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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource!
Energy for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines by Richard A. Muller

"Energy for Future Presidents" is the educational, informative and accessible book on energy. The book covers popular topics on energy: energy disasters, energy landscape (modes of transportation), and "new" technologies. Professor of physics and author, Richard A. Muller,...
Published on August 2, 2012 by Book Shark

versus
50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly not researched in areas
Full Disclosure: I'm a physicist well versed in these topics. I was looking for a quality modern overview of these important energy topics that is accessible to the layperson so I could hand it to friends and family of all backgrounds.

While this book gets it right most of the time and is generally well written and accessible, it is fatally flawed in that it...
Published on October 25, 2012 by J. Austermann


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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource!, August 2, 2012
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This review is from: Energy for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines (Hardcover)
Energy for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines by Richard A. Muller

"Energy for Future Presidents" is the educational, informative and accessible book on energy. The book covers popular topics on energy: energy disasters, energy landscape (modes of transportation), and "new" technologies. Professor of physics and author, Richard A. Muller, succeeds in providing the public a wonderful topical book that covers the most important topics on energy. The author uses a cleaver approach in the book; he plays the role as an energy advisor to you the future President. This enlightening 368-page book is broken out in five parts: I. Energy Catastrophes, II. The Energy Landscape, III. Alternative Energy, IV. What Is Energy? and V. Advice for Future Presidents.

Positives:
1. Engaging, well-researched and well-written book. Accessible for the masses.
2. An important and interesting topic that is handled with integrity and fairness. Muller uses sound logic and provides compelling arguments to back his points. One of my favorite attributes of the author is the courage to be critical while remaining objective. Kudos.
3. Does a wonderful job of remaining objective. There is always an innate predisposition to head in a direction that one desires. The author cautions the readers of falling into the extreme traps of optimism and skeptical biases. "Claims based on conviction are not as valid as those based on objective analysis."
4. Effective use of charts, stats and facts that add value to the narrative of the book.
5. An interesting look at recent energy disasters: the disasters of Fukushima and the Gulf oil spill. Very unique and compelling arguments. Really does a wonderful job of keeping things in perspective. A welcomed approach.
6. One of the best and balanced treatments of global warming that I have come across. I really learned some new things here. Excellent!
7. Not afraid to be an equal-opportunity critique. As far as I can tell, Muller is not driven by a political agenda but on the proper objective scientific analysis.
8. As a good educator should, Muller does a great job of summarizing each chapter.
9. Focusing on the two largest issues in the energy landscape: energy security and climate change.
10. Exciting news for future US energy security.
11. A look at "alternative fuel" like natural gas. The technology, the potential...
12. Great quotes that capture the reality of our situation, "We don't have an energy crisis; we have a transportation fuel crisis. We don't have an energy shortage; we have an oil shortage. We're not running low on fossil fuels; we're running low on liquid fuels". Too good not to share but many others.
13. Great practical advice for improving energy usage in your home. "Energy productivity". Implementations that work and an interesting look at public transportation.
14. Very interesting findings. Here is an example: Do microwaves cause cancer? Find out.
15. A lot of good information on the different energy sources. What works? Why? Cost?
16. An educational look at nuclear power. Great stuff.
17. A discussion of five methods to produce controlled fusion.
18. What constitutes biofuels and what does not.
19. A critical look at electric autos.
20. A very interesting look at batteries. The different varieties, how they work, how practical they are and what the future holds.
21. A look at "clean coal".
22. A section defining key energy terms. More "sciency".
23. A wonderful job of wrapping it all up. Sound advice.
24. Links to notes worked great and bibliography provided

Negatives:
1. Some topics may still be beyond the comprehension of the layperson. The topic of controlled fusion comes to mind.
2. No formal bibliography.

In summary, this turned out to be a very enlightening book. It's a very topical and interesting book that covers all the main energy issues of our time. Muller does a wonderful job of establishing early on his approach to science and how he applied it to matters of energy. His courage and candor and his focus to remain objective won me over. His fair and objective treatment of global warming is what good science should always be about. This is an informative and practical book backed by good accessible science. I highly recommend it!

