Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Non-Fiction: Clean Energy Nation by Jerry McNerney and Martin Cheek

In publishing, as in so many things, timing is everything. For instance, in a week where the eyes of the world weren’t focused on the apparent looming financial collapse of the West, the debut of an intelligent and lucid book focused on answering difficult questions relating to energy would likely have been met by a lot more fanfare and maybe even a bit of hoopla. But with a pub date of August 1, 2011, everyone’s focus has been just about everywhere else and while we should be focusing on “Freeing America From the Tyranny of Fossil Fuels,” this week, we’re just not. And that’s a shame.

Congressman Jerry McNerney knows his stuff and brings his passion to Clean Energy Nation (Amacom). McNerney is a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology; the subcommittee on Energy and the Environment and the subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight. Before joining congress, he served in a consulting capacity for Pacific Gas and Electric, FlowWind and The Electric Power Research Institute. Clearly, the questions he tackles in Clean Energy Nation are close to his heart.

“Before we can establish where we are going in our national energy journey,” McNerney writes, “we must know where we now stand and understand how we got here.” This tone continues throughout the book. He is passionate, but neither grandstands nor stands on a soapbox. His explanations are clear, his analogies work and the possibilities he presents seem... well... possible.

Clean Energy Nation
is a bright, thoughtful book that outlines the problems while detailing some solutions. These are not problems that will go away by themselves, but it’s terrific to know that people with McNerney’s passion and vision are out there working towards a solution. ◊

Aaron Blanton is a contributing editor to January Magazine. He’s currently working on a book based on his experiences as an American living abroad.



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