I just finished a book that I think portrays well our current situation regarding our use of carbon based fuels.
The author, a contributor to boingboing.net, explains the complexities of the situation as well as the fact that there will likely be no simple solution. She has clearly spent time understanding the nature of electrical energy generation, transmission, and distribution. She discusses issues associated with the inherent variability of most alternative energy sources. Distributed generation is discussed as well as the so-called “smart grid.” Unintended consequences of the use of devices that consume electric power more efficiently are also discussed.
In general, I think that this book is well-grounded and presents a balanced view.
|Before the Lights Go Out: Conquering the Energy Crisis Before It Conquers Us|
|– Introduction: Choice and Change||p. 1|
|1 – Making Apple Pie from Scratch||p. 9|
|2 – One in a Quadrillion||p. 22|
|3 – The Efficiency Paradox||p. 36|
|4 – The Emerald City||p. 52|
|5 – A Box Full of Lightning||p. 67|
|6 – Good and Good Enough||p. 84|
|7 – The View from Merriam’s Peak||p. 102|
|8 – The Take-Charge Challenge||p. 121|
|9 – The Olive Green Revolution||p. 135|
|10 – The Default Option||p. 150|
|11 – Home Fires||p. 173|
|12 – Bigger Little||p. 186|
|13 – Good Citizens of the Grid||p. 211|
|– Notes||p. 226|
|– Index||p. 279|
And, in case you are wondering, I do believe that we have a serious problem that requires a pretty speedy response if we are to avoid large and undesirable consequences.