On the other hand, despite manful efforts by some elements in the right wing press to pretend there is no relationship between trashing the planet and the planet getting trashed, the science is basically in, and was years ago, and everybody actually knows we can’t just carry on the way we’ve been. Even if it were somehow proved that chucking stuff into the atmosphere isn’t dangerous, I’d still want to know what’s the joy in filthing the place up and wasting scarce resources? Why not think different and live cleaner lives?
So we all want to know how things stack up, but lack the information to work out how to evaluate the various claims and counter-claims in the air. David MacKay is Cambridge physicist, a competent mathematician, and a Fellow of the Royal Society. His English is also fluent and fun. His book is called Sustainable Energy without the Hot Air.
In this book he does two invaluable things
- He takes us through the way things stack up, both energy use and energy sources. Thus we can work out, for example, how big a role various renewables could or could not play in a sensible energy policy.
- He’s concerned n ot only to give us rough and realistic figures, on a pragmatic, down and dirty rather than ideological basis. He also wants to help us develop for ourselves a greater numeracy about the various options and realities; what they mean and how good they might be for what.
PS On the subject of light and heat, I am grateful to Ashley Nlson for a link to his site (here) which is a most compendious source of information on the LED lights that are now appearing iin all manner of applications everywhere.