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Clean Energy Nation: Freeing America from the Tyranny of Fossil Fuelsby Gerald Mcnerney
Synopses & Reviews
As we enter a new era in American politics, a stark threat is building. Mankind’s dependence on fossil fuels has put our civilization in peril. Our world becomes increasingly more populated every day, putting even more pressure on our already dwindling supplies of crude oil. If we continue down the same road we have been traveling for the past fifty years, we face certain disaster. Steadily rising temperatures will accelerate the melting of polar and glacier ice, threatening our environment in ways we have only begun to understand, and may eventually lead to low-lying areas like Florida and New York City being swallowed by rising waters. On land, plains and savannahs may turn into deserts, and a global food shortage could spread, as places that were once covered by arable farmland turn to arid dust.
These aren’t scenes from some apocalyptic doomsday movie. In fact, the vast majority of scientists warn that this is the world that awaits us if we continue to ignore the ramifications of the huge carbon footprint created by our dependence on fossil fuels. For this reason, clean energy has become the most important political and environmental issue of our time.
Clean Energy Nation is an eye-opening look at the world’s history with fossil fuels and what we must do in the next century to save our environment. With a specific focus on the current American dependence on oil, this book delivers a sobering call to action. Here, Jerry McNerney, the only United States Congressman ever to have had a career as a renewable energy engineer, and writer Martin Cheek inspire all Americans to take action to free our country from its dangerous addiction to oil and help steer us toward the goal of genuine energy independence.
The book outlines a realistic plan that will help us survive the next 100 years and beyond. Looking to such alternative energy sources as solar, wind, water, biofuel, geothermal, and hydrogen-based power, McNerney and Cheek stress the need to get started immediately, not to continue debating small details. Creating hundreds of thousands of domestic jobs, increasing productivity, decreasing pollution and greenhouse gases, and lessening international conflict are some of the positive outcomes of a switch to clean energy. Perhaps most important, moving to a clean and renewable energy infrastructure will safeguard our nation’s freedoms by making us more self-sufficient in meeting our energy needs.
Americans are already feeling the pressures of the current energy situation, and many of us are ready to make a change. Clean Energy Nation is a timely and hopeful look at an issue we can’t afford to ignore.
Congressman Jerry McNerney, Ph.D., was elected to California’s 11th congressional district in November 2006. Reelected in 2008 and 2010, he is a member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology; the Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment; and the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight. Prior to his time in Congress, he served as an energy consultant for Pacific Gas and Electric, FlowWind, and The Electric Power Research Institute.
Martin Cheek has been a journalist for more than two decades specializing in articles on the latest developments in science and the high-tech industry.
For more information about the book, visit: www.cleanenergynation.us
"What one change could preserve democracy, increase national security, reduce health care costs, increase business output, and improve public health? U.S. Congressman and renewable energy engineer McNerney (of Pleasanton, Calif.), with tech journalist Cheek, cover the history and future with fossil fuels, illustrating the enormous potential of renewable energy-including solar, wind, biomass, nuclear, geothermal, water, and hydrogen-to head off a grim fate for Western civilization, from diminishing food supplies to setbacks in education. With milestones including 75 percent energy independence from OPEC by 2020, the authors compare their goal to the American Revolution in importance and scope, but never grow sanctimonious. In measured language, this volume reviews current, past and future U.S. policy, as well as renewable energy projects and goals around the world, concluding with concrete suggestions for implementing clean energy (including education, international partnerships and financing). Addressing skeptics, the authors question whether 'our nation's free market system truly benefits by providing petroleum companies with substantial financial subsidies,' and make a convincing case for other arrangements." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
McNerney was a consultant for power companies before being elected to the US House of Representative from California, and Cheek is a journalist specializing in science and technology. They make a case for immediate and massive public investment in alternative sources of energy. Their perspectives include how to become dependent on fossil fuels, the dawn of a new energy era, national security, transportation, agriculture, public health, energy and the two valleys, securing America's energy future, and the power of leadership. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Dangerous CO2 emissions, massive oil spills, dwindling supplies—the problems with fossil fuels are driving a long-overdue reassessment of our nation’s energy policies.
