Power Hungry: The Myths of

Power Hungry: The Myths of ""Green"" Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future

by Robert Bryce
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Power Hungry: The Myths of ''Green'' Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
Few subjects carry as much doomsday weight as the battle over the future of global energy. Climate-change Cassandras and deniers, offshore-oil advocates and their opponents, all jostle for position amid a general consensus that the nations of the world need to move sooner rather than later to renewable sources of energy. But energy expert Robert Bryce, in more than 400 heavily footnoted, graphics-packed pages, simply whips out his calculator and does the math, with devastating results for that basic assumption. The modern industrialized world is utterly reliant on abundant supplies of affordable energy, he writes, and hydrocarbons - oil, coal and natural gas - are far and away the best sources for the cheap juice people want for their Macbooks and Maseratis. Forget wind and solar energy; they are simply too diffuse under current technology to make much of a dent in the world's thirst for power. So what's a worrier about melting ice caps to do? Bryce makes a very good case that a two-step plan is the only way out for the U.S.: America has enormous reserves of natural gas, so the nation should start with that, and use it until it can build an adequate number of nuclear reactors. Bryce tries a little too hard to make his point, including cracking lame jokes, but you'll never think about this issue with anything less than clarity again. getAbstract recommends this book to IT managers, heavy-industry executives, politicians and other big-picture planners seeking a real understanding of how to keep the lights on, long term.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful overview of the relative costs and potential of many potential energy sources. While it is not close to an exhaustive tome nor is it a comprehensive source, it is an excellent introduction to the problems that we face. The author makes a compelling case for a coherent energy policy, and he backs that case up with clearly explained reasons and just enough data to make his points. For those of us not 'in the know' in the energy world, this book is a great way to learn where we've been and where we should be going.
WindfallProphet More than 1 year ago
Picked it up for a quick look in a store, ended up reading it all the way through while there. It should be required reading for high school and college students. Bryce does an excellent job of laying out the fallacies underlying the use of "alternative" sources of energy. His tone mirrors that of strident eco-marxists, but his conclusions are based on facts, not politically-correct supposition, ignorance of natural law, and utopian daydreams. And that might be the main shortcoming of the book. It relies primarily on factual argument when most advocates of green solutions believe science should be subservient to a greater good defined by collectivism and nature worship. As far as I'm concerned, the book doesn't go far enough in stating how disastrous implementing the energy policies currently being advocated would be.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very informative book on a subject now upon us. What are our energy demands and how can we meet them, now and in the future.
wellpreparedrare More than 1 year ago
Although this certainly is not scholarly report, I would say, for the first time in a while, it combines the creativity of agnst of journalism with the empirical research to back.
Tunguz More than 1 year ago
"Green energy," "climate change," "environment," "sustainability" are some of the very prominent buzzwords that that pup up with some frequency in the media these days. The planet is in grave peril, and unless we do something drastic about it we are all going to die. Or something to that effect. And the drastic measure almost always means abandoning fossil fuels, and replacing them with "sustainable" sources of energy, such as biomass, wind, solar, etc. Putting aside the validity of the danger that the environmental pollution may be causing, the notion that there are easy fixes in the form of alternative energy sources laying around are just not valid. After decades of subsidies, media coverage and promotion, the simple fact remains that these alternative sources of energy are far inferior to whatever we are using right now and no amount of additional funding will change that. And this has nothing to do with our efforts - this is all based on simple laws of physics. The mainstream sources of energy - primarily fossil fuels - are by far the most readily available, portable, and concentrated sources of energy that we have. "Power Hungry" is a great source of information on some of the basic principles that underlie any energy considerations. Robert Bryce provides considerable background on many of the more popular "alternative" energy solutions - wind, solar, ethanol - and why they are all based on hype that is well beyond anything that is reasonable to expect, either now or with any future technology. I was particularly shocked to find out how much additional "dirty" energy infrastructure needs to be built for the purpose of backing up some of the renewable power sources - wind and solar in particular. These sources of power are very inconsistent and unsuitable for providing sustained energy needs of any modern society. These considerations are, unfortunately, almost never discussed in the media. This is a very important book that goes well beyond the hype and the usual sanctimonies about the need for "clean" energy. Regardless of where you stand on the whole issue of climate change and the need to combat it, this book could provide you with some clear understanding of very real and very physical limits of what "clean" energy can provide. It's an important book that can add a lot of value to our public policy debates.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Real Eye-opener. Finally getting to read something based on science. It is a shame that energy policy in this country is being created by non-scientists, non-economists. At a recent "green building" conference sponsored by a solar PV salesman, a lady raised her hand and asked, " I dont understand why we dont generate all our power with solar." If you are reading this and are wondering the same thing, you are part of the problem.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is not for eco-warriors that dismiss facts out of hand without a fact based rebuttal. This is a practical examination of our energy needs and should be required reading for all of our politicians.
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motocyclist-bob More than 1 year ago
Haven't finished it yet but the disclosure of how inefficient these two energy sources are is upsetting because politicians seem to believe they will be the power of the future. Not!
scaifem79 More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be nothing more than a stale diatribe filled with misinformation that offers very little insight to an important topic.