Global climate change is one of the most important issues humanity faces today. This updated, second edition assesses the sensible, senseless and biased proposals for averting the potentially disastrous consequences of global warming, allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions on switching to more sustainable energy provision. Burton Richter is a Nobel Prize-winning scientist who has served on many US and international review committees on climate change and energy issues. He provides a concise overview of our knowledge and uncertainties within climate change science, discusses current energy demand and supply patterns, and the energy options available to cut emissions of greenhouse gases. Written in non-technical language, this book presents a balanced view of options for moving from our heavy reliance on fossil fuels into a much more sustainable energy system, and is accessible to a wide range of readers without scientific backgrounds - students, policymakers and the concerned citizen.
About the Author
Table of Contents
Preface; List of units; List of conversion factors; List of abbreviations; 1. Introduction; Part I. Climate: 2. Greenhouse Earth; 3. Climate modelling; 4. The past as proxy for the future; 5. Predicting the future; Part II. Energy: 6. Taking up arms against this sea of troubles; 7. How fast to move: a physicist's look at the economists; 8. Energy, emissions and action; 9. Fossil fuels: how much is there?; 10. Electricity, emission and pricing carbon; 11. Efficiency: the first priority; 12. Nuclear energy; 13. Renewables; 14. Biofuels: is there anything there?; 15. An energy summary; Part III. Policy: 16. US policy: new things, bad things, good things; 17. World policy action; 18. Coda; References; Index.
What People are Saying About This
"It is rare that a scientist with the credentials of the author, Burton Richter, 1976 Nobel Laureate in Physics, attempts to communicate to society in a way that makes such an intimidating and contentious topic as climate change and the complexity of the associated energy issues that must be tackled seem easy to understand. This is a brilliant book written in a very informal way yet packed with easily understood information. Richter’s judgment is superb in assessing the role that the various possible solutions may play in averting a global warming catastrophe. His long experience as an energy advisor to US governments shows clearly in this discussion. He manages to communicate calmly but objectively the urgency of tackling the issues under discussion. ... Richter has been extremely successful in presenting the big picture about the implications of climate change and how the rise in global mean temperature can be minimized. ... It should be on the reading list for 2011 of all concerned citizens. Physicists should read this book because it is a template for how they should proselytize about science to the general public. As Richter observes “I have learned one thing: politics – particularly international politics – is much harder than physics”. This reviewer can only add that the effort to communicate to the political system is well worth the effort." - Harvey A. Buckmaster, Canadian Association of Physicists
"...the author adequately outlined the past, current and future effects on greenhouse gas emissions without requiring the reader to have any preconceived notions of the topic. I would recommend anyone with an interest in climate change to read this book with complete understanding toward those with a background in high school level general science." CMOS Bulletin
"As a compendium of vital energy information, clear facts on climate change and insights into how political decisions about energy are made in the U.S. and the world, Richter's book is an invaluable resource. EnviroLine" EnviroLine