Further recommendations: "Winner Take All: China's Race for Resources and What It Means for the World" by Damisa Mojo, "The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality" by Richard Heinberg, "The Crash Course: The Unsustainable Future Of Our Economy, Energy, And Environment" by Chris Martenson, "Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity" by James Hansen, "The Weather of the Future: Heat Waves, Extreme Storms, and Other Scenes from a Climate-Changed Planet" by Heidi Cullen, "Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil (Vintage)" by Peter Maass,"Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters" by Richard Rumelt, "Beyond Terror" by Chris Abbott, and "The Post-American World: Release 2.0" by Fareed Zakaria. I have reviewed all the aforementioned books; look for my tag, "Book Shark Review".
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50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly not researched in areas, October 25, 2012
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This review is from: Energy for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines (Hardcover)
Full Disclosure: I'm a physicist well versed in these topics. I was looking for a quality modern overview of these important energy topics that is accessible to the layperson so I could hand it to friends and family of all backgrounds.

While this book gets it right most of the time and is generally well written and accessible, it is fatally flawed in that it lacks the proper amount of research on some topics. Instead, on occasion he lazily (or worse, agenda orientated) replaces research with crude assumptions that lead him to incorrect numbers and conclusions. This is especially disappointing knowing that, as an PhD academically trained scientist, he is thoroughly trained in the merits of peer/expert review, but simply ignored such tools in favor of keeping a potentially controversial (and book selling) conclusion.

The most obvious gaffe is on the topic of plug-in vehicles. He makes wildly inaccurate and oversimplified assumptions about battery life that just are not founded in reality. Lithium ion batteries in current plug-in vehicles are high quality, thermally managed, and state-of-charge limited, which all work to dramatically improve the life of the battery. But he ignores these facts (or doesn't know them) and assumes they are equivalent to the cheapest laptop batteries you can find on the market and says all batteries will only last 500 charges. This leads him to the laughable conclusion that the Chevy Volt battery will have to be replaced after 20,000 miles. It's obvious he did ZERO research on this and did not speak to a single expert on this topic. The Chevy Volt battery is warrantied to 100,000 miles, so if he were even close to correct, then GM is already doomed to go out of business as it spends billions of dollars replacing batteries over the next few years. Of course, this won't happen because GM actually tested the batteries. Even more insulting is that when this book was published, there were already Volt owners with well over 20,000 electric miles on the road without seeing any noticeable battery degradation (e.g. [...]). Then the final facepalm comes when he contradicts himself by assuming batteries in traditional hybrids (e.g. the Prius), which he supports, can be recharged an infinite number of times (maybe because he owns one, so he was "forced" into doing a tiny bit of research), thus he does not apply the same battery lifetime assumptions in his cost-per-mile calculations as he did to plug-ins.

Now did he purposely misrepresent plug-in vehicles in order to sell books (or get it published)? Who knows. I'm guessing he did a "back of the envelope" calculation quite a few years ago about the viability of electric vehicles under some basic assumptions about batteries that he thought were true at the time. He then concluded, based off those assumptions, that the battery cost would outweigh the benefits. He then probably held on to that conclusion over the years until he threw it in this book with little further thought and absolutely zero research, perhaps because it already had a result he needed and/or wanted.

In short, despite being a good and mostly correct review on a majority of the topics, I just cannot recommend this book knowing some of the shortcuts that were taken. While there are probably countless more egregious misrepresentations on energy in other books, I hold this author to a higher standard being an academic PhD physicist and I'm truly disappointed.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth About Global Warming Perhaps, August 12, 2012
By 
Ralph D. Hermansen (Lake Isabella, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Energy for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines (Hardcover)
The name of the book is, "Energy for Future Presidents" written by Richard A Muller. I became aware of this important book while watching the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC. Richard Muller was Rachel's guest and he was discussing his new book with her. This author had become a news item worth reporting on the show because he had changed from being a skeptic about global warming into a convinced scientist. He stated that global warming is real and that 99% of it is due to human causes. Moreover, there is an exact correlation with the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The author himself did not think he had changed his mind but had had an opportunity to thoroughly investigate the data on global warming in a scientific manner so that he could make an informed decision. Nonetheless, I think it is important that a renowned scientist has convinced himself that global warming is real. The controversy has become a political divide between Democrats and Republicans. It did not used to be that way. In fact, Republicans originally fostered the idea of " Cap and Trade". This concept had proven itself in solving the problem of acid rain due to coal fired generators. It allowed the free enterprise system to solve the problem in the most economical way. As of late however, it seems as though every Republican to a man swears that global warming is a hoax and a cap and trade is an onerous concept.

