The Powers That Be: Global Energy for the Twenty-first Century and Beyond by Scott L. MontgomeryThe Powers That Be: Global Energy for the Twenty-first Century and Beyond by Scott L. Montgomery

The Powers That Be: Global Energy for the Twenty-first Century and Beyond

byScott L. Montgomery

Hardcover | July 15, 2010

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Thirty years ago, our global energy landscape did not look remarkably different from what it does today. Three or four decades from now, it certainly will: dwindling oil reserves will clash with skyrocketing demand, as developing nations around the world lead their citizens into the modern energy economy, and all the while, the grave threat of catastrophic climate change looms ever larger. Energy worries are at an all-time high—just how will we power our future?

With The Powers That Be, Scott L. Montgomery cuts through the hype, alarmism, and confusion to give us a straightforward, informed account of where we are now, and a map of where we’re going. Starting with the inescapable fact of our current dependence on fossil fuels—which supply 80% of all our energy needs today—Montgomery clearly and carefully lays out the many alternative energy options available, ranging from the familiar, like water and solar, to such nascent but promising sources as hydrogen and geothermal power. What is crucial, Montgomery explains, is understanding that our future will depend not on some single, wondrous breakthrough; instead, we should focus on developing a more diverse, adaptable energy future, one that draws on a variety of sources—and is thus less vulnerable to disruption or failure.

An admirably evenhanded and always realistic guide, Montgomery enables readers to understand the implications of energy funding, research, and politics at a global scale. At the same time, he doesn’t neglect the ultimate connection between those decisions and the average citizen flipping a light switch or sliding behind the wheel of a car, making The Powers That Be indispensible for our ever-more energy conscious age.

Scott L. Montgomery is a consulting geologist and independent scholar, and the author of The Chicago Guide to Communicating Science and Science in Translation, both published by the University of Chicago Press.
Title:The Powers That Be: Global Energy for the Twenty-first Century and BeyondFormat:HardcoverDimensions:408 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:July 15, 2010Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226535002

ISBN - 13:9780226535005

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Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations


1 What Binds Us All

2 Our Energy Past: Does It Hold Any Lessons?

3 Our Energy Present: Global Trends and What They Mean

4 Oil Reality: Burning Questions

5 Natural Gas: The Lighter Side of Fossil Fuels

6 Coal: Once and Future King?

7 The Great Debate: When Will the Wells Run Dry?

8 Nuclear Power: A New Context, Changing Views

9 Renewable Energy 1: The Real and the Possible

10 Renewable Energy 2: Sources, Technologies, Limitations

11 Hydrogen: Forever Fuel, or Wishful Thinking?

12 Fusion Energy: Some Like It Hot

13 Geopolitics and Energy: An Evolving Geography

14 The Technology Imperative: Some Reflections

15 Climate Change and Energy: Playing with Fire, Air, Earth, and Water

16 Conclusion: Final Thoughts on New Beginnings



Editorial Reviews

CHOICE Outstanding Academic Titles, 2011