Kicking the Carbon Habit: Global Warming and the Case for Renewable and Nuclear Energy

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Columbia University Press, Jun 22, 2006 - Political Science - 272 pages
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With glaciers melting, oceans growing more acidic, species dying out, and catastrophic events like Hurricane Katrina ever more probable, strong steps must be taken now to slow global warming. Further warming threatens entire regional economies and the well being of whole populations, and in this century alone, it could create a global cataclysm. Synthesizing information from leading scientists and the most up-to-date research, science journalist William Sweet examines what the United States can do to help prevent climate devastation.

Rather than focusing on cutting oil consumption, which Sweet argues is expensive and unrealistic, the United States should concentrate on drastically reducing its use of coal. Coal-fired plants, which currently produce more than half of the electricity in the United States, account for two fifths of the country's greenhouse gas emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Sweet believes a mixture of more environmentally sound technologies-wind turbines, natural gas, and nuclear reactors-can effectively replace coal plants, especially since dramatic improvements in technology have made nuclear power cleaner, safer, and more efficient.

Sweet cuts through all the confusion and controversies. He explores dramatic advances made by climate scientists over the past twenty years and addresses the various political and economic issues associated with global warming, including the practicality of reducing emissions from automobiles, the efficacy of taxing energy consumption, and the responsibility of the United States to its citizens and the international community to reduce greenhouse gases. Timely and provocative, Kicking the Carbon Habit is essential reading for anyone interested in environmental science, economics, and the future of the planet.

 

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Kicking the carbon habit: global warming and the case for renewable and nuclear energy

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Reports of the Antarctic ice sheet melting and the addition of polar bears to the endangered species list raise the question-is it global warming, or is it just age-old fluctuations in climate? Sweet ... Read full review

Contents

1 The Case for Sharply Cutting US Greenhouse Gas Emissions
1
A Faustian Bargain with Payments Coming Due
9
The Lockstep Relationship Between Carbon Dioxide and Temperature
61
The LowCarbon and ZeroCarbon Technologies We Can Deploy Right Now
131
How to Reduce Greenhouse Gases Now Using Todays Technology
197
Acknowledgments
209
Notes
211
Bibliography
237
Index
241
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About the author (2006)

William Sweet is a graduate of the University of Chicago and Princeton University. He is senior news editor at IEEE Spectrum, the flagship publication of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. His work has appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines, including the Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, and MIT's Technology Review.

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