The book itself is a review of what scientists know about the energy problem not only in the United States but worldwide. In Part I of the book, entitled "Energy Catastrophes", Mr. Mueller discusses two recent energy disasters using a non-emotional analysis. One of the disasters is the tsunami in Japan that damaged the nuclear reactor site as well as homes and factories and human lives. He feels that the nuclear part of the disaster has been grossly overstated and he gives his reasons for that conclusion. Many people around the world wanted to completely disassociate themselves from nuclear energy after the Fukushima disaster. However, Muller believes that nuclear energy is still a safe energy source and it is important that we not give up on it. He also discusses the Deep water Horizon accident in the gulf, which spurted oil into the sea for seemingly endless days. He also felt that the damage was grossly exaggerated and attempted put it in perspective. He felt the cleanup activities worked well.

In the third chapter, he discusses global warming and climate change. He provides enough background on the problem, that we can see its complexity, multiplicity of causes, cases of polar warming, sea level rise, and the difficulty in evaluating historical data.

In Part II of the book entitled "The Energy Landscape", he educates us regarding the different kinds of energy which include: natural gas, ocean methane, shale oil, etc. He also comments on recycled energy, energy security, fracking, liquid energy security and energy productivity. In Part III of the book entitled "Alternative Energy", discusses solar energy, photovoltaic cells, wind, energy storage, nuclear power, nuclear waste storage, fusion, biofuels, synfuels, hydrogen, geothermal, tidal power, and wave power. He also discusses electric automobiles in depth. Part IV entitled "What Is Energy?", Muller offers an optional chapter which would delight a physics major but is likely to lose the common reader. Part V entitled "Advice for Future Presidents", is a condensation of what was covered in the book previously and is directed to whoever the president might be in the future. The author has taken the view that a president cannot rely strictly on advice from his energy sector but must understand the basic concepts of energy technology so that combined with other considerations, can make the most intelligent decision.

Throughout the book, Muller has repeated his premise that natural gas the cheapest, most practical, most available, and most desirable form of energy available to the United States today. All other forms of energy should be compared to natural gas as a standard. Admittedly, it does generate carbon dioxide and water as byproducts of combustion. However, it is far cleaner than coal or oil. Moreover, United States has enormous reserves of natural gas which can be harvested by a process known as fracking. Muller advocates strong environmental laws with stiffer penalties governing this process of extraction because there are dangers to our drinking water and other resources.

Here are some of my personal thoughts as I read this book: overall the author did a good job of avoiding politics or being influenced by corporate interest. I didn't think so in the early chapters where he discussed the Gulf oil spill. He strongly stated that the dangers were over exaggerated. He may be right about that but I was bothered during the disaster by the lack of government oversight to this industry, the lack of preparedness by both the government and the industry to react to the disaster, and the smell of corporate greed throughout the whole affair. I learned a lot in reading this book, but I also had many preconceived ideas verified by the authors rigorous analysis. I agree with him that natural gas is the answer to many of our problems in the United States. It can free us from importing billions of dollars worth of Arab oil and free us from military and diplomatic activities in that region. It is very inexpensive and is likely to stay that way as the fracking activities expand. The author seems confident that adequate regulations and protect us from the hazards of fracking. I do not have the same faith in our Government as it switches back and forth between Democratic and Republican Administrations. The D's institute regulations and the R's undo them once again in power. The Republican presidential candidates in their 2012 debates wanted to do away with the Environmental Protection Agency, which is the only tool available to control natural gas production activities. Muller also strongly advocates more nuclear power facilities, especially those with the modern designs, which make them safe to operate. However he said little about terrorists activities at these sites. In my opinion, they would be prime targets for terrorists. I do not think there is a danger of a nuclear explosion, but explosives could be used to blow radioactive material into the atmosphere and contaminate wide area.

Do I recommend this book to you? The answer is yes because I believe we all should be informed citizens in a democratic society so that we can vote intelligently and so that we can guide public opinion towards practical solutions to important problems. The author is very knowledgeable and is definitely an expert on the topic of this book. Moreover, it is obvious to me that he has worked very hard to make these complex concepts understandable to the common man and specifically to future presidents.

