Powering the future : how we will (eventually) solve the energy crisis and fuel the civilization of tomorrow / Robert B. Laughlin.Material type: BookPublisher: New York, N. Y. : Basic Books, c2011Description: vii, 224 p. ; 25 cm.ISBN: 9780465022199.Subject(s): Renewable energy sources -- Popular works | Power resources -- Popular worksDDC classification: 333.79 L374
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"In Powering the Future, Nobel laureate Robert B. Laughlin transports us two centuries into the future, when we've ceased to use carbon from the ground-either because humans have banned carbon burning or because fuel has simply run out. Boldly, Laughlin predicts no earth-shattering transformations will have taken place. Six generations from now, there will still be soccer moms, shopping malls, and business trips. Firesides will still be snug and warm. How will we do it? Not by discovering a magic bullet to slay our energy problems, but through a slew of fascinating technologies, drawing on wind, water, and fire. Powering the Future is an objective yet optimistic tour through alternative fuel sources, set in a world where we've burned every last drop of petroleum and every last shovelful of coal"--Provided by publisher.
"In considering the end of fossil fuel, Laughlin foresees the birth of a conventional synthetic fuel industry. Present-day oil companies already have the catalytic synthesis technologies capable of converting any carbon-containing substance--coal, trash, trees--into conventional fuels. Meanwhile, energy from the sun and wind is likely to be cheaper than energy made from biomass. However, long-term storage facilities must be built for this power to last. Powering the Future is an objective yet optimistic tour through alternative fuel sources"--Provided by publisher.
Spring 2012 Selected Accessions List.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 125-216) and index.
Armchair journey -- Geologic time -- Jungle law -- Carbon forever -- Pipes of power -- Inspiring mammoths -- Calling all cows -- Trash ash -- Viva Las Vegas -- Under the sea -- A winter's eve.