Top positive review
The is a real eye opener that changed my view on energy
July 7, 2015
I frankly have not been a big believer in man-made global warming. I agree that we shouldn't actively pollute our air and water, but the whole CO2 scare seems more politically motivated than anything else and I don't like politicians. When you consider all of the extremes the world has faced in the past with ice ages and volcanic eruptions, the thought that we could create an earth altering change just didn't get my attention. By the end of the book my view on energy and the environment had changed.
What I really like about this book is the way Stayton logically and methodically examines the history of energy and the pros and cons associated with each form. He boils down difficult concepts into easily digestible content. At the end of the book you have no choice but to agree with his assertion that solar energy is our only long term viable option. Before reading his book, I made a purely economical decision to install roof top solar on my house. Global warming did not induce me to make the change, but dollars and cents did. In my estimation, this is what will make solar a reality. With solar prices continuing to fall and the efficiency of solar panels continuing to increase, the tipping point has been reached and I expect to see more and more people make a personal economic decision in favor of solar.
The next big thing will be storage. I agree with Stayton's premise that utility companies will become power storage and distribution companies, not power generation companies. Wind and solar can produce excess capacity mid-day, but we need large scale storage to reduce and eventually eliminate fossil fuels from our energy mix. The most difficult challenge is providing people an economical and practical alternative to a gasoline powered car. Tesla is blazing the trail here, but until I can replace my SUV with a full size electric vehicle that can go 300+ miles between charges and there is an array of available quick charging stations, I will stick to my gas guzzler.
I highly recommend this book. On three separate occasions, I have used the knowledge gained from this book to engage people in thoughtful conversation on the topic of energy and why solar is our only long term ticket.