From: M Molendyke, ENN
Published June 9, 2009 01:50 PM

Book Review: GREEN, Your Place in the New Energy Revolution

In the last decade or so, Americans have been bombarded by a environmentalist media that is relentless when it comes to highlighting the causes, dangers, and perpetrators of carbon- fueled global climate change. This surge of sensationalism, combined with the perceived lack of ways to "make it better" (outside of the light bulb changing, recycling, hybrid car- buying stories we have heard a thousand times), has lead to a public paralyzed by the thought of an approaching man - made apocalypse.

Responding to this stagnation are Jane and Michael Hoffman, a New York City couple who have molded their lives around energy innovation. Their recently published book Green: Your Place in the New Energy Revolution is peppered with lighthearted anecdotes about their own experiences with the green revolution, including a reoccurring allusion to what the couple calls their "Aha!" moment, recognizing the urgency of the climate problem.

Apart from this self- assured format of the writing, the text appeals because it negates the myth that people must choose between the environment and their economy. This is perhaps the most striking accomplishment of Green, for the Hoffmans here have succeeded where most authors and policymakers have failed before. (Any environmental policy expert will tell you that the biggest hurdle to the green movement is the misconception that clean, renewable energy is economically unsound.)

Green is not your run-of-the- mill "how to 'go green'" guidebook. Although the Hoffmans advocate lifestyle changes that will catalyze energy efficiency, their text serves to enlighten their readers so that they may better serve as advocates for renewable energy and intelligent technology. In ten chapters, the Hoffmans successfully cover the history of energy, problems with existing energy sources, the vernacular of renewables, and how to create a "renewable industry". They also give readers a sort of tutorial of the different types of renewables, and describe in detail why our current energy choices remain inefficient. Green highlights industry leaders that have taken green initiatives to great environmental and fiscal benefit, and mentions "black box" technologies that have huge potential to revolutionize our energy future.

In all, the Hoffman's encourage readers to act on their newfound intelligence reasonably, logically, and with the knowledge that although the time to act is now, real progress will only happen in time. Although at times the book reads as idealistic, the authors have succeeded in their mission-- to have their readers reach a basic yet broad understanding of some pretty complex concepts and act on the confidence that comes with that knowledge. Green successfully begins to erode the anxiety surrounding the renewable energy crisis.

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