Clean Energy Nation ~ A book review by Cathy Edmiston

clean energy nation book cover imageClean Energy Nation, Freeing America from the Tyranny of Fossil Fuels” by Congressman Jerry McNerney, PhD, and Martin Cheek, American Management Assoc. 2012

Here’s a new, well-organized plan that offers us hope in a world with problems to solve regarding our energy future.  Congressman Jerry McNerney, PhD., serving his third term in California’s 11th District is a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, the Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment.   He’s also served as an energy consultant for Pacific, Gas and Electric, FlowWind, and The Electric Power Research Institute.  His coauthor, Martin Cheek, a journalist of over twenty years specializes in latest developments in science and high-tech industry.

“If we could harvest only a fraction of solar radiation, human civilization could easily end its dependence on Earth’s fossil-fuel reserves,” says Author McNerney in his chapter on “The Dawn of a New Energy Era.”

“America’s Energy Past and Present,” “America’s Energy Issues” and “America’s Energy Future” are the three sections of this inspiring book, with up-to-date research on our fast developing world in regard to energy needs.  He offers some solutions in his chapter on “Energy and Transportation” and “Energy and Agriculture.”

He tells how other countries in the world are working with alternative energy.  China has 30 million homes and businesses with rooftop solar panels that heat water for showers and dishwashing.  The Japanese are well-known for manufacturing energy efficient vehicles, such as the Prius, the hybrid car that runs on both gasoline and electricity and helps save fuel by recharging a storage battery system when the driver hits the brakes.  Some of Japan’s trains use an advanced braking system to generate electricity that can be stored.  The European Wind Energy Association has a goal of providing enough electricity for 107 million households by 2020.  Author McNerney tells of many other developments in his Chapter on “Energy and the World” in the United Kingdom and Denmark, Latin America, the South Pacific and Africa.

In his Chapter on Good Government, McNerney points out the importance of “upholding fairness, openness, and truthfulness when creating national energy policies.”  “Americans want leaders in government who refuse to show favoritism toward special interests when they are creating and managing our nation’s public policy.  Our nation’s people want leaders with integrity who follow the rules of ethics and consider the facts of science when making their decisions on energy and environmental issues.  Our citizens want lawmakers who understand that their job is to secure liberty for all Americans now and in the future.  As Thomas Jefferson said in 1809, ‘”The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government.”‘  A clean-energy nation requires a clean government.  Clean government is good government.”

Reviewed by Catherine Edmiston, CALM
(This book is available in Litchfield, Hillsboro and Nokomis libraries.)