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Environmental Defense Fund president Krupp and journalist Horn proffer a business-centric prescription for alleviating climate change, coupling the market force of capitalism with technological innovation and entrepreneurial inventiveness. The authors argue in favor of strict federal carbon caps, which would induce innovators to explore new ways to control carbon dioxide emissions. The book notes the global and historical successes of cap and trade mechanisms, such as the Clean Air Act of 1990. Designed specifically to control sulfur dioxide (which causes acid rain), the Clean Air Act cut emissions 30% more than the law required by providing coal plant operators with a financial incentive to modernize. New technologies that would benefit from such a "logical, elegant, market-based approach" include one as basic as an Arizona natural gas power plant that vents its smokestack waste into a vast greenhouse, where it nourishes algae used for manufacturing biodiesel, and one as a radical as harnessing the kinetic energy of molecules as a power source. This optimistic book brims with similar ideas, balancing jargon-heavy science with engaging profiles of individuals who are blending business and science in an attempt to save the planet. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Environmental Defense, a major national advocacy group that promotes market-based solutions to environmental problems, has often influenced U.S. government policy, notably with the Clean Air Act. Krupp, its longtime president, and journalist Horn begin their survey of current attempts by scientists, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs to meet our energy needs by summarizing recent scientific statements that global carbon emissions must be cut drastically to halt climate change. The authors strongly advocate federal government caps (legislated limits) and trading of allowances on carbon. Assigning a cost to carbon emissions, they argue, would allow cleaner sources of energy to compete with fossil fuels in the marketplace and would encourage innovation. Successive chapters sketch recent progress and possibilities in solar, biofuels, ocean, geothermal, coal, biogas, conservation, and transportation. The last chapter looks at some experimental sources of energy and methods for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This wide-ranging but focused book joins recent, similar titles like George Monbiot's Heat: How To Stop the Planet from Burning and Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder's The Clean Tech Revolution. It should have extra presence because of Krupp's profile. Recommended for public and academic libraries building up collections on sustainability, alternative energy, and the environment.
—David R. Conn
Chapter 1 A New Industrial Revolution 3
Chapter 2 Harnessing the Sun, Part I 15
Chapter 3 Harnessing the Sun, Part II 45
Chapter 4 Fuels from Living Creatures 74
Chapter 5 New Sources of Biofuels 92
Chapter 6 Ocean Energy 119
Chapter 7 Power from the Earth 145
Chapter 8 Reconsidering Coal 166
Chapter 9 Today's Solutions 197
Chapter 10 A World of Possibility 240
Posted April 10, 2009
I've read a few books on alternative energy and global warming, so I'm beginning to get educated on the issues and solutions, but I'm far from a scientist or an engineer. Unfortunately, I would say about a third of this book is very difficult to trudge through unless you are one or the other. Here's a quote to make my point:
"...sodium carbonate will combine with the carbon dioxide to become sodium bicarbonate; periodically, a liquid will flush the leaves, washing the bicarbonate into solution. That solution will go to a separator, where electrodialysis will turn it back into carbon dioxide and sodium carbonate."
There is definitely some great insight in this book, but the science is discussed on a far more micro scale than I'm looking for. I've read others on the topic that do a better job explaining the solutions on a more macro level that I absorb better.
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Posted May 12, 2009
I Also Recommend:
Earth: The Sequel does for global warming what captialism did for the "dismal science" of economics; Using well-researched, and focused chapters, the book transforms our pessimism, doubt, and otherwise numbing and over-politicized views of the problem into a credible, well-balanced foundation for advancement and solution. Krupp and Horn help us to arrive at a future now; a future where opportunities are plentiful and a win-win mindset finds a uncompromised fit.
True, I have read better written books -- novels and biographies come to mind -- but rarely have I read a more important or pesuasive, forward- looking call to action. My only question now is why arent Krupp and Horn on CNN and MSNBC 24/7?? Many thanks!
Posted March 1, 2008
This was recommended to me and I started it grudgingly--and then couldn't put it down, read it cover to cover on a flight cross country. Lots of interesting ideas and fabulous characters, plus a persuasive story of why we need to cap carbon NOW--both to stop global warming and for the US economy. A must read, especially if you're a skeptic!
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Posted December 12, 2012
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