By Tom Rand
It is sometimes claimed that we cannot do without fossil fuels. That is false.
When I first began writing this book, I didn't think we could break the fossil fuel habit - not in one generation, and certainly not without a great deal of nuclear power and what is optimistically called "clean coal." In exploring renewable technologies like large-scale solar, wind and geothermal, the engineer in me changed my mind. It is possible to change our energy use to 100% renewables. This book is a celebration of that idea.
But the pragmatic venture capitalist in me tempers that celebratory mood. To kick our fossil fuel habit, we'll need to deploy resources on a scale not seen since World War II, generate a degree of international political co-operation beyond anything we've yet done, and at the same time develop a new set of economic rules that finally put a prohibitive price on carbon.
These are daunting challenges. Why do it?