By Robert Bryce
Public Affairs, $27.95, 394 pages
Power Hungry – The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future is written by author and managing editor of the web-based magazine Energy Tribune Robert Bryce. Bryce has a thing or two to say about fossil fuels, hydrocarbons, nuclear and natural gas. This man has spent two decades studying energy and he spells out a no-nonsense plan of action with compelling statistics to back up his every word. “We don’t care what energy is. We want what it does. We would gladly fill our fuel tanks with jelly beans, marbles, or Hostess Twinkies if we thought they could deliver the power [we] need.”
Power Hungry – The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future provides a four-part breakdown of the dilemmas and potential solutions we as a humanity are facing. Part One identifies the need for power, our hunger for it. Part Two covers the myths of “green” energy. Part Three is the argument for natural gas to nuclear; N2N, and finally in Part Four he invites us to rethink how we can move in a better direction for cheaper, more abundant energy. Throughout this book, Four Imperatives: power density, energy density, cost and scale are used as his basis for logical analysis. Bryce states, “We use hydrocarbons – coal, oil and natural gas – not because we like them, but because they produce lots of heat energy, from small spaces, at prices we can afford, and in the quantities that we demand.” For example, Bryce cites that an average coal mine will produce more energy output in an average day than the daily output of solar panels and wind turbines in the United States combined!
Bryce deftly sets out to debunk the myths of the ever popular going green campaign and answers more specific technological difficulties and cost containment issues. “The hard truth is that we must make decisions about how to proceed on energy very carefully, because America simply cannot afford to waste any more money on programs that fail to meet the Four Imperatives.”
His views will undoubtedly be rejected or disbelieved, but he backs up those views with hard evidence provoking the reader to do the math for themselves, verify statistics and basically, check up on him with more than ninety pages of references, statistical appendixes ,and energy data notes. This is the must-read book for the Twenty-First century.