U.S. Congressman Jerry McNerney, a renewable energy engineer and the first representative with expertise in energy independence, leads the way to change. In Clean Energy Nation, he and journalist Martin Cheek make an impassioned argument for drastically reducing dependency on fossil fuels and developing sustainable, readily available energy sources—solar, wind, biofuel, geothermal, and hydrogen-based power.
Bringing together a rare combination of scientific knowledge, political savvy, and insightful journalism, the authors reveal the pros and cons of alternative energy sources and examine how our nation became addicted to fossil fuels in the first place. The book reads like the dramatic story it is, complete with dire projections about peak oil and grim scenarios of rising oceans…keen insights into policies and players that have stalled progress on climate change and favored big oil…and astute recommendations for building a clean energy economy and a prosperous, stable future.
America’s dependence on foreign oil has become one of the hottest issues on the political agenda today. Politicians at all points of the political spectrum are calling for ways to find new forms of clean energy. As the only U.S. Congressman in history to have had a career as a renewable energy engineer, Jerry McNerney is an expert in the field of energy independence. Now, in Clean Energy Nation, he and journalist Martin Cheek explore what the human race must do if we are to survive even the next 100 years—we must soon make significant progress in developing energy from solar, wind, water, biofuel, geothermal, and hydrogen-based power sources to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
Explaining why the United States must take major action to move from the Fossil Fuel Age to the Clean Energy Age, the authors reveal which fuels and energy sources we should be using to protect our environment, and the environmental, economic, and political benefits we will reap from making that switch. Inspiring and timely, Clean Energy Nation offers an insightful look into what needs to be done to preserve the autonomy of our country and the well-being of our planet.
Advance Praise for Clean Energy Nation:
“Clean Energy Nation provides an invaluable roadmap to show our nation’s leaders how we can reinvent the way we produce and consume energy by capping global warming pollution now.”— Fred Krupp, President, Environmental Defense Fund; author, New York Times bestseller Earth: The Sequel
“McNerney and Cheek give us an actionable plan to create a better tomorrow by developing sustainable energy and more efficient fuel consumption today. This book should be required reading for every elected official from the president to city council members.”— Josh Tickell, Director, Fuel
“Clean Energy Nation offers a clear and comprehensive examination of energy technologies along with thoughtful milestones for transforming our energy systems. A great book that marshals a strong case for producing and using energy in a new way.”— Jay Hakes, author, A Declaration of Energy Independence
“We know who took the wheels off. Clean Energy Nation puts the right wheels back on and gets us rolling toward the future we all want. McNerney and Cheek have written an energy and survival playbook for the new era.”— Chris Paine, Director, Who Killed the Electric Car
“…authors…ultimately paint a hopeful picture for the future based on contemporary successes, outlining steps necessary for progress, including the development of funding resources and structured timetables.” –ALA Booklist
“Comprehensive guide to America's looming energy emergency, including suggested actions that the authors believe will avert a global crisis… Expert and invigorating.” — Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
CONGRESSMAN JERRY McNERNEY, PH.D., was elected to California’s 11th Congressional District in November 2006. He is a member of the House Select Committee on Global Warming and Energy Independence and the House Committee on Science and Technology. Prior to serving in Congress, he was an energy consultant for Pacific Gas and Electric, FlowWind, and the Electric Power Research Institute.
MARTIN CHEEK has worked as a journalist for more than two decades, specializing in science and high-tech industry.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Denis Hayes ix
Introduction: A Declaration of Energy Independence 1
SECTION ONE: America’s Energy Past and Present 7
1. The End of the Fossil-Fuel Age 9
2. How to Become Dependent on Fossil Fuels 27
3. The Dawn of a New Energy Era 47
SECTION TWO: America’s Energy Issues 75
4. Energy and Good Government 77
5. Energy and National Security 89
6. Energy and the Environment 103
7. Energy and the Economy 127
8. Energy and Transportation 143
9. Energy and Agriculture 159
10. Energy and Public Health 175
11. Energy and Education 187
SECTION THREE: America’s Energy Future 201
12. Energy and Two Valleys 203
13. Energy and the World 217
14. Securing America’s Energy Future 231
15. The Power of Leadership 245
16. The Other Road 259
Suggested Reading 297
About the Authors 309
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