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Energy: What the World Needs Now is an optimistic, yet realistic approach to energy issues in the United States and throughout the world. The audience is non-science college students, advanced high school students, and general readers. In addition to chemistry and physical science courses, this book could be a supplemental textbook for courses on sustainability, global politics of energy, economics of energy, psychology of sustainability, how to be green, etc.
Energy: What the World Needs Now includes embedded movies, photo galleries, rotatable 3D images, review questions, and an interactive glossary. There are three specialty calculators built with the HTML5 widget: a reaction energy calculator, a global energy use and population calculator, and an energy use calculator to predict future energy use as renewable energy sources are developed.
Topics covered include: energy basics, power plant operation, fossil fuels, nuclear energy, renewable energy (hydroelectric, wind, solar, biofuels, and geothermal), efficiency and conservation, batteries and fuel cells, the cost of energy, global energy use, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, global warming, and climate change. A chemistry primer explains how the combustion of a fuel produces energy. A chapter is devoted to developing an intuitive sense of energy using the caloric content of a Snickers bar as a unit and then scaling up to global energy use.
Energy: What the World Needs Now not only gives the reader a good qualitative sense of energy issues but it also equips the reader to evaluate energy issues quantitatively. There are many calculations in this book, but they are no more difficult than the average consumer math calculation. Anyone interested in finding a sale or buying in bulk can do the calculations found here.
Energy and environmental issues are extremely politicized in the United States. We do not think it has to be this way. All agree that we need and want energy. Our modern technological society demands it. Most agree that we want these things in a safe and sustainable way. Energy: What the World Needs Now is no policy manual, but it seeks to inform the general public about the need, the cost, the timeline, and the risks of the energy choices we will be making.