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Publishers WeeklyGoodall, a columnist for the U.K. Sunday Independent, (How to Live a Low-Carbon Life) offers a welcome breath of fresh air that lands somewhere between technophiles who optimistically believed free-market would create technologies to combat global warming, and pessimists who hold a more catastrophic view. While he steps on the toes of some environmentalists, his solutions seem realistic, if initially costly. In his view there is no one-size-fits-all solution for the energy crisis. Britain, he argues, has "awesome wave and tidal energy" that can be captured by water mills, but is too cloudy to depend on solar energy. He gives an appraisal of the possibilities for making solar energy more efficient and less costly by using nontechnology to "precisely arrange the atoms on the printed semiconductor surface," a process developed in the UK and being marketed in Germany. Also discussed are the benefits of large off shore wind-turbine farms, capturing carbon from coal powered utilities, and Biofuels. None of the technologies he considers are yet competitive with fossil fuels, but with sufficient start-up capital from private and public sources, and large enough markets to allow economies of scale, they could be. His straightforward evaluation of green technologies should interest technology buffs or investors and he raises a number of questions that merit serious debate.
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