250 pages, 38 b/w illustrations
Global climate change is one of the most important issues humanity faces today. This updated, second edition assesses the sensible, senseless and biased proposals for averting the potentially disastrous consequences of global warming, allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions on switching to more sustainable energy provision. Burton Richter is a Nobel Prize-winning scientist who has served on many US and international review committees on climate change and energy issues. He provides a concise overview of our knowledge and uncertainties within climate change science, discusses current energy demand and supply patterns, and the energy options available to cut emissions of greenhouse gases. Written in non-technical language, Beyond Smoke and Mirrors presents a balanced view of options for moving from our heavy reliance on fossil fuels into a much more sustainable energy system, and is accessible to a wide range of readers without scientific backgrounds – students, policymakers and the concerned citizen.
Review of previous edition:
"[...] a wonderfully balanced overview. It opens with a fine summary of the science linking carbon to climate [...] provides a concise primer on the economics of long-term climate policy, and concludes with a short, sensible, and well-argued set of opinions and policy recommendations."
- Physics Today
List of units
List of conversion factors
List of abbreviations
Part I. Climate
2. Greenhouse Earth
3. Climate modelling
4. The past as proxy for the future
5. Predicting the future
Part II. Energy
6. Taking up arms against this sea of troubles
7. How fast to move: a physicist's look at the economists
8. Energy, emissions and action
9. Fossil fuels: how much is there?
10. Electricity, emission and pricing carbon
11. Efficiency: the first priority
12. Nuclear energy
14. Biofuels: is there anything there?
15. An energy summary
Part III. Policy
16. US policy: new things, bad things, good things
17. World policy action
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Burton Richter is the Paul Pigott Professor in the Physical Sciences, Stanford University and Director Emeritus at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. He is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist for his pioneering work in the discovery of a heavy elementary particle.