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Winning Our Energy Independence: An Energy Insider Shows How Paperback – September 7, 2007
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From the Inside Flap
WAR. TERRORISM. GLOBAL WARMING. LEAKING NUCLEAR WASTE DUMPS. HIGH OIL PRICES.vWe are facing an international energy crisis of unprecedented proportion. The foreign policy of the United States is uncomfortably associated with our dependency on foreign oil. Carbon-based fuels are creating a greenhouse effect that is wreaking havoc around the world. Nuclear power is not only dangerous, but it is also not an economically feasible solution. The earth needs an answer and it needs one fast.
The answer for the energy crisis is in renewable resources. Solar and wind power, ethanol and other biofuels, geothermal energy, hydrogen, and other renewable resources will preserve life as we know it. The United States-indeed, every country in the world-needs to be able to produce, use, and store its own energy. There is no time to delay. The technology exists today to make substantial changes in our energy production and use. Long-time energy insider S. David Freeman challenges the United States and the world to create a high-energy global civilization where each nation has its own homegrown, carbon-free renewable source of energy. It is not a hope or a dream. Freeman explains how the combined action and voice of ordinary people can make a difference and can save the world from destruction.
Freeman has an answer to winning the energy war, and everyone should listen. s. david freeman has had the ear of federal officials since the days of JFK. He helped bring about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Nixon. He headed the Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation's largest nuclear program, under Jimmy Carter. From New York to Los Angeles, Freeman has headed agencies and utilities companies, continually working to make utilities more environmentally safe, more efficient, and more cost-friendly to the customer. He authored Energy: The New Era. He has three children and nine grandchildren. He is currently president of the commission overseeing the Port of Los Angeles and lives in neighboring Marina del Rey.
From the Back Cover
David freeman has had the ear of federal officials since the days of JFK. He helped bring about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Nixon. He headed the Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation's largest nuclear program, under Jimmy Carter. From New York to Los Angeles, Freeman has headed agencies and utilities companies, continually working to make utilities more environmentally safe, more efficient, and more cost-friendly to the customer. He authored Energy: The New Era. He has three children and nine grandchildren. He is currently president of the commission overseeing the Port of Los Angeles and lives in neighboring Marina del Rey.
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Bold and true. No one convinced Freeman it is polite to lie in order for America appear good. No one convinced Freeman it is for Americans to drive SUVs everywhere just because they need to express freedom. One can express freedom by farting out loud in a cafeteria, but I wouldn't be proud if I did it. I would be embarrassed. No one convinced Freeman that by holding onto your arrogance and downright stupidity that one shows a measure of authority necessary to keep the world in line. No one convinced Freeman it is necessary for troops to die in Iraq so that their deaths would not be in futility, and that this simpleton logic deserves no further exploration. Freeman is not convinced that America is not above learning. Freeman thinks America will actually benefit from learning. If one is so smart to be beyond all help then don't bother reading this book.
In the last three years there have been many books on the subject of energy independence, and while there is some agreement there are also distinctions. Freeman's positions are pro-Hydrogen, pro-Lithium, and anti-nuclear. Freeman will admit that Hydrogen fuel cells need work, but believes that work here will be worth the effort. I'm not sure how hydrogen fuel cells will work in a place like Phoenix if there are 2 million cars on the road giving off water vapor when it is 120 degrees in the shade. Water vapor emissions will cause an increase in humidity and also increases temperature as it is a strong greenhouse gas until it precipitates. Hydrogen is not ready for the market. Hydrogen needs a good deal of work to make it inexpensive for manufacture and available to the public.
While I like Richardson's plan, I welcome discussion of Freeman as it has become well beyond time to get on with a new energy plan for America. Let's stop taking down the solar panels from the White House and do something right for a change.
This is a preachy book that has as its aim the sale of "All Things Green" to the American public. That explains the endorsements from Robert Redford and Jimmy Carter printed on the back cover. Conclusions are spoon fed over and over again, but the underlying data from which one may draw those conclusions is noticeably absent.
Save your money, and just make a donation to Greenpeace.
"... efficiency and renewables are cheaper even on the misleading pricing system we use. If we consider--and we must--the health costs of air pollution, the proliferation and radiation risks of nuclear, and the health and global warming costs of coal, it is a no-brainer."
Now that sustainable energy is economical--but still little used--Freeman proposes using subsidies to jump-start their implementation. He proposes a workable solution that will make the world a better place as well as saving money over the long term. I agree with Freeman's assessment of the situation and the end results of his proposed solution. I don't like all the details of his proposed solution, but it is probably more likely to happen than my preferred answer of removing the existing subsides to dirty power. The existing subsidies probably won't be removed, so this is a more pragmatic, less idealistic solution.
In addition to the solution provided, I like that Freeman provides some numbers to go with statements I have heard from other sources. For example, an interisting statistic that I hadn't seen anyone put a number with is that compared to the average car, a plug-in hybrid emits 1/4 the CO2. And that is when powered by coal generated electricity. The number goes down with cleaner power plants. This is in addition to the gasoline saved, "If everyone drove an HEV 60, it would cut gasoline consumption by over 70 percent."
This is an excellent book that debunks all the arguments against moving to sustainable energy. I wonder if Freeman puts too much emphasis on hydrogen for storage, but over all his solution is reasonable. I spent far more time searching for original sources and checking his math than I did reading the book. If I hadn't, this would have been a quick read. I would have preferred better footnotes, but the format used is appropriate for the intended audience. <em>Winning Our Energy Independence</em> makes my short list of books that everyone should read. As Freeman says, "There can be no more urgent task for humanity than to find, as rapidly as possible, alternatives to burning the limited fossil fuels on Earth." I hope it is effective enough that I am able to move it from this list to a list of books that are interesting for their historic impact.