Climate change and budget deficits have become
bitterly divisive issues. With shrinking resources and myriad
compelling demands, all spending programs are contentious. Perhaps none
are more contentious than trillion dollar programs to ameliorate global
As this book reveals, our crisis is energy. Our 21st century society
generates energy using 19th century technology, with ruinous financial
and ecological results. The U.S. spends over $1.3 trillion per year on
energy, energy that pollutes
the atmosphere with greenhouse gases and poisons our air, our water,
and our soil.
Current policy wrongly pursues marginal energy programs, with poor
results, at a cost of over $50 billion a year.
compares the energy
usage, carbon dioxide emissions and growth rates for key nations and
regions. It then discusses what IS energy and the many forms of energy.
It then talks about the different technologies, their per capita
consumption and alternatives, including renewables.
finally reveals opportunities for smarter energy, promising low-cost,
pollution-free solutions that will benefit the planet and everyone on
solution isn’t magic. It exists everywhere throughout the universe.
It has supported life for billions of years. Nature produces energy
millions of times more effectively than we do, and with virtually zero
pollution. With a modest effort, we have an excellent chance of
mimicking nature and solving our energy crisis. We can save trillions
of wasted dollars and eliminate oceans of pollution.
energy through better science is something we can all agree
sketch above shows an example of a chemical reaction: on top are two
hydrogen atoms and a larger oxygen atom; these react to produce the
molecule of water (H2O) at the bottom. This is one of the most potent
chemical reactions, potent enough to blast rockets into outer space.
But its power is limited because electrons have such a small share of
an atom’s energy. To extract much more energy, and to become much more
efficient, we must go where nature put the energy: in the nucleus.
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