Posts tagged “book review”
While I disagree with Amory Lovins on many topics, the man is definitely a visionary. In his latest book Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era, Lovins and his coauthors make the case for retrofitting 120 million buildings, and for fundamentally changing our transportation infrastructure, the way our industries use energy, and the way electricity is produced and consumed.
Reinventing Fire is an epic piece of work. I was initially amazed that one author wrote this book, but then in the acknowledgements it is made clear that the book is the result of major efforts by a dozen or so contributors. (I will refer to Lovins as the author in this book review, but there were clearly many contributors). CONTINUE»
I am way behind on reading books that have been sent to me for review by various publishers. The pile on my desk is growing, because I have a bad habit of starting new books before I finish the one I am reading. Currently I am nearly finished with Oil’s Endless Bid, am halfway through Oil: Money, Politics, and Power in the 21st Century, and had started Amory Lovins’ Reinventing Fire until someone borrowed it from my office.
However, I did manage to recently finish Peter Tertzakian’s A Thousand Barrels a Second : The Coming Oil Break Point and the Challenges Facing an Energy Dependent World. This one had been on my bookshelf for a while (as opposed to the growing stack of books I have been sent to review), but it has been pretty high on my list of books to read. CONTINUE»
I read two books on my recent trip to Europe. The first was Cracking the Carbon Code by Terry Tamminen. l reviewed that book here, and indicated that while I disagree with the notion that we will come up with a viable solution to rising carbon emissions, some of the steps that Tamminem suggested — like improving energy efficiency — are worthwhile in any case. And I felt that the book as a whole was well-written. I had mixed feelings about that book, and I have mixed feelings about Howard Johnson’s book Energy, Convenient Solutions: How Americans Can Solve the Energy Crisis in Ten Years. Johnson is a self-described “chemical engineering graduate of Purdue University in 1949.” On the one… Continue»
Introduction In Cracking the Carbon Code, Terry Tamminen lays out his strategy for managing and reducing carbon emissions. He describes what California has done. He describes great strides that China has made. He describes his strategic meetings on the subject with President Obama prior to his election. He makes estimates on what the costs would be to regulate carbon dioxide (0.7 cents per kWH of electricity; 35 cents per gallon of transportation fuel). He talks about carbon markets that have sprung up around the world, and makes recommendations for how businesses can inventory and manage their emissions (e.g., he recommends that all businesses have a carbon manager to deal with each company’s carbon emissions). A Fundamental Disagreement But I read… Continue»
Introduction I tend to accumulate a lot of books – sent to me by publishers and publicists – and they pile up on my desk until I have to make a trip somewhere. Because it takes a long time to get from Hawaii to anywhere else, I always grab a book or two from my stack to keep myself occupied while in a plane or while waiting for one. For my most recent trip, I grabbed Amanda Little’s book Power Trip: The Story of America’s Love Affair with Energy. Little describes herself as an environmentalist who — up until writing this book — had “one major blind spot” in her understanding of energy: “I also realized that this thing that… Continue»
I actually had low expectations for The Impending World Energy Mess by Robert L. Hirsch, Roger H. Bezdek, and Robert M. Wendling. Not because I thought Robert Hirsch and company would put out a sub-par book, but rather I have read so many peak oil books that I expected I would be covering entirely familiar ground. I was quite pleasantly surprised. The first few sections of the book were indeed very basic for those who are familiar with resource depletion (e.g., what oil is, what peak oil is). Much of the material just reinforces what people familiar with peak oil already know. But it puts all the information together in one place, and it does so in a concise fashion…. Continue»
Introduction “There is no more complex or fascinating topic than energy.” — Robert Bryce As I began to work on my review of Robert Bryce’s latest book, Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future, it became less a traditional review and more a summary/commentary on some of the key points in the book. For most readers of this book, there will be things you will strongly agree with, but also things that you think he gets wrong. There will definitely be things that you are surprised to learn, and there will be things that you won’t believe. But if you approach this book with an open mind, you will find yourself reconsidering some… Continue»
Big Coal by Jeff Goodell is a book I have had on my reading list for a long time, but I only got around to reading it during my recent trip to Europe.
Oil on the Brain by Lisa Margonelli was recommended by Paul Sankey at the 2009 Energy Information Administration Conference as a book that provided great insight into the oil industry. I have had it on my list of books to read, and recently picked it up to read during my travels. I have been traveling a lot lately, and I like to read while I travel, so I knocked it out over the past couple of trips I have taken. The premise of the book is that a person who doesn’t know much about the oil industry sets out to find out what it is really like on the inside. It reminded me in some ways of Crude World by… Continue»
I will finish up my long-promised concluding post in the recent series on ethanol and oil imports. I have been traveling for ten days, and inadvertently left all of my graphics for that post on another computer. I am back home now, and will try to tidy it up and post it in the next few days. On the long plane ride back to Hawaii, I read Power of the People: America’s New Electricity Choices. I picked this book up at the 2009 Solar Tour – Pikes Peak Region, which I visited on my trip to Colorado. My new job has me getting more involved in the electricity sector, and I thought this would be a book that would help… Continue»