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“At last! An authoritative, objective, scientific analysis of the full range of energy options we face. Botkin’s book cuts through the mass of hype, bias, and myth that characterize most of the information that the public receives and gives us a clear assessment of the sources, costs, environmental impacts, and potentials for the energy that supports America--and the wo “At last! An authoritative, objective, scientific analysis of the full range of energy options we face. Botkin’s book cuts through the mass of hype, bias, and myth that characterize most of the information that the public receives and gives us a clear assessment of the sources, costs, environmental impacts, and potentials for the energy that supports America--and the world. Clear, well-researched and well-written, this book should be required reading for decision makers and voters alike.” Lee Talbot, Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia; and Senior Environmental Advisor to the World Bank, UN Agencies, and numerous national governments   “A thought-provoking analysis of the nation’s energy future. Botkin demonstrates that we can have a safe, secure, stable energy future without sacrificing our quality of life, but not without major changes. It will require significant improvements in energy efficiency and a new mix of energy sources with much greater reliance on renewables--but it is achievable and affordable. You may not agree with his preferred allocation of energy sources in the portfolio for 2050, but he’ll make you think, and his list of proposed energy programs provides a valuable roadmap for our federal leaders.” Jerry R. Schubel, President and CEO, Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, California   “Powering the Future is the best primer on the supply of energy. Botkin looks at each form of energy and discusses our options to move away from fossil fuels. Using scientific methods and suppressing personal biases, he follows the energy data trail to logical conclusions. ...Chock full of examples, illustrations, and data.” Matthew J. Sobel, William E. Umstattd Professor, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio   “If you want to read one book that will give you a comprehensive, realistic assessment of the available options, their benefits and costs, and the political changes that must be made to address global climate change, increase the use of renewable energy sources, and use our existing nonrenewable sources more efficiently, this is it.” Dan Tarlock, Distinguished Professor of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law, and Director, Program in Energy and Environmental Law, Chicago, Illinois   The future of civilization depends upon the continuous availability of sufficient energy. But we’re approaching the practical limits of some of the energy sources we depend upon most. What should be done? Few issues are as controversial. In Powering the Future, a leading scientist cuts through the controversy, presenting the facts about our energy needs, desires, and supplies and the environmental and human effects of obtaining and using energy.   Dr. Daniel B. Botkin objectively assesses the true prospects, limitations, costs, risks, dangers, and tradeoffs associated with every leading and emerging source of energy, including oil, natural gas, coal, hydroelectric, nuclear, wind, solar, ocean power, and biofuels. Next, Botkin addresses the energy distribution system, outlining how it currently works, identifying its inefficiencies, and reviewing options for improving it.   Finally, Botkin turns to solutions, offering a realistic, scientifically and economically viable path to a sustainable, energy-independent future: one that can improve the quality of life for Americans and for people around the world.   The Future of Fossil Fuels What can we realistically expect from oil, gas, and coal?   Will Alternative Energy Sources Really Matter? Running the numbers on solar, wind, biofuels, and other renewables   Must We All Wear Sweaters and Live in Caves? The right role for efficiency--and why energy minimalism isn’t the solution   Where We Can Start--and What Will Happen if We Don’t No magic bullet, but there are sensible, realistic solutions  


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“At last! An authoritative, objective, scientific analysis of the full range of energy options we face. Botkin’s book cuts through the mass of hype, bias, and myth that characterize most of the information that the public receives and gives us a clear assessment of the sources, costs, environmental impacts, and potentials for the energy that supports America--and the wo “At last! An authoritative, objective, scientific analysis of the full range of energy options we face. Botkin’s book cuts through the mass of hype, bias, and myth that characterize most of the information that the public receives and gives us a clear assessment of the sources, costs, environmental impacts, and potentials for the energy that supports America--and the world. Clear, well-researched and well-written, this book should be required reading for decision makers and voters alike.” Lee Talbot, Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia; and Senior Environmental Advisor to the World Bank, UN Agencies, and numerous national governments   “A thought-provoking analysis of the nation’s energy future. Botkin demonstrates that we can have a safe, secure, stable energy future without sacrificing our quality of life, but not without major changes. It will require significant improvements in energy efficiency and a new mix of energy sources with much greater reliance on renewables--but it is achievable and affordable. You may not agree with his preferred allocation of energy sources in the portfolio for 2050, but he’ll make you think, and his list of proposed energy programs provides a valuable roadmap for our federal leaders.” Jerry R. Schubel, President and CEO, Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, California   “Powering the Future is the best primer on the supply of energy. Botkin looks at each form of energy and discusses our options to move away from fossil fuels. Using scientific methods and suppressing personal biases, he follows the energy data trail to logical conclusions. ...Chock full of examples, illustrations, and data.” Matthew J. Sobel, William E. Umstattd Professor, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio   “If you want to read one book that will give you a comprehensive, realistic assessment of the available options, their benefits and costs, and the political changes that must be made to address global climate change, increase the use of renewable energy sources, and use our existing nonrenewable sources more efficiently, this is it.” Dan Tarlock, Distinguished Professor of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law, and Director, Program in Energy and Environmental Law, Chicago, Illinois   The future of civilization depends upon the continuous availability of sufficient energy. But we’re approaching the practical limits of some of the energy sources we depend upon most. What should be done? Few issues are as controversial. In Powering the Future, a leading scientist cuts through the controversy, presenting the facts about our energy needs, desires, and supplies and the environmental and human effects of obtaining and using energy.   Dr. Daniel B. Botkin objectively assesses the true prospects, limitations, costs, risks, dangers, and tradeoffs associated with every leading and emerging source of energy, including oil, natural gas, coal, hydroelectric, nuclear, wind, solar, ocean power, and biofuels. Next, Botkin addresses the energy distribution system, outlining how it currently works, identifying its inefficiencies, and reviewing options for improving it.   Finally, Botkin turns to solutions, offering a realistic, scientifically and economically viable path to a sustainable, energy-independent future: one that can improve the quality of life for Americans and for people around the world.   The Future of Fossil Fuels What can we realistically expect from oil, gas, and coal?   Will Alternative Energy Sources Really Matter? Running the numbers on solar, wind, biofuels, and other renewables   Must We All Wear Sweaters and Live in Caves? The right role for efficiency--and why energy minimalism isn’t the solution   Where We Can Start--and What Will Happen if We Don’t No magic bullet, but there are sensible, realistic solutions  

