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Cold Cash, Cool Climate: Science-Based Advice for Ecological Entrepreneurs Paperback – February 15, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


“Cold Cash, Cool Climate makes a compelling case for a rapid transition to carbon-efficient infrastructure.”--Elton Sherwin, Ridgewood Capital, author of Addicted to Energy

“Thorough, thought-provoking, and pragmatic. A must read for entrepreneurs building profitable enterprises to address climate change!”--Vivek Mehra, August Capital

"Denying our climate challenges won't make them go away. But with Koomey's help, a motivated entrepreneur can better understand and profit from the huge opportunities they present." —Amory B. Lovins, Chairman and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute

"The idea that entrepreneurs can be a powerful instrument of environmental progress is not new, but Cold Cash, Cool Climate is a timely and cogent summary of the task and the opportunities entrepreneurs now confront in the most important startup ever." —

"Once I started Cold Cash, Cool Climate I was hooked, persuaded, and ready to share its lessons with others. The book is compelling and important, and deserves to be read widely." —Rick Diamond, staff scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

"Cold Cash, Cool Climate is provocative, inspirational, and invaluable." —Dan Sperling, Director, Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California–Davis

"Cold Cash, Cool Climate is clear, concise, and inspiring. The introduction alone is worth the price of the book."  —Michael Totten, Principal,

"Cold Cash, Cool Climate is a beautiful, well researched and clearly written book that summarizes the climate problem in a compact and readable way. I've used it with great success in my classes on 'Engineering and Climate Change' at Stanford."  —Leslie Field, Ph.D., Consulting Professor, Stanford University

About the Author

Jonathan Koomey, Ph.D., understands the climate issue as only an entrepreneurial scientist can. He’s been part of the climate debate for more than two decades, as a scientist at one of the nation’s foremost research labs, as a Consulting Professor at Stanford University, and as a visiting professor at Stanford University (2004-5 and 2008), Yale University (2009), and most recently at the University of California at Berkeley (2011). He is the author or coauthor of more than 150 articles and reports, as well as nine books, including the first comprehensive analysis of the implications of a 2-degree warming limit in 1989 (twenty years before the G8 nations accepted this normative target). He has been a technical advisor to half a dozen startup companies, and was a judge and advisor for the 2005 California Clean Tech Open.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Analytics Press (February 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097060193X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0970601933
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 6.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,438,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steve Offutt on March 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
Jon Koomey comes at the climate change problem from an entrepreneurial viewpoint. There's no shortage of books, news, blogs, articles, videos and more information about climate change, so it's important that a new book bring something fresh to the issue. This book does that, for the most part.

Koomey presents the book from the angle of a scientist advising an entrepreneur. The information about the science of climate change is familiar to those of us who are immersed in the topic. However, when entrepreneurs who may not be following climate change on a daily basis read this, they will find the information understandable and compelling. It might get a bit deeper than necessary in communicating the urgency and severity, but it's not necessary to understand the data completely in order to see the business opportunities.

For me, Chapter 4 was the most useful.

Chapter 4 articulates why the current economic and risk models that are used to think about the climate change problem are--to a great degree--useless. They also tend to grossly underestimate what is possible. I completely share this sentiment, but Koomey is able to articulate these ideas much better than I ever have. By showing how the way forward can potentially occur faster, bigger and more profitably than the usual discussion, he opens the mental door to those who are clever enough to identify opportunities--those entrepreneurs who the book is written for.

The book might benefit from a couple of great entrepreneurial stories as case studies to provide additional inspiration to readers who are pursuing ventures in this space.

That aside, I will be recommending this book to my friends and colleagues who are in the entrepreneurial space. Thanks, Jon, for your hard and excellent work on this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pierre Delforge on April 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
I found Jon Koomey's book an excellent read and a compelling guide for climate action. I have read all the books I know of on climate-related issues, this one fills a unique niche combining a good level of science with a pragmatic path forward and concrete opportunities for action. It is written for the non-scientist yet gives more technical and analytical depth than typical journalistic treatments of this topic.

I was particularly interested in chapter 6, Looking for Opportunities, and Koomey's optimistic view on the promise of information and communications technology (ICT) to enable the decarbonization of our society through both technical and institutional innovation. While I agree that ICT holds great promise, its own energy footprint is growing fast and the ICT industry is not consistently leveraging electrical efficiency gains to reduce ICT's own energy footprint. For example desktop computers still use a similar amount or more power than they did 15 years ago, and collectively use approximately as much energy as all data centers. This is just one of the many points raised by Koomey's book which should trigger valuable discussions on how to move forward with climate change mitigation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Eli F. Merritt on March 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read Koomey's books in the past, and this one pulls it all together. We all need advice about how to cool the climate and cool it fast and self-consciously. I am a doctor and wish energy-guzzling hospital CEO's and administrators, as well as other health care folks, would study this book hard, digest it fully, and implement the Dr.'s prescriptions as speedily and profitably as possible!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Lazar on July 28, 2014
Format: Paperback
I have read dozens of books on climate change and, rather unexpectedly, I found "Cold Cash, Cool Climate", to be one of the best. This book was written for busy people who need quality information presented in a logical and coherent manner - like entrepreneurs and business leaders..

The science of climate change, and the need for urgent and effective action to reduce CO2 emissions, was covered with the clarity and conciseness that one might expect in an executive review. Koomey got to the point quickly, but with just enough meaningful background information and logical argumentation to enable any reader to easily digest the material and to move forward in an informed and intelligent manner - hopefully to make barrels of cold cash.

Me? My Cold Climate Cash will come by helping my company make smarter and better decisions, and higher profits, based on something else I picked up in "Cold Cash": Ringer's Theory of Reality:

"Reality isn't the way you wish things to be, nor the way they appear to be, but the way they actually are. Either you acknowledge reality and use it to your benefit, or it will automatically work against you."

The Reality of Climate Change is clear: there are profits to be made by acting decisively on climate change - and it's the right thing to do.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Allan on February 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
Jonathan Koomey writes books for busy people who need to absorb meaningful information fast. His latest, Cold Cash, Cool Climate, is directed at the entrepreneur whose aim is to stop global climate change in its tracks and make a lot of money in the process.

There is money to be made by the barrel. Human civilization needs to reduce carbon emissions by billions of tons of carbon per year--imagine what that might translate to in cash equivalent. And there is no single pathway to accomplish this, so there are opportunities for entrepreneurs wherever you look--energy-efficient versions of every kind of product and service, clean sustainable energy sources, a better electricity grid, real-time information about how we're spending our energy dollars, to name just a few. "We'll need to try many things," he writes, "fail fast, and do lots more of what works and less of what doesn't."

Koomey's book gives you the lowdown on where our high-carbon future is leading us (to an unlivable planet whose average temperature will cause extremes of weather not seen in tens of millions of years), and what kind of value we can create by developing the truly market-changing business ideas that steer the world to a low-carbon future.

Perhaps the most important take-away message of his brief, readable book is that there is no way to truly model and predict what path we'll take to a low-carbon society, because unanticipated disruptive technologies can have such radical effects on human society that they can't be predicted and included in the computer models. This is where entrepreneurs with big ideas come in.

The advice is both practical and inspirational.
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