A Newer World: Politics, Money, Technology, and What's Really Being Done to Solve the Climate Crisisby William F. Hewitt
Here is a story that has not previously been adequately told: the story of the developments, trends, and visionary people that are, in many ways, mitigating the climate crisis and turning sustainable development into reality, not just a grand concept. In A Newer World, the environmentalist Bill Hewitt explores the advances in business and finance, politics, design, science, and engineering that are transforming the world around us right now, even as the dire climatic consequences of the industrialization of our economies have become ever more starkly apparent.
The received wisdom is that we are on an irrevocable path toward climate catastrophe. The political process, we are told, is broken. Coal-fired power plants in China and India are going to inundate the climate system with CO2 before we can convert to less dangerous ways to generate power. Market mechanisms to control emissions have not, as yet, realized their potential. There is some truth in all of this, but it is not, by any means, the whole story. A Newer World surveys the quantum leaps that are being made in clean technology and tells how governments, industry, and financial institutions are moving faster and more vigorously every day toward embracing these technologies. The challenges are real. A Newer World tells the untold story of the major progress already being made in addressing the looming climate crisis.
“Hewitt, adjunct instructor at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs, takes a broad look at efforts to combat the effects of climate change and finds much that is encouraging. He begins by addressing the Climategate scandal, reinforcing the conclusion that climate change is a scientifically sound matter of “deep concern” while using the moment to summarize related activity in science, politics, the media, and in the general public. Touching on disinformation efforts, Hewitt categorizes the Republicans as the only political party among “the world’s democracies that refuses to acknowledge the manifest reality of climate change.” He then takes a kitchen-sink approach to covering local, national, and international efforts to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases through changing energy sources, clean technology, and financial, political, and development policies. There are occasional structural missteps—such as a section on mountaintop-removal coal mining that contains only two paragraphs, one on coal mining and the other, inexplicably, on mangroves—but he does offer positive news, like a research paper that demonstrates how, by using existing clean, renewable energy technologies, humanity could produce 15 times the energy currently created. In general, though Hewitt’s book is dense, it is a helpful synopsis of the world’s efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.”—Publishers Weekly
"Hewitt provides something rare that has not really been seen in much contemporary environmental literature — hope — while melding the realities of climate science, politics, and economics all into one… A Newer World is worth a read for those tired of dire messages, for those who want hope in the face of our fast-paced, complex global economic system.”—CleanTechnica.com
"[Hewitt] provides an excellent overview of US, EU, and international climate change science and policy that gives context for his descriptions of a range of achievements. These include not just innovative policy making at local, state, national, and international scales, but also the development of a range of increasingly economic and prevalent alternative energy production and conservation technologies. This book will be valuable and interesting to general readers, scholars/students desiring accessible information on climate change policy, and faculty teaching any level of an energy or climate change-related class. . . . Highly recommended."
“This book is first and foremost a compendium of events and trends presaging a green revolution. Its author has done an investigation of Homeric proportions to document the changes in energy infrastructure taking place outside of Washington, DC. Those multifarious changes, taken together, represent a rebirth of hope for dealing successfully with climate change.”—chris-winter.com
- University of New Hampshire Press
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- 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)
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Meet the Author
WILLIAM F. HEWITT has been an environmental professional and activist for more than twenty-five years. He is a writer and teacher of graduate and continuing education classes on energy and the environment, climate change, and clean technology at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs.
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I was pleasantly surprised to take a briefly from the daily political/environmental doom and gloom to read all the glimmers of hope in this important book. Well-researched and well-written (my favorite line: “The world is on fire”), a Newer World taught me a great deal of interesting facts about alternative technologies and government solutions (mostly of governments other than the U.S.) that are indeed working. I wish every policy-maker would read this, and, more importantly, act on this
The Time is Right for A Newer World Infused with optimism, A Newer World is a well-researched and thorough summary of US and worldwide attempts, in their myriad forms, to combat climate change and global warming. Forward looking in a positive way, the book never loses sight of the real world hurdles that must be overcome to achieve a better future. True to the author’s environmental creed and activism, the book is a beacon signaling that if we act prudently and efficiently, a full-blown climate crisis is not inevitable. As climate change is obviously a global issue, Mr. Hewitt devotes substantial parts of the book to overseas developments in this area. Notably, the planet green chapter acknowledges that despite everything being done to deploy new carbon emission free technologies, particularly in the developed world, it is developing countries such as India and China that may indeed hold the key to successfully mitigating climate change on a global basis. Both countries actively promote vigorous economic growth to raise living standards. Worldwide and historical experience tells us that when people’s standard of living increase, their per capita energy use increase proportionately. What mix of energy sources will these two countries with billion plus populations utilize to satisfy all the additional energy demand - fossil fuels, nuclear, or renewables? Even as coal in the US as a percent of electricity generation has been in steady decline, in China, India and elsewhere, coal will continue to be a major source of power for many years to come. The energy landscape can shift rapidly as a consequence of new technologies, markets, policies, priorities, events and/or discoveries. In the US, natural gas now features prominently in any discussions of energy security, in spite of environmental concerns over its extraction. Who could have predicted ten years ago that natural gas prices would be so cheap per m/BTUs and found in such abundance that we would be talking about discovering the holy grail of American energy independence? Who could have predicted ten years ago that resource poor Japan would beat a path toward energy independence by finding large deposits of methane hydrates off its coast with the potential to supply its energy needs for the foreseeable future? Will extraction of these hydrates be environmentally benign or hazardous? (Like carbon dioxide, methane is a greenhouse gas.) Will other countries follow in its footsteps and exploit their own methane hydrate deposits? More of Mr. Hewitt’s discussion on the status of natural gas can be found on his blog at www.anewerworld.net. For practitioners in the field as well as interested parties and citizens, A Newer World is a great starting point for anyone looking to read up on the subject of the climate crisis in one place. If you absorb this book’s contents, consider yourself well-informed about the efforts to create a better, more hospitable world. Doom, gloom and scare tactics may be the basis to spur action, but persistence, hope and optimism can lead to even more favorable results without the concomitant conflicts and headaches. It is always a noble thing for someone to bring a positive message to the world.