336 pages, Figs, tabs
This book examines the most recent energy use trends and their potential consequences for the global population. Energy - how much we use and where we get it - may be the most crucial question humans now face. In 2003, the world consumed an astonishing 421,000,000,000,000,000 (421 quadrillion) BTUs of energy - 85 percent of it made from polluting fossil fuels. But there are still two billion people without access to basic energy services. What happens when we add them to the grid? Not only have global energy needs increased dramatically in the past 100 years, they will continue to increase, creating energy, environmental, and social crises. Can we solve this problem?
The first step, according to the authors of this book, is to understand fundamental energy issues. Combining their knowledge from the complementary fields of science and policy, the authors begin by explaining the basic facts of energy - what it is, where it comes from, why it is important. Then they show how energy use is linked to global economics, identify key players, and examine the social and environmental consequences of our energy decisions. For readers interested in - or worried about - our use of fossil fuels, this book provides a keen understanding of both the problem and the possible solutions.
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