Synopses & Reviews
The near-meltdown of Fukushima, the upheavals in the Middle East, the BP oil rig explosion, and the looming reality of global warming have reminded the president and all U.S. citizens that nothing has more impact on our lives than the supply of and demand for energy. Its procurement dominates our economy and foreign policy more than any other factor. But the "energy question" is more confusing, contentious, and complicated than ever before. We need to know if nuclear power will ever really be safe. We need to know if solar and wind power will ever really be viable. And we desperately need to know if the natural gas deposits in Pennsylvania are a windfall of historic proportions or a false hope that will create more problems than solutions. Richard A. Muller provides all the answers in this must-read guide to our energy priorities now and in the coming years.
"UC-Berkeley physicist Muller (Physics for Future Presidents), who made headlines for first criticizing and then vindicating global warming research, explores the contentious issues that will increasingly preoccupy politicians and citizens, in this no-nonsense scientific primer on energy policy. Muller brings fresh, often contrarian perspectives to topics that have been saturated in misinformation and hype, arguing, for example, that new techniques to extract the stupendous reserves of petroleum in shale and tar sands will eliminate all talk of peak oil; that wind power and photovoltaics will boom while corn ethanol, geothermal, and tidal power will fizzle; that household energy conservation is a great investment, while public transit is usually a bad one; and that China's soaring carbon dioxide emissions will render America's almost irrelevant and that the best way to abate China's emissions is by switching from coal to natural gas. Especially revealing is his positive assessment of nuclear energy, which effectively debunks the alarmism surrounding the March 2011 Fukushima accident. The author's explanations of the science underlying energy production are lucid but never simplistic and often fascinating in their own right. Policy makers and casual readers alike can benefit from Muller's eye-opening briefing, which sheds lots of light with little wasted heat. Photos. Agent: John Brockman, Brockman Inc." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The author of returns to educate all of us on the most crucial conundrum facing the nation: energy.
About the Author
Richard A. Muller is professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a past winner of the MacArthur Fellowship. His book Physics for Future Presidents is based on his renowned course for non-science students. He lives in Berkeley, California.