Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology

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Da Capo Press, Mar 29, 2011 - Science - 400 pages
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Few today realize that electric cabs dominated Manhattan's streets in the 1890s; that Boise, Idaho, had a geothermal heating system in 1910; or that the first megawatt turbine in the world was built in 1941 by the son of publishing magnate G. P. Putnam--a feat that would not be duplicated for another forty years. Likewise, while many remember the oil embargo of the 1970s, few are aware that it led to a corresponding explosion in green-technology research that was only derailed when energy prices later dropped.

In other words: We've been here before. Although we may have failed, America has had the chance to put our world on a more sustainable path. Americans have, in fact, been inventing green for more than a century.

Half compendium of lost opportunities, half hopeful look toward the future, Powering the Dream tells the stories of the brilliant, often irascible inventors who foresaw our current problems, tried to invent cheap and energy renewable solutions, and drew the blueprint for a green future.

 

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POWERING THE DREAM: The History and Promise of Green Technology

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Eye-opening micro-histories about American energy past, with an eye to the future, from Atlantic senior editor and technology writer Madrigal.The author presents a host of good ideas and missed ... Read full review

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Good take on green technology. Particularly liked the lessons from the past.

Contents

Introduction
1
I The Dream of a More Perfect Power
7
II What Was
31
III What Might Have Been
69
IV Lessons from the Great Energy Rethink
145
V Innovation and the Future
199
21 Googles RE C Challenge
201
22 The First Megawatt and Failing Smart
208
24 The FiveCent Turbine and the Siren Call of the Breakthrough
235
25 Energy Storage and the Return of Compressed Air
253
26 Throw Software at the Problem
260
27 Rehumanizing Environmentalism
274
NOTES
289
BIBLIOGRAPHY
315
INDEX
347
Copyright

23 What Green Tech Can Learn from Nuclear Powers Rise and Fall
221

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About the author (2011)

Alexis Madrigal is senior editor and lead technology writer for TheAtlantic.com and an award-winning former staff writer for Wired.com. He is a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, and a regular guest on NPR. He lives in Washington, D.C

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