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Kicking the Carbon Habit: Global Warming and the Case for Renewable and Nuclear Energyby William Sweet
Synopses & Reviews
With glaciers melting, oceans growing more acidic, species dying out, and catastrophic events like Hurricane Katrina ever more probable, strong steps must be taken now to slow global warming. Further warming threatens entire regional economies and the well being of whole populations, and in this century alone, it could create a global cataclysm. Synthesizing information from leading scientists and the most up-to-date research, science journalist William Sweet examines what the United States can do to help prevent climate devastation.
Rather than focusing on cutting oil consumption, which Sweet argues is expensive and unrealistic, the United States should concentrate on drastically reducing its use of coal. Coal-fired plants, which currently produce more than half of the electricity in the United States, account for two fifths of the country's greenhouse gas emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Sweet believes a mixture of more environmentally sound technologies: wind turbines, natural gas, and nuclear reactors, can effectively replace coal plants, especially since dramatic improvements in technology have made nuclear power cleaner, safer, and more efficient.
Sweet cuts through all the confusion and controversies. He explores dramatic advances made by climate scientists over the past twenty years and addresses the various political and economic issues associated with global warming, including the practicality of reducing emissions from automobiles, the efficacy of taxing energy consumption, and the responsibility of the United States to its citizens and the international community to reduce greenhouse gases. Timely and provocative, Kicking the Carbon Habit is essentialreading for anyone interested in environmental science, economics, and the future of the planet.
"With more than a dozen energy companies now lined up to apply for new licenses before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, we may be a lot closer to a nuclear revival than anyone thinks....Kicking the Carbon Habit is a great place to kick-start the debate and cool down the rhetoric." Wall Street Journal
"William Sweet has a bold prescription for stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions in the USA — remove coal, America's most abundant domestic energy resource, from the national energy menu. He lays out a scenario of how coal can be replaced with a troika of conservation, renewables, and nuclear energy, in a time frame that can lead to emissions stabilization by mid-century. You may not like the taste of Sweet's medicine, but he argues well for both its necessity and its efficacy." Henry N. Pollack, professor of geophysics, University of Michigan
"His lively, clear reporting of both the science and politics of climate change...make the book a pleasure to read." Doug Macdougall, The Chronicle Review
"William Sweet's admirable new book provides both an excellent overview of the most serious issue societies face today — climate change — and a compelling argument for focusing hard on the principal threat — coal. If something is not done quickly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we will leave a ruined world for our children and grandchildren." James Gustave Speth, dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, and author of Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment
About the Author
William Sweet is a graduate of the University of Chicago and Princeton University. He is senior news editor at IEEE Spectrum, the flagship publication of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. His work has appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines, including the Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, and MIT's Technology Review. He lives with his family in New York City.
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Engineering » Engineering » Power Resources » Alternative and Renewable