Powering the future: how we will (eventually) solve the energy crisis and fuel the civilization of tomorrow

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Publisher:
Basic Books,
Pub. Date:
c2011.
Language:
English
Description
In 'Powering the Future', Nobel laureate Robert B. Laughlin transports us two centuries into the future, when we've ceased to use carbon from the ground-either because humans have banned carbon burning or because fuel has simply run out. Boldly, Laughlin predicts no earth-shattering transformations will have taken place. Six generations from now, there will still be soccer moms, shopping malls, and business trips. Firesides will still be snug and warm.How will we do it? Not by discovering a magic bullet to slay our energy problems, but through a slew of fascinating technologies, drawing on wind, water, and fire. 'Powering the Future' is an objective yet optimistic tour through alternative fuel sources, set in a world where we've burned every last drop of petroleum and every last shovelful of coal.  The Predictable:   'Fossil fuels will run out.' The present flow of crude oil out of the ground equals in one day the average flow of the Mississippi River past New Orleans in thirteen minutes. If you add the energy equivalents of gas and coal, it's thirty-six minutes. At the present rate of consumption, we'll be out of fossil fuels in two centuries' time.   'We always choose the cheapest gas'. From the nineteenth-century consolidation of the oil business to the California energy crisis of 2000-2001, the energy business has shown, time and again, how low prices dominate market share. Market forces-not green technology-will be the driver of energy innovation in the next 200 years.   'The laws of physics remain fixed.' Energy will still be conserved, degrade entropically with use, and have to be disposed of as waste heat into outer space. How much energy a fuel can pack away in a given space is fixed by quantum mechanics-and if we want to keep flying jet planes, we will need carbon-based fuels.   The Potential:   'Animal waste.' If dried and burned, the world's agricultural manure would supply about one-third as much energy as all the coal we presently consume.   'Trash.' The United States disposes of 88 million tons of carbon in its trash per year. While the incineration of waste trash is not enough to contribute meaningfully to the global demand for energy, it will constrain fuel prices by providing a cheap supply of carbon. ' ' 'Solar energy.' The power used to light all the cities around the world is only one-millionth of the total power of sunlight pouring down on earth's daytime side. And the amount of hydropump storage required to store the world's daily electrical surge is equal to only eight times the volume of Lake Mead.   PRAISE FOR ROBERT B. LAUGHLIN   "Perhaps the most brilliant theoretical physicist since Richard Feynman" -George Chapline, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory   "Powerful but controversial." - 'Financial Times' ' ' "[Laughlin's] company ... is inspirational." - 'New Scientist'  
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ISBN:
9780465027941
9780465022199
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Grouped Work ID 77570d51-3851-308a-6cd4-7cae64d99200
Grouping Title powering the future how we will eventually solve the energy crisis and fuel the civilization of tomo
Grouping Author laughlin robert b
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-04-02 23:09:14PM
Last Indexed 2018-11-18 03:40:06AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_interest_level
accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Laughlin, Robert B.
author_display Laughlin, Robert B
available_at_school Maplewood High
collection_school Non-Fiction
detailed_location_school Maplewood High - Teen Non-Fiction
display_description "In Powering the Future, Nobel laureate Robert B. Laughlin transports us two centuries into the future, when we've ceased to use carbon from the ground-either because humans have banned carbon burning or because fuel has simply run out. Boldly, Laughlin predicts no earth-shattering transformations will have taken place. Six generations from now, there will still be soccer moms, shopping malls, and business trips. Firesides will still be snug and warm. How will we do it? Not by discovering a magic bullet to slay our energy problems, but through a slew of fascinating technologies, drawing on wind, water, and fire. Powering the Future is an objective yet optimistic tour through alternative fuel sources, set in a world where we've burned every last drop of petroleum and every last shovelful of coal"--Provided by publisher. "In considering the end of fossil fuel, Laughlin foresees the birth of a conventional synthetic fuel industry. Present-day oil companies already have the catalytic synthesis technologies capable of converting any carbon-containing substance--coal, trash, trees--into conventional fuels. Meanwhile, energy from the sun and wind is likely to be cheaper than energy made from biomass. However, long-term storage facilities must be built for this power to last. Powering the Future is an objective yet optimistic tour through alternative fuel sources"--Provided by publisher.
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last_indexed 2018-11-18T09:40:06.691Z
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literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_school 333.79 LAU
owning_library_school Schools
owning_location_school Maplewood High
primary_isbn 9780465027941
publishDate 2011
record_details ils:CARL0000629537|Book|Books||English|Basic Books,|c2011.|vii, 224 p. ; 25 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
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subject_facet Power resources -- Popular works, Renewable energy sources -- Popular works
title_display Powering the future : how we will (eventually) solve the energy crisis and fuel the civilization of tomorrow
title_full Powering the future : how we will (eventually) solve the energy crisis and fuel the civilization of tomorrow / Robert B. Laughlin
title_short Powering the future :
title_sub how we will (eventually) solve the energy crisis and fuel the civilization of tomorrow
topic_facet Power resources, Renewable energy sources