Ralph Hermansen, August 12, 2012
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary!, August 6, 2012
By 
The book wizard (Boca Raton, FL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Energy for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines (Hardcover)
Eloquent, insightful, wide-reaching. Something new on just about every page. You may want to skip the chapter on fusion -- but with 18 other great chapters, I'll allow the physicist a show-off shot in one. I've read several books on energy, including a couple of really good ones, but this is the best for the inquiring citizen (never mind future presidents).
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Energy for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines, August 24, 2012
By 
Justin M. Sanders (Mobile, AL United States) - See all my reviews
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Readers who liked Muller's other book Physics for Future Presidents will like this one. It concentrates exclusively on energy policy for the United States. Carbon dioxide emissions are an important concern for Muller, but not to the exclusion of other concerns such as energy security and economic practicality. He makes a strong case for nuclear energy, but an even more-impassioned one for natural gas.

My primary complaint is about the Kindle edition: there are a few equations in the text that are not displayed correctly. I know what they are, since I'm a physicist, but the general reader probably will not. It's inexcusable for a publisher to flub this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Technical solutions for energy problems, July 4, 2014
This review is from: Energy for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines (Hardcover)
I first posted this review at Goodreads.

Richard M. Muller, a physics professor at University of California Berkeley, has written another book on science and national policy, this one focused on energy use. His previous book Physics for Future Presidents, had a broader scope. Topics covered include the 2011 nuclear accidents at Fukushima, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill of 2010, climate change, the recent group in natural gas and shale oil reserves from a combination of fracking and horizontal drizzling, energy productivity (aka efficiency), solar energy, storing energy by means of batteries, flywheels, capacitors, fuel cells and other means, nuclear power (fission and fusion,), biofuels, electric cars, and such alternative sources of energy as wind, hydrogen, geothermal, tides, and waves. He also includes a chapter towards the end on what energy is and a final chapter on his policy views, though most of these are obvious by the time you are get to the conclusion. Muller does recycle some of the material, and I think some of the wording, from his earier book.

The first chapter is on the Fukushima accident. I am willing to believe Muller’s conclusion, based on calculations on how radiation effects cancer rates, that relatively few (perhaps a hundred, I believe) extra cancer deaths are likely to result from this accident. What I think Dr. Muller is missing is how much social disruption was required to keep the number that low, by moving people out of the most effected areas and by banning the consumption of various food products from the effected areas. I wonder how much of these areas are useable now. I don’t recall any accidents at conventional power plants that required this level of evacuation. In addition, Muller’s description of the accident seems misleading to me. On pages 14 and 15 he writes:

Unlike at Chernobyl, the reactor at Fukushima, did not explode> A buildup of hydrogen gas caused the upper building to explode, but the reactor itself survived the tsunami, turned itself off, and sat safely for several hours. Even though the chain reaction had stopped, there was enough radioactive material in the core to generate dangerous levels of heat, but cooling pumps initially kept the situation from getting out of hand. The most modern reactors don’t need these pumps; they are designed to use the natural convection of the water to keep it circulating. But the Fukushima reactor was not the most modern kind. It depended on auxiliary power systems to keep the pumps going.

Actually, as those who have read a bit of Lochbaum, Lyman, and Stranahan’s Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Reactor know, there were several reactors at Fukushima. Two reactors had core melt-downs that resulted in hydrogen explosions that destroyed their containment buildings, and a third containment building blew up due to an explosion that seems to be associated with the heating up of spent nuclear fuel rods after the water in the cooling pool drained away due to the earthquake or tsunami damage. One of the reactors that had the core meltdown had a cooling system that was not entirely dependent on pumps to work, and anyway I don’t believe that the Fukushima reactors were much different from a design common in the United States, so I’m not sure I’d take much comfort from the knowledge that more modern designs don’t depend on pumps to circulate the cooling water.

