I just got an email today about Alexis Madrigal and Da Capo will soon be publishing:


The History and Promise of Green Technology. 

Many Americans today view green energy as an unexplored area of scientific research, yet green technologies have represented a viable set of strategies. 

In this POWERING THE DREAM, it reflects on 150 years of American invention and innovation in energy. Telling the stories of the remarkable inventors whose past creations seemed to predict our current problems, pointing us toward a world with breathable air, drinkable water, and renewable resources. Few of the issues we face today are as universal—or as pressing—as our changing environment, and our sources and uses of energy are often closely tied to our concerns about the health of the planet, the health of our communities, the preservation of other kinds of life, and our national credibility.  We’ll see..

POWERING THE DREAM recounts the stories of green technology’s missed opportunities and its remarkable successes: the Solar Heater at Death Valley Ranch, Philadelphia’s Electrobat, and Geothermal Heating Systems in Boise, Idaho.

Between the good ideas that were dropped and the bad ideas that were better forgotten, this history pushes us to recognize past developments in natural and renewable energy sources and to use this knowledge to direct the modern debate about where we get our power. Green technology gives environmentalism the material means to build a better civilization as well as the political potency and clarity of purpose that comes with the need to make new things work.

This book is about the uncertainties and triumphs of innovation and the mysterious process by which these ideas become realities.

Last night on Facebook I was talking about the radiation levels in Japan.  It’s bad or the problem is we are not sure if the measurements when things get ugly. 

If Fukushima shows us anything, “carry on as before” is the most dangerous path of all. We have a problem people!  This is our energy challenge.  Ya know.  Climate Change, global warning, tsunami, what the heck here!

Yet, as Atlantic reporter Zeynep Tufekci explains that would we really know if it is safe for nuclear power?

A couple of years ago, I wrote a story about how the lack of data about radiation levels inside and outside the Three Mile Island reactor contributed to the panic around the meltdown. Yesterday, we ran a mother’s account of the trouble she had securing accurate radioactivity measurements from the Italian government during the Chernobyl situation. Back when I wrote the Three Mile Island story, I hoped that better monitoring technology might change that situation for future nuclear disasters.

But as it turns out, there have been similar problems during the Fukushima nuclear disaster. One of the key problems has been that people aren’t sure whether to trust the official measurements, no matter how many of them there are.

I’m getting the book.  I’ll let you know what I think of the book.  Yet, I am digging the premise!

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