The Population - Energy Clock Is Ticking - Feb 05, 2014
Reviewer: Ned Rosen
Ongoing public controversies about energy sources and global warming, coupled with the substantive contents of this book, its readability, and its use of teaching guides at the beginning and ends of chapters, make it an ideal textbook candidate for educational institutions. It is not a substitute for a standard chemistry textbook. However it could become the basis for a very popular and important multidisciplinary elective, and for non-technical, publicly offered adult education courses. It might also be used effectively in corporate and government executive development programs. The text is quite suitable for adult lay-persons and young people having limited scientific background.
The author has produced a comprehensive and objective analysis of the full range of energy source alternatives. A variety of fossil fuels, bio-fuels, solar, nuclear, wind, hydro-energy and geothermal sources are covered. The book explains in depth their relative advantages and disadvantages from efficiency, cost, engineering, and infrastructure requirements, and environmental impact perspectives.
Kerlin's approach, grounded in factual knowledge of chemistry and other scientific and technical disciplines, is unique. "Science," he declares, "...underlies each potential energy source and each energy use technology. Without quantitative assessments based on well-established scientific facts, claims about relative merits of various energy options must be viewed as assumptions rather than hard facts.
Clearly written and well organized, this 470 page book (plus its 153 pages of supporting technical appendices, extensive glossary, and detailed index) represents extensive scholarly work. It raises serious questions about economic growth. Beyond that, it provides science based "...information needed to [establish priorities] and make informed decisions about our energy future."
Kerlin believes we have the means to deal with the problems. "What will be needed," he states, "is commitment, informed decision making, and hard work." This book, suggests to me that the world also will need personal sacrifice and a greater sense of urgency, all of which requires leadership."
A Course for All Undergrads - Jan 22, 2014
Reviewer: Paul Marotta
Future Energy is an excellent text. It provides an unbiased, fact-based approach to describing the complex energy landscape. The text could be used as the basis for an undergraduate level course aimed at the general undergraduate population to fulfill science core requirements, or, taught at a slightly higher technical level such as an intro engineering course.
The energy debate is critical for our country/world, and this information provides future voters with the basic facts about energy sources,as well as an understanding of energy metrics/terminology required to make thoughtful decisions.
I was discussing this topic and text specifically with a colleague this past week with hopes to generate interest. If the course idea moves forward, I would use this text.