In chapter 11 on fission reactors, Muller describes how conventional nuclear reactors work and advocates a particular design called a small modular nuclear reactor. Conventional reactors cannot explode like a nuclear bomb, because the uranium they contain is mostly the most commonly occurring isotope, Uranium-238. To make a nuclear bomb you need much more of the far less common isotope, Uranium-235. Given the low percentage of Uranium-235 in a typical nuclear reactor, it can at most explode with the force of an equal weight of TNT, which is what the Chernobyl reactor did in 1986 in the Ukraine. This explosion can create an ungodly mess of nuclear waste, particularly if like the Chernobyl reactor there is no containment building, but can’t duplicate the greater destruction of a nuclear bomb.

I think Muller’s advocacy of the modular nuclear reactor is ill-advised, for although this design doesn’t require pumps to keep the nuclear fuel sufficiently cool to prevent a meltdown, it does fuel enriched to about 20% Uranium-235. It is much easier for 20% enriched uranium to be further purified to make a bomb than it is to take the fuel used in a conventional reactor, enriched to perhaps 4%, and further enrich it to make a bomb. Muller seems to me to be very optimistic that it would be readily noticed that the nuclear fuel had been removed from a modular reactor, which are intended to buried underground and basically require no maintenance. I think that assumes that the government of the area containing the nuclear reactor isn’t colluding with or instigating the theft. I preferred the pebble bed reactor that Muller advocated in his earlier book, which I don’t believe required such enriched fuel. With regard to nuclear waste, Muller thinks we should reverse the closure of Yucca Mountain and put it to use, rather than leaving waste scattered in cooling ponds across the country. I’m sympathetic, but I don’t think Yucca Mountain had a chance of being put to use even before it was officially closed due to the politics in Nevada.

Fusion is worth continuing research on, but isn’t going to be an energy source anytime soon, if ever.

Alternative energy sources are discussed in chapters 8, 9, 13, and 15: wind and solar are promising. Hydrogen, tidal power, and wave power are not promising, because the first is just a an energy storage technique which at present would require using natural gas as the source of the hydrogen, and the latter two have too little energy density to be readily captured. Geothermal is helpful in a few places, like Iceland, that have lots of geological activity, but in most of the world the energy density from geothermal is too low to be useful. Useful bio-fuels, not including corn ethanol which does nothing for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, are conceivable but would take an awful lot of area to produce enough energy to be helpful in meeting current American consumption. Photovoltaic solar energy is promising, but using solar energy to heat fluids to generate electricity is not. Wind power is most readily available off-shore, a difficult environment to work in cost-effectively due to the corrosive quality of seawater, or on the Great Plains. A “smart-grid” to move electricity around the United States would be helpful in making wind power more useful.

With regard to climate change, Muller believes it is real (he felt the need to do his own analysis to convince himself) but believes that the contribution by the United States to the problem will be too small in the coming century for us to do much about it on our own. Most of the additional greenhouse gasses in the coming century will come from what is now the developing world. Muller advocates helping developing countries, such as China, make use of fracking and horizontal drilling technologies so that they can burn more natural gas and less coal, because coal produces more carbon dioxide per unit energy. Muller thinks that the potential water pollution due to fluids used in and resulting from fracking should be dealt with by the straightforward regulatory requirement that the water from fracking be purified to the extent that it is potable. I wonder if any developing country will be willing to do anything about climate change if we won’t. Of course, any attempt by the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will not guarantee that other nations will make a similar effort.

Chapter 7, on energy productivity has interesting points but has one flaw, an insufficient concern with Jevons’s paradox (sometimes called “blowback”: neither term is in the index). Muller usually shows how more reflective roofs, more efficient light bulbs, and energy-efficient refrigerators could reduce energy use. He doesn’t always show that they have done so. Jevons’s paradox is that increased efficiency can go hand-in –hand with more energy use, either on the service in question or more generally, because increased efficiency is equivalent to a lower unit price, thus leaving people with more money to spend on other energy-using things. The controversial aspects regarding Jevons’s paradox are 1) how frequently it occurs, and 2) if it is a causal relationship or just a correlation. Muller appears to be aware of the issue, considering how he describes the program encouraging California electric utilities to reduce power consumption monitors usage, not just efficiency, but I don’t think he appreciates how big the problem can be. For example, his discussion of energy-efficient refrigerators doesn’t appear to get at the question of whether or not we are refrigerating a bigger volume collectively, and if our total energy use devoted to this sector has increased , decreased, or stayed the same: he seems to discuss only efficiency per unit volume. Muller believes that increasing energy productivity is the most important policy issue to focus on. I can see this being helpful, but I suspect that Jevons’s paradox indicates that efficiency alone won’t reduce overall consumption.

