Sustainable Energy - without the hot air

Sustainable Energy - without the hot air

Endorsements by American academics

Common sense, technology literacy, and a little calculation go a long way in helping the reader sort sense from nonsense in the challenges of developing alternatives to fossil fuels. MacKay has provided a high priority book on a high priority problem. William W. Hogan
Raymond Plank Professor of Global Energy Policy
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University
David MacKay's book on sustainable energy is a complete resource for assessing the many options for choosing between different energy options and for using energy more efficiently. Teachers, students, and any intelligent citizen will find here all the tools needed to think intelligently about sustainability. Solar, wind, wave, tidal, and most other proposed technologies are assessed carefully with numbers making it possible to compare them quantitatively. Whether you are interested in advocating a sensible energy policy in or in reducing personal energy waste, this is the place to start. The book's conclusions are based on fundamental physical principles, which are clearly explained in a set of technical chapters toward the end of the book. So "Sustainable energy" is also a great place to see how fundamental science can be used to inform critical decisions about energy over the next decades. While the focus is on the UK, the book's methods can easily be adapted to the situation of other countries. One of the book's great strengths is its extensive set of links to hundreds of other sources. This is the most important book about applying science to important public problems that I have read this year. Jerry Gollub
Professor of Physics, Haverford College and University of Pennsylvania
Member of the US National Academy of Sciences
MacKay's book is the most practical, solidly analytical, and enjoyable book on energy that I have seen. Through a grounded yet playfully quantitative approach, MacKay illuminates the daunting challenges associated with possible paths to sustainable energy. This heroic work gets the energy story straight, assessing the constraints imposed by physical reality that we must work within. In so doing, MacKay delivers creative and useful tools so that we may quantify, visualize, and compare our energy options on a personal scale, deciding for ourselves what adds up. Like cold water on the face, this book snaps us out of our fossil fuel delirium and makes it clear that we must get to work if we want to maintain an energy-intensive lifestyle. Tom Murphy
Associate Professor of Physics,
UC San Diego
"Sustainable Energy" is great fun to read. I couldn't lay it down for hours. It's written in an irreverent style and leavened with hundreds of clever and beautiful cartoons, graphs, and photos. But the author is dead serious. ... If only enough people would read his book, and read it soon, that would already be a valuable first step towards salvation. Wolfgang Rindler
Professor of Physics,
University of Texas at Dallas
You don't need to defer to "experts" on scientific issues confronting our society! MacKay's book shows how, when it comes to energy, you too can do the simple arithmetic and learn the simple scientific facts needed to work out what energy you need and where it might come from. MacKay leavens his book with humor and ingenious estimates of all the various types of energy that prop up our lives. This book breaks important new ground, showing the general public that their high school math and science is all they need to be quantitatively literate and understand objectively the trade-offs which are the stuff of policy debates. David Mumford
Professor of Applied Mathematics
Brown University
Fields Medalist (1974)
Member of the US National Academy of Sciences
"Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air" makes clear the science behind the headlines on energy issues. It is a fine guide for both experts and beginners. Professor Daniel Kammen
Co-Director, Berkeley Institute of the Environment
Founding Director, Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, UC Berkeley
Professor MacKay's book presents and demonstrates the methodology required to perform a total energy balance upon a defined political entity. From this treatment, a policy planner can draw necessary and sufficient conclusions concerning energy policy. This book cuts to the core principles of rational planning. Kenneth J Bell
Emeritus Professor and heat-exchanger specialist,
Oklahoma State University
MacKay's book is a breath of fresh air, finally bringing numerical thinking to bear on today's concerns about energy, climate change, and sustainability. It is the best energy textbook I have used in my 35 years of university teaching. Mel S. Manalis,
Senior Lecturer in Environmental Studies

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