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Apollo's Fire: Igniting America's Clean Energy Economy Hardcover – October 19, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-1597261753 ISBN-10: 1597261750 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Island Press; 1 edition (October 19, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597261750
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597261753
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,553,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

To free the U.S. of fossil fuel dependency while boosting the economy, we need the kind of visionary leadership that led to the Apollo moon landings in 1969, according to Inslee and Hendricks in this energetic articulation of a clean-energy future. That vision is sadly lacking under the current administration, reports Washington State Congressman Inslee in several caustic sidebars about his contentious energy discussions with President Bush and Vice-President Cheney. His first-person anecdotes lighten this otherwise earnest book, based on initiatives of the Apollo Alliance, an advocacy group and think tank uniting unions, environmental groups and business organizations committed to fostering a green economy. Redesigning the car, investing in solar power, mining wind for power, exploring the nascent technology of wave energy, using energy more efficiently and working clean coal and safe nuclear power into the equation are among the authors' prescriptions. Inslee is primary congressional sponsor of the New Apollo Energy Act and on the Apollo Alliance advisory board; coauthor Hendricks is a member of the alliance's steering committee. A brief foreword by Bill Clinton waxes enthusiastic about the synergy between the book, the alliance and the proposed legislation. (Nov. 2)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Representative Inslee is a nuanced thinker and speaker. . . Apollo's Fire is as characteristically rational and up front."

"…energetic articulation of a clean-energy future…"
(Publishers Weekly)

"The book evokes the national focus on reaching the moon in the 1960s to advocate a comprehensive array of policy and technological solutions."
(Science News)

"Apollo's Fire is one of the more comprehensive, balanced, and upbeat books out there now about America's energy situation… It encourages people to think big, while instilling a sense of urgency. It has a message of hope, not futility."
(Toledo Blade)

"Apollo's Fire is a ... summons to shake ourselves free from the physical and political corruptions of oil."
(Seattle Times)

"Apollo's Fire gets the situation almost exactly right."
(Bill McKibben SEED Magazine)

"Their vision is true to America's competitive spirit … It is innovation for the improvement of humanity. It is science as stewardship. This is our errand into the wilderness, and it is our obligation to our children and to the global community. Apollo's Fire calls us to our destiny."
(President Bill Clinton in his forward to Apollo's Fire)

"Apollo's Fire is a breath of fresh air and optimism about how America's ingenuity and enterprise can stop climate change. Jay Inslee and Bracken Hendricks provide a rousing call for all of us to protect the environment by using the inspiring stories of people around the country who already are."
(Donna Brazile political strategist and analyst)

"At Virgin, we know you don't get anywhere without vision. Here in Apollo's Fire is the compelling, bold vision in energy the world needs to beat global warming."
(Sir Richard Branson founder and chairman of the Virgin Group)

"For those of you who want to move beyond the doom and gloom of the global warming dialogue, Apollo's Fire fits the bill. Set in a frame of optimism and urgency, this book thinks big and shows that innovation, curiosity, and imagination already are driving the beginnings of an Apollo-like leap toward necessary solutions. The authors' sweeping and attainable vision for America's energy independence shows we can once again reach for higher goals and succeed."
(Robert Redford actor and director)

"Apollo's Fire is a brilliant, inspiring book on the need to set goals and find future solutions to achieve clean, efficient energy. It is beautifully written, exciting, and hopeful. It's a must read for every American who wants to save the planet."
(Helen Thomas Hearst Newspapers columnist)

"And so Apollo's Fire shares the stories of dozens of dreamers, inventors, scientists and more who are taking global warming seriously, and are doing their part to fight it."
(The Olympian)

"...a passionate argument for the economic shift the authors say is necessary to ease America into a clean-energy revolution."
(Associated Press)

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Flat_Tire on December 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
Congressman Inslee is a full-time elected representative with a background in economics and law, so we expect a book written by him to emphasize economics and public policy, and to be weak on science. Still, he could have sought out help on science.

