International Relations professor, Joshua S. Goldstein and Swedish nuclear engineer, Staffan A. Qvist collaborated to produce book, A Bright Future, that presents their solution to the problem of climate change. It is not about a theoretical solution but rather an analysis of the successful strategies used by various industrial countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Anyone interested in solving climate change would find something of interest in the ideas presented in this book.The book focuses on phasing out fossil fuels used for electricity generation in the belief that this is the quickest and most far reaching way to reduce emissions. The authors first take a look at Sweden known for its rapid decarbonization and then examines the efforts of Germany. While Sweden used nuclear power along with renewables, Germany used renewables, mostly wind and solar, and was less successful than Sweden. A discussion of various alternative energy sources leads to an extensive presentation on nuclear power, including safety issues, risks, fears, handling of waste, and prevention of proliferation. The final section of the book suggests realistic ways the US , China, India and Russia can cut emissions using nuclear power along with a carbon pollution tax. Underlying this discussion is the belief that switching away from fossil fuels will actually benefit national economies rather that hurt them.
The book is well written in an easy to read style and contains supporting data and many references. It is clearly biased towards the development of nuclear power as an alternative to fossil fuels but perhaps nuclear power is the best solution to the problem of global warming. Whether you favor nuclear power or are against it, the arguments presents here are important and valuable.
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