30 review for Powering the Future: A Scientist's Guide to Energy Independence

  1. 5 out of 5

    Smellsofbikes

    Chock-full of good data and interesting discussion/analysis. Typos sometimes drastically changed the sense of a sentence -- stuff like "variation from 1.6 to 9 times" when in the next sentence you realize it was actually supposed to be 1.6 to 1.9 (in discussing energy balances, that's an enormous variance) and in some cases his analysis completely misses a major part of the discussion. (This was primarily the case with nuclear, where the price per watt is almost entirely determined by the *enorm Chock-full of good data and interesting discussion/analysis. Typos sometimes drastically changed the sense of a sentence -- stuff like "variation from 1.6 to 9 times" when in the next sentence you realize it was actually supposed to be 1.6 to 1.9 (in discussing energy balances, that's an enormous variance) and in some cases his analysis completely misses a major part of the discussion. (This was primarily the case with nuclear, where the price per watt is almost entirely determined by the *enormous* cost of building the plant, so having the fuel price rise 10x, or even 100x, has almost no effect on the cost of power, whereas an increase in 10x in fuel price means the natural reserves suddenly increase by a vast amount. His claim that we only have 5 years of proven reserves of uranium is only true at near-current prices: at 100x prices it would nearly be economical to pull it out of seawater at which point we have a hundred thousand years of proven reserves.) However, those complaints -- and a somewhat rosy analysis of solar -- aside, he does a good realistic job of talking about most all the major current and proposed energy-harvesting ideas, their good and bad sides, and backs up what he's saying with relevant data. I quite liked this.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Justme

    The reviews seem positive, yet the ratings low, so I'm adding a review for balance. --- I read this book aloud for homeschooling my 7-8th grader. My student is very audio (learning)...and reading aloud enabled me to verify understanding, and add clarification & explanations of topics too complex (though I found most of the writing understandable at the 7th grade level, it was lack of life-experience with historical references that needed the most explanations), as well as test student comprehensi The reviews seem positive, yet the ratings low, so I'm adding a review for balance. --- I read this book aloud for homeschooling my 7-8th grader. My student is very audio (learning)...and reading aloud enabled me to verify understanding, and add clarification & explanations of topics too complex (though I found most of the writing understandable at the 7th grade level, it was lack of life-experience with historical references that needed the most explanations), as well as test student comprehension. The 1st half was devoted to analyzing the existing situation, and energy sources, both convention & alternative (including experimental). Our rating 5.9*! (yes, out of 5; we thought it was that good): What a fabulous effort to gather a wide variety of information & present it in an understandable way! The references (at the back) themselves took up 17% of this book! The 2nd half focused on solutions & conclusions. Our rating 3.9* was a little ho hum, while still being a worthwhile read. It was not a clearly presented...we found it choppy & hard to follow, comparatively. And most of it was simply reiterating what had already been explored in the 1st half of the book. The author claimed to be attempting an unbiased review, leaving the reader to their own conclusions. The 1st half did seem relatively unbiased (as anything like this can be), due to the volume of material/people referenced...but the 2nd half was extremely obvious in bias. Not that I didn't agree with most of the conclusions; I felt they were based on solid facts, but he was definitely telling you/had made up his mind what the solution to our energy problem is. I wish this were required reading for every member of Congress! And every HS student! I feel I now have the ability to intelligently discuss, with a factual basis, all of our current energy sources (rather than simply "knowing" in my gut what makes the most sense). We absolutely have the ability to meet all of our energy needs, with the technology to get it done before a crisis...too bad political bickering & corporate greed make it unlikely to happen.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Paola

    A book about the various energy sources - it is full of data and their sources, and it tries to balance the various views on what is sometimes a contentious topic, especially when it comes to the debate renewables vs. nuclear. Probably one of the most balanced accounts on energy issues I've come across in recent times.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chad

  5. 4 out of 5

    Albert

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mason Neil

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jackson Hotaling

  9. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kyle

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gregory D

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chad Butler

  13. 4 out of 5

    Shane

  14. 4 out of 5

    Pepe

  15. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

  17. 5 out of 5

    Steven J Yetter

  18. 4 out of 5

    Anna Brown

  19. 4 out of 5

    Starapple

  20. 4 out of 5

    Terry

  21. 5 out of 5

    Khosro Ariyaman

  22. 4 out of 5

    Buffi

  23. 4 out of 5

    Evan

  24. 5 out of 5

    Najeeb

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tim Ryce

  26. 4 out of 5

    Marc Puckett

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tessie

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ray J

  29. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Cornelisse

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Reppert

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