Thursday, January 19, 2012

Recent Books on Energy

A former student asked me for suggestions for less academic books that address current energy issues. Here is what I suggested.

First, Vaclav Smil has written a huge number of books on energy. He is maybe a bit pessimistic. I read the global catastrophes book (2008) but he has put out more books since then that look interesting. In particular, this one on energy transitions.

By contrast, Amory Lovins is a huge optimist. We brought him to speak in Australia back in 2000. This looks to be his latest book.

Several recent books are listed in this review in the Chronicle of Higher Education. When I was in the US in October, our taxi driver in Ann Arbor was reading Rifkin's book. We discussed it after he asked me what I do...


  1. On the Internet, Tom Murphy's blog "Do The Math" examines energy technologies in an easily digestible way.

    Tom is a lecturer (associate professor, as they call them) in physics at UCSD.

  2. Also there is David Mackay's excellent book "Sustainable Energy Without The Hot Air", available at .David is Science Adviser to the UK government.

  3. Great - thanks for the suggestions, Greg.