Green Energy: Crucial Gains or Economic Strains?

Overview

Most People Agree That The U.S. Fossil-Fuel Economy Wont Work Forever. Coal, Oil, and natural gas are all limited resources, and they harm the environment. Common sense dictates that people must move toward clean, renewable energy. But Americans disagree on how and when that change should happen.

Some people believe that the transition to a green energy economy will be very difficult and expensive. Critics of green energy say a rapid shift away from fossil fuels will ruin the ...

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Overview

Most People Agree That The U.S. Fossil-Fuel Economy Wont Work Forever. Coal, Oil, and natural gas are all limited resources, and they harm the environment. Common sense dictates that people must move toward clean, renewable energy. But Americans disagree on how and when that change should happen.

Some people believe that the transition to a green energy economy will be very difficult and expensive. Critics of green energy say a rapid shift away from fossil fuels will ruin the fragile U.S. economy, so we should stick with what's working for now.

Other people strongly disagree. They believe that U.S. dependence on imported oil threatens national security and that the continued burning of fossil fuels hurts the planet. They say the sooner Americans shift to green energy, the better. Supporters insist the transition will help the U.S. economy by producing booming new industries and creating jobs.

Making sense of the green energy debate involves studying the science, examining the statistics, and listening to views on both sides. It also means asking tough questions:

What are the benefits and drawbacks of green energy technologies?

Can renewable resources produce enough power to supply the world?

Can the United States afford to shift away from fossil fuels?

Will this transition drain the economy or boost it?

To answer these questions, this book examines the history of energy use as well as the latest energy developments in the United Stares. It provides the opinions and perspectives of government and business leaders, activists, and ordinary Americans on both sides of the issue. Supplemented with quotes, anecdotes, and discussions from the pages of USA TODAY. TheNation's No. 1 Newspaper, this book will broaden your understanding of all sides of the issue and help you form your own opinion, either for or against a rapid transition to green energy.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
The "USA Today's Debate" series presents opinion on both sides of current hot issues along with photos, short quotations, and articles from USA Today. Green Energy begins with a quick overview of energy use from the discovery of fire to present concern about effects of fossil fuels on our environment. After a superfluous first chapter discussing whether global warming is caused by humans or even serious, each chapter explores pros and cons of using more sustainable kinds of energy: nuclear, solar, wind, biomass and biofuel, hydroelectric, and geothermal. A final chapter deals with more fuel-efficient new cars, like electric, hybrid, and fuel-cell electric. Though arguments for and against each possibility are offered, positions seem to depend more on business interests than on the urgency of cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Questions tend to be: "How much will it cost?" and "Will the public accept it?" USA Today articles included are mostly bland rather than investigative, though one on San Jose's biogas plant is thought-provoking. Young adults using this collection for research may well be much more ardent on the side of immediate and drastic action than is represented here. Still, parts of the text could be useful for information on some less-discussed types and technologies of renewable energy, such as biomass from waste, fuel from weeds like the Jatropha, tidal barrages and turbines, and geothermal heat pumps. Bibliographies, a list of organizations to contact, and a list of energy websites may be helpful for further research. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
School Library Journal
Gr 5–9—Doeden looks at the history of the search for, and use of, various energy sources; global warming and the debate surrounding the issue; energy alternatives such as nuclear, solar, wind, and water power; biomass and biofuel; and electric cars, hybrids, and fuel cells. The layout is attractive and includes full-color photographs and graphs throughout. Each chapter contains editorials and stories from the pages of USA Today. This makes the book useful to classroom teachers who want to introduce their students to newspapers as research sources and use the editorials to debate both sides of the energy/global warming issuee.—Patricia Ann Owens, Illinois Eastern Community Colleges
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Search for Renewable Energy 5

Chapter 1 A Crude History of Energy 9

Chapter 2 Global Warming: Threat or Hype? 31

Chapter 3 Nuclear Power: Risk and Reward 49

Chapter 4 Solar Power: Harnessing the sun 61

Chapter 5 Wind Power: Solution or Nuisance? 79

Chapter 6 Biomass and Biofuel: Growing Energy 93

Chapter 7 Water and Earth: Other Alternatives 109

Chapter 8 Electric Cars, Hybrids, and Fuel Cells 127

Epilogue: Going Green 141

Timeline 144

Glossary 147

Source Notes 149

Selected Bibliography 151

Organizations to Contact 152

Further Information 154

Index 15

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