A cool look at a heated debate

My friend David MacKay gave a splendid lecture this evening to mark the publication of his book, Sustainable Energy – without the hot air.

Many years in the making, this is a masterpiece: beautifully produced, thoroughly researched, and intelligently presented. I suspect it will become required reading for anyone really interested in the topic of sustainable energy: how to generate it, and how to use less of it. And yet it lives up to its name, being delightfully un-stuffy.

David is more interested in spreading sense than in making money, and you can download the book for free if wanted from withouthotair.com. Almost all of the materials are under a Creative Commons licence and he’s made high-resolution versions of most of the figures available on the web site.

But I recommend buying it: the book itself is very aesthetically pleasing, and could make a good Christmas present.

1 Comment

Excellent. I love a book with figures. I’ve just skimmed the PDF, but this quote from page 68 is great:

“Obsessively switching off the phone-charger is like bailing the Titanic with a teaspoon.
Do switch it off, but please be aware how tiny a gesture it is.

Let me put it this way:
* All the energy saved in switching off your charger for one day is used up in one second of car-driving.
* The energy saved in switching off the charger for one year is equal to the energy in a single hot bath.”

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