The Green Engineer
Free Stuff for Every Reader!
Sunday, 30 August 2009 13:26

Here are Seventeen/ten there's two things we really like: Free stuff and good quality, no-nonsense information. That's why, when picking up on my too-long-abandoned theme of trying (probably unsuccessfully) to add clarity into the debate on solutions to the energy problems, I was pleased to find a new book.

The book in question is called Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air by David MacKay. This book is all about quantifying the scale of the different factors involved in our usage of energy and our options for generating it. The book is based on information for the UK and often relates the the authors own experiences, however all the figures are arrived at in a way that makes it easy for the reader to calculate their own values. Also really helpfully huge swathes at the end of each chapter are dedicated to the sources for the information, so if you need more detail you can easily find it. In my opinion the author occasionally errs on the generous side when calculating what renewable energy could be generated, but he is always honest about this in saying why and by how much.

The best part is the the book can be downloaded for free as a PDF from www.withouthotair.com (or a hard copy can be purchased). I think everybody should read it.

 
Global warming? Then lets do something about it! (Part II)
Monday, 03 March 2008 22:32

In the first part of this diatribe on global warming I introduced the basic facts and scope of the problem. In this second part I am going to outline some of the problems in the current approach to dealing with the issue. In part one I referred to the so-called "chicken little" politics, however this is not brought about on purpose, but is in fact a consequence of the diverse and often contradictory rhetoric about what exactly is the best approach.

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Global warming? Then lets do something about it! (Part I)
Tuesday, 11 December 2007 21:05

The current media, political and public obsession with climate change has helped to move it to edge it towards the top of the agenda, however in my opinion we are making a lot of fuss, without doing anything other than create unnecessary guilt-mongering, and allow the creation of a lot of useless laws which only makes a bad situation worse.

In a series of three 'Commentary' articles I am going to outline why this is a problem and show that there are solutions out there, that with some joined-up thinking by governments, could be used to stop our carbon dioxide emissions and limit the impact of global warming without major social and financial upheaval. In this first article I will outline some facts and figures defining the problem.

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Energising Our Future
Wednesday, 02 April 2008 21:08

Reading the IET's Engineering & Technology magazine recently I stumbled upon an article based on a new book about energy generation technologies for the future, which struck a chord with my recent thinking.

Many people who "get religious" about alternative energy do not understand anything about energy fundamentals and therefore substitute wishful thinking for educated pragmatism. This popular ignorance has resulted in an increasingly pervasive faith-based approach to energy technology that is fundamentally irrational and leads to many misguided choices and wrong conclusions that we see daily in the press.

This opening paragraph from "Energizing Our Future: Rational Choices for the 21st Century", by John R. Wilson and Griffin Burgh seems to sum up my opinions on the current state of progress in environmental policy. If you do nothing other than read the sample chapter you will gain a view that is rarely aired, much to the detriment of all.