Mad Like Tesla: Underdog Inventors and their Relentless Pursuit of Clean Energy

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Mad Like Tesla: Underdog Inventors and their Relentless Pursuit of Clean Energy

by Tyler Hamilton

ECW Press | September 1, 2011 | Trade Paperback

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A search for the contemporary Nikola Tesla—considered a mad scientist by his society for predicting global warming more than 100 years ago—fuels this analysis of climate issues, which introduces thinkers and inventors who are working to find possible ways out of the energy crisis. From Louis Michaud, a retired refinery engineer who claims we can harness the energy of man-made tornadoes, to a professor and a businessman who are running a company that genetically modifies algae so it can secrete ethanol naturally, these individuals and their unorthodox methods are profiled through first-person interviews, exposing the social, economic, financial, and personal barriers that prevent them from making an impact with their ideas. The existing state of green energy technologies, such as solar, wind, biofuels, smart grid, and energy storage, is also explored, creating a sense of hope against a backdrop of climate dread.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 256 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.5 in

Published: September 1, 2011

Publisher: ECW Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1770410082

ISBN - 13: 9781770410084

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– More About This Product –

Mad Like Tesla: Underdog Inventors and their Relentless Pursuit of Clean Energy

by Tyler Hamilton

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 256 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.5 in

Published: September 1, 2011

Publisher: ECW Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1770410082

ISBN - 13: 9781770410084

About the Book

A search for the contemporary Nikola Tesla--considered a mad scientist by his society for predicting global warming more than 100 years ago--fuels this analysis of climate issues, which introduces thinkers and inventors who are working to find possible ways out of the energy crisis. From Louis Michaud, a retired refinery engineer who claims we can harness the energy of man-made tornadoes, to a professor and a businessman who are running a company that genetically modifies algae so it can secrete ethanol naturally, these individuals and their unorthodox methods are profiled through first-person interviews, exposing the social, economic, financial, and personal barriers that prevent them from making an impact with their ideas. The existing state of green energy technologies, such as solar, wind, biofuels, smart grid, and energy storage, is also explored, creating a sense of hope against a backdrop of climate dread.

Read from the Book

I will never forget a private meeting I attended in Toronto on May 8, 2009, with British scientist James Lovelock, whose Gaia theory explains the Earth’s biosphere as a self–regulating entity quite capable of adapting to climate change. Humans, however, will be, in his view, a casualty of that adaptation. Commenting on the impact of climate change over the next few decades, Lovelock, two months shy of his 90th birthday, painted a shockingly grim picture. “Anything that overgrows its resources gets smacked back down,” he told us. “I foresee a loss of as much as 80 or 90 percent of the people on Earth by the end of the century. It’s a distinct possibility, and I don’t think there is much we can do to stop it. You have to make sure those who remain will be able to survive it.” I still recall looking around that room at a dozen or so people seized with despair as they listened to this otherwise lovable old man throw in the towel on behalf of humanity.16 Lovelock’s perspective may be extreme in its hopelessness, but you get the picture — we’re heading in the wrong direction on energy and need to change how we use it and where we get it. Harvard University professor John Holdren, science and technology advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama and a former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, put it succinctly when he outlined the three choices we have in our faceoff against climate chan
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From the Publisher

A search for the contemporary Nikola Tesla—considered a mad scientist by his society for predicting global warming more than 100 years ago—fuels this analysis of climate issues, which introduces thinkers and inventors who are working to find possible ways out of the energy crisis. From Louis Michaud, a retired refinery engineer who claims we can harness the energy of man-made tornadoes, to a professor and a businessman who are running a company that genetically modifies algae so it can secrete ethanol naturally, these individuals and their unorthodox methods are profiled through first-person interviews, exposing the social, economic, financial, and personal barriers that prevent them from making an impact with their ideas. The existing state of green energy technologies, such as solar, wind, biofuels, smart grid, and energy storage, is also explored, creating a sense of hope against a backdrop of climate dread.

About the Author

Tyler Hamilton writes a weekly green energy and technology column for the Toronto Star and a popular blog called "Clean Break." He is the author of Privacy Payoff. He lives in Toronto.

Editorial Reviews

"Each case examined [in Mad Like Tesla] is engaging, and each would-be game-changing technology is intriguing, so it''s easy enough to get caught up in the often whimsical nature of the inventors'' visions and follow Hamilton along on the ride." -Canadian Geographic (May 2012)
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