Coming Clean: Breaking America's Addiction to Oil and Coal

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Americans are awakening to just how costly and destructive our fossil-fuel habit has become-to the environment, our national security and stature, our health, and especially our pocketbooks. We want to take action, to move our country down the path to clean energy, but we're not sure how. Coming Clean provides the road map, showing how we, as motivated citizens, can promote real solutions and collectively pressure government and corporations to change their energy priorities. Author Michael Brune tracks the ...
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Coming Clean: Breaking America's Addiction to Oil and Coal

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Overview

Americans are awakening to just how costly and destructive our fossil-fuel habit has become-to the environment, our national security and stature, our health, and especially our pocketbooks. We want to take action, to move our country down the path to clean energy, but we're not sure how. Coming Clean provides the road map, showing how we, as motivated citizens, can promote real solutions and collectively pressure government and corporations to change their energy priorities. Author Michael Brune tracks the myriad ways our thirst for dwindling supplies of oil and coal corrupts national policy and international finance, harms poor communities worldwide, and wreaks havoc on the climate. He describes the most promising developments in renewables, biofuels, and efficient design, and outlines an inspiring vision of the clean energy future within our reach.

Brune and his organization, Rainforest Action Network, have had stunning success in convincing corporations-including Home Depot, Citi, and Bank of America-to green their business practices, and his activist skills and passion are at the heart of this book. Offering well-tested action strategies, Coming Clean is rooted in the author's faith that Americans acting together can create profound change.

About the Author:
Michael Brune is executive director of Rainforest Action Network and provides strategic direction for its Freedom from Oil campaign

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Purging this country of its two-century addiction to fossil fuels is the great task of our time. Here is the resource we have long needed.”
—Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy

“Strung out by high gas prices? Melting ice caps give you the sweats? Lost in fantasies about clean coal, tar sands, and undiscovered oil fields in Alaska? Coming Clean is a road map to recovery, a smart, heartfelt guide to building a better world.”
— Jeff Goodell, author of Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America’s Energy Future

“Straight from the front lines of the battle for a clean, cheap energy economy, Mike Brune tells the fascinating inside story. With fuel prices soaring, his practical vision for how we can ‘come clean’ is tremendously important. I especially appreciate his guidance on how we can make this revolution happen before it’s too late.”
—Wes Boyd, cofounder of MoveOn.Org

“A thoroughly engaging, reader-friendly analysis of our energy dilemma. Brune’s empowering book tells us how to take back our future from the energy bullies leading us down a path to climate chaos.”
— Ross Gelbspan, author of the Heat Is On and Boiling Point

“Winning the battle against climate change will take a lot more than buying better light bulbs and inflating our cars’ tires. Coming Clean shows how to get the systemic change we really need.”
— Bonnie Raitt, musician/activist

“This is a valuable odyssey through the coming world of clean, sustainable, resilient energy. As Brune puts it, ‘Join us: it’s fun over here.’”
— R. James Woolsey, energy-independence expert, former CIA director

"If politics as usual could do it, the climate crisis would be fixed by now. Of course voting is essential. But so is the Rainforest Action Network's brand of activism: target corporate polluters directly and break their hold over government policy. Mike Brune shows how to do it in a book Exxon-Mobil no doubt wishes had never been published."
— Mark Hertsgaard, author of Earth Odyssey and environment correspondent for The Nation

“An optimistic, realistic, pragmatic call to action. In this eloquent book, Mike Brune offers practical approaches, hope, and inspiration. A must-read for anyone who dreams of a sustainable, just, and peaceful future.”
— John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and The Secret History of the American Empire

“At last! A road map to a clean energy future. As Michael Brune says, embracing clean energy is not an obligation, it is an opportunity.”
—Van Jones, author of The Green-Collar Economy

Publishers Weekly
An experienced political activist and straight-talker, executive director of the Rainforest Action Network Brune challenges average citizens to join him in the fight for clean energy, warning that, even though "60 percent of Americans believe that we must take action now," it will only happen by "changing corporate America and challenging our political leaders." Presenting a trove of information, Brune looks at the costs of oil dependency, the dirty mechanics of so-called "clean coal," the role played by politics and finance, and the possibilities for a post-oil economy. "Take Action" sections at the end of each chapter suggest further reading and viewing, ways to profile an adversary, how to identify the most important issues to you, and what to do from there (speaking out, organizing others, taking your demands to government representatives). While Brune is obviously looking to recruit converts, his guide contains enough solid, interesting information (Ford Motor Company's current fleet averages fewer miles per gallon than their old Model-T) to fill in anyone interested in the present state of the energy economy.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578051496
  • Publisher: Sierra Club Books
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, has seen firsthand the devastation caused by the BP oil disaster in the Gulf. Nationally recognized as one of today’s most inspiring and effective environmental leaders, he served as executive director of Rainforest Action Network for seven years, and previously worked with Greenpeace and the Coastal Rainforest Coalition (since renamed ForestEthics). Brune wrote the original edition of Coming Clean: Breaking America's Addiction to Oil and Coal in 2008, and he blogs regularly for The Huffington Post, SolveClimate, and Daily Kos. He lives with his wife and their two young children in Alameda, California.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9

Introduction It's Time to Refuel 11

Ch. 1 Getting Our Fix: The True Cost of America's Oil Habit 22

Ch. 2 Smokescreen: The Dirty Side of "Clean Coal" 40

Ch. 3 Separate Oil and State: Getting Fossilized Power Out of Politics 59

Ch. 4 Follow the Money: How Your Bank Is Funding Climate Change, and What You Can Do about It 75

Ch. 5 Redesigning Mobility: Moving America in a Post-Oil Economy 95

Ch. 6 Jump-Start Detroit: How Automakers Can Save Themselves, and the Planet 111

Ch. 7 Growing Gas: Are Biofuels Fueling or Fooling America? 129

Ch. 8 Greening the Grid: How Sun and Wind Can Generate Power and Prosperity 146

Ch. 9 Less Is More: Fighting Climate Change while Living the Good Life 167

Ch. 10 Power Shift: Shaping a Clean-Energy Society 183

Resources 197

Notes 217

Index 259

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