreasing cap and trade system for carbon is the best way to make progress on reducing greenhouse gasses. The book avoids the issue of how to set the cap; which is an important aspect of the system. This was much easier with sulfur dioxide; which was better understood and was better able to be measured. This was really the only weakness in the book. Otherwise it was a excellent overview of the technologies (and the weaknesses of each). This is truly a must read for anyone who wants to understand which solutions make sense and which solutions will just make some people very rich.
Not a mainstream reader.
When Al Gore released his movie, An Inconvenient Truth in 2006, it won an Academy Award for best documentary. Charles Fishman should win some kind of award in "The Big Thirst" because this could be another documentary that could overwhelm the screens. The Pulitzer Prize should give an award to Fishman in this category because this is the best informational book thus far.
Water is a natural resource that we need to survive no matter what is your economical status and no matter where you live. If you want to know everything about water, such as Las Vegas or how they meter water in different metropolis or not having 24 hour of service that people in America takes for granted, then, this will be your best book that you will ever read.
You don't have to be an environmentalist to be concern of water. I don't recycle, drive a gas guzzler, and like having more nuclear power plants, but I can't stand a drippy faucet or a running toilet.