Muller really dislikes electric cars. He likes hybrids, but electric-only or plug-in hybrids he abhors, because 1) batteries can only be recharged about 500 times before they need to be replaced, 2) replacement batteries for all-electric vehicles are very expensive, at least $40 per pound, and 3) if the battery is recharged from power than comes from a coal plant you aren’t reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Once you include the cost of replacing the battery, the operating costs of an all-electric vehicle are high. The same is not true for a hybrid such as the Prius, because the battery is much smaller, is recharged by capturing energy that would otherwise be wasted heating up the brakes, and anyway the battery is used less. Muller is not optimistic that we can expect quick improvements in batteries: the chemistry is well-known, what is needed is an understanding what is going on at the nano-scale so that the number of recharges can be increased, thereby reducing the number of replacements needed.

I found the second chapter, on the gulf oil spill of 2011, the weakest of the lot. Muller primarily complains that politicians exaggerated the scale of the disaster and that the moratorium on drilling on off-shore drilling, and that the size of the area where fishing was banned was excessive. There are only 3 references for this chapter, all to newspaper articles. I don’t necessarily disagree with his points, but there seems in this chapter to be little material a scientist, particularly one who is not a marine biologist, can usefully comment to enlarge the reader’s understanding of these issues. As the point of the book is to show how science can inform public policy, I think this chapter should have been edited out.

I preferred Muller’s earlier book, Physics for Future Presidents, because it generally gave the reader greater insight into the relevant scientific principles and facts for evaluating these issues, principles and facts that could be used by the reader in evaluating arguments given by other authors. Sometimes Energy for Future Presidents also does this, especially in the chapter on solar power, but generally to a lesser extent than the earlier book. After the first two weak chapters, the material in Energy for Future Presidents is generally quite informative. I think the author often seems oblivious to environmental concerns beyond climate change; there is nary a word about how different policy choices might affect biodiversity, for example.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Important Topic everyone needs to consider!, January 17, 2013
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This review is from: Energy for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines (Hardcover)
A very readable and informative book. Cleared up a lot of misconceptions I had about types of energy and their availability. Also an excellent section on recycling and the probability of new technologies becoming important in our future energy use. Spends quite a bit of time on energy use of emerging growing economies.

I had to read this book after reading Physics for Future Presidents by the same author. Both are well worth your time and effort. Really gets you thinking!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, July 1, 2013
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This review is from: Energy for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines (Hardcover)
Great book. I have the same reservations as some others when it comes to the analysis of the electric vehicles. Also, his solar analysis is wrong - solar prices have fallen so much that kWh for kWh, it's a much better deal that wind nowadays. But the book outlines the impact of major disasters and whether or not they should influence national energy policy. It also covers the most comprehensive (by far) study on global warming and greenhouse emissions, a study that was funded by several extremely conservative groups, among others. Good read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very thoughtful and thought provoking book., September 6, 2012
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This book made me rethink some areas of energy policy where I had previously been perhaps naively optimistic about some possible future energy sources. I found his opinion on nuclear energy very interesting and he may have nudged me to a more accepting attitude toward that technology. Where I continue to differ from the author is that while he is merely concerned about global warming, I am frankly frightened of what the next 50 years may hold for us. I was convinced by his argument that we must invest heavily in helping developing nations like China and India to move toward natural gas and away from coal if we are to have any chance of avoiding the worst of global warming. I most appreciated his efforts to be fair, balanced, and objective in his analysis of our future energy challenges. I can strongly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No nonsense analysis of US energy options., August 12, 2012
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Excellent, careful analyses, even-handed. Sets the ground rules for the US energy debate.

I would have wished more analysis of global natural gas trading possibilities, since, eventually, with liquifaction/gasification and transport, natural gas trading will be important to US domestic markets. Complicated by the possibility that trading in fracking technology may be more important than trading in gas.

Anyone trying to think rationally about US (and world) energy should start here. I know of no other source that is as comprehensive, even-handed and current.

Debunks a lot of widely held and vehemently defended myths.
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Energy for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines
Energy for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines by Richard A. Muller (Hardcover - August 6, 2012)
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