A Bright Future: How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change and the Rest Can Follow

A Bright Future: How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change and the Rest Can Follow

A Bright Future: How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change and the Rest Can Follow

A Bright Future: How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change and the Rest Can Follow


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The inspiration for Nuclear Now, the new Oliver Stone film, co-written by Joshua Goldstein

As climate change quickly approaches a series of turning points that guarantee disastrous outcomes, a solution is hiding in plain sight. Several countries have already replaced fossil fuels with low-carbon energy sources, and done so rapidly, in one to two decades. By following their methods, we could decarbonize the global economy by midcentury, replacing fossil fuels even while world energy use continues to rise. But so far we have lacked the courage to really try.

In this clear-sighted and compelling book, Joshua Goldstein and Staffan Qvist explain how clean energy quickly replaced fossil fuels in such places as Sweden, France, South Korea, and Ontario. Their people enjoyed prosperity and growing energy use in harmony with the natural environment. They didn't do this through personal sacrifice, nor through 100 percent renewables, but by using them in combination with an energy source the Swedes call kärnkraft, hundreds of times safer and cleaner than coal.

Clearly written and beautifully illustrated, yet footnoted with extensive technical references, Goldstein and Qvist's book will provide a new touchstone in discussions of climate change. It could spark a shift in world energy policy that, in the words of Steven Pinker's foreword, literally saves the world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781541724112
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 11/17/2020
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 524,140
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

Joshua S. Goldstein is an International Relations professor who writes about the big issues facing humanity. He is the author of six books about war, peace, diplomacy, and economic history, and a bestselling college textbook, International Relations. Among other awards, his book War and Gender (2001) won the International Studies Association's "Book of the Decade Award" in 2010. Goldstein has a B.A. from Stanford and a Ph.D. from M.I.T. He is professor emeritus at American University in Washington, DC, and research scholar at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he lives. See www.joshuagoldstein.com.

Staffan A. Qvist is a Swedish engineer, scientist and consultant to clean energy projects around the world. He has lectured and authored numerous studies in the scientific literature on various topics relating to energy technology and policy, nuclear reactor design and safety, and climate change mitigation strategies — research that has been covered by Scientific American and many other media outlets. Trained as a nuclear engineer (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley), he is now involved in renewable energy development projects and also works with several "fourth generation" nuclear start-ups. For more information, see www.staffanqvist.com.

Table of Contents

Foreword Steven Pinker vii


1 Climate Won't Wait 3

2 What Sweden Did 20

3 What Germany Did 29

Half Measures

4 More Energy, Not Less 43

5 100 Percent Renewables? 53

6 Methane Is Still Fossil 78

Facing Fears

7 Safest Energy Ever 87

8 Risks and Fears 104

9 Handling Waste 117

10 Preventing Proliferation 128

The Way Forward

11 Keep What We've Got 143

12 Next-Generation Technology 157

13 China, Russia, India 174

14 Pricing Carbon Pollution 191

15 Act Globally 207

Acknowledgments 227

Notes 229

Index 265

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