His book merely supports popular solutions to the climate-change problem and disdains unpopular ones, and he never checks the data. For example, he proposes to replace gasoline with cellulosic ethanol made from switchgrass. He points to publications that promise salubrious results and doesn't mention that cellulosic ethanol has never been shown to be practical. He's sure that compressed air could store enough energy to make part-time energy sources like wind and solar practical, but he never took the trouble to see how much air volume would be required--if he did he'd realize that no such scheme could ever work. He quotes a promoter of algal biofuels saying 650 gallons of biofuel per acre per year would offset the US's oil imports with only 0.1% of its land area. A pocket calculator shows it would take over 13%, compared with 18% that's arable. In contrast, he agonizes over nuclear energy. He's aware of its importance in slowing global warming, but he's fallen into the trap of believing it enables weapons proliferation. He wrings his hands over spent fuel from reactors, even though no person has ever been harmed by it. He gasps at construction costs for nuclear plants but says nothing about the costs of wind and solar, even though those costs are higher.

We should be pleased that a representative would interest himself in this subject enough to write a book about it. The book would be more helpful if he'd taken greater care.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jim Harrigan on March 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Congressman Jay Inslee puts forth his view toward a solution to fuel prices and climate change. The field is rather crowded right now for books on this topic. Inslee approaches the angle of the economy and jobs more fully than his competitors. He remains more neutral on hydrogen, nuclear, and clean coal, while encouraging wind, solar, and tidal energy.

Inslee puts forth Ten Energy Enlightenments.

1. Opportunity Is Best Found in Crisis
2. Boldness Is Required - Tinkering at the Edges Didn't Put a Man on the Moon
3. We Must Reject the Tyranny of the Present
4. There Are No Silver Bullets
5. Everybody Needs to Get on the Bus
6. If Government Sets the Road Signs, the Market Will Drive
7. Failure Is an Option
8. Prejudices Are Best Left at the Door
9. Clean Energy Will Be Powered by New Politics
10. No More Free Lunches

"Failure Is an Option" is one that has been forgotten. As a nation it seems that fear of risk in the short-term is setting America up for absolute failure in the long-term. Like Apollo 13, failure is a necessary part of exploration.

Inslee sizes up energy situation and climate change well, and does thorough descriptions of energy alternatives - solar, wind, biofuels, clean coal, nuclear, tidal. His description of the "Four Horsemen of the Energy Apocalypse" is memorable.

1. Inertia - ideas can represent change in investments, policies and behavior. Inertia wears down efforts to change the status quo.

2. Special interests

3. Miasma of ideology - issues are viewed through an ideological prism rather than a scientific, pragmatic one.

4. Fear - we cannot adopt policies that can succeed.

I would add one more. Fashion. Once ideas sit for too long the media will migrate back to other things, such as Britney, Paris or Lindsay.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A. M. Fragomeni on January 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The thing I like about this book is that it was a great crossover book for both my boyfriend and I. I don't follow energy issues nearly as closely as he does. I need a book that isn't too dry and keeps my interest, but provides the information I need to come up to speed on solutions to global warming and energy independence. This book accomplishes that by relaying that information through personal stories of individuals throughout the country, and contrasting their efforts with national policy. At the same time, judging from my partner's perspective, he was very happy with the book providing him with the latest on this fast moving subject and offering insights into the best investment opportunities in the clean energy space. The book also had some interesting anecdotes about interactions with politicians like Bill Clinton.

The only thing that I think can be considered a down side for the book is that it could have given the status of its policy proposals in Congress. However, I do recognize that doing this could make the whole book outdated when new laws are finally passed.

I think I speak for my partner and I when I say that it was inspiring. Finally, a proposed solution (or plan at least) to this problem!
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The writing is a bit on the florid side in places, however, Congressman Inslee and his team have put together a well balanced presentation of the global climate crisis along with a comprehensive plan for a solution. Like President Kennedy's call to put a man on the moon, Congressman Inslee is calling on all to be part of the solution to our dependence on foreign oil and to reduce our CO2 footprint. I believe he is correct in his statement that there is no silver bullet solution, but rather a million parts that must come together to create a solution, from conservation, to planning buildings as if energy matters, to investing in research for new energy sources. I appreciated Congressman Inslee's proposed "American Energy Policy". The economic concept of creating a class of green collar workers from current displaced workers is intriguing. This book is written so that you don't have to be a scientist or an environmental activist to understand, it is a good look at what we can and should be doing.
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