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Project Sunshine: How Science Can Use the Sun to Fuel and Feed the World Hardcover – 28 Feb 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Icon Books Ltd (28 Feb. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848315139
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848315136
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 341,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Lucid, optimistic - and plans to save the world ... This is stirring stuff, and well told' -- Fred Pearce, New Scientist 'A ray of sunshine on the issues of food and energy security.' -- Nature 'This is an important, much needed book. It shows that things can't go on as they have done: population growth, fossil-fuel burning, greenhouse-gas pollution. But it also explains that they don't need to. Technologies exist, or are on the threshold of existing, that can keep the lights on and keep food on the shelves. Without being Panglossian or diminishing the challenge, Project Sunshine offers rays of hope.' -- Philip Ball, author of Critical Mass and H2O: A Biography of Water 'Tony Ryan and Steve McKevitt argue forcefully that if we are to tackle the biggest challenges facing the world today, we need to put our local star at the centre of human affairs. They marshal a wide range of scientific research to show that we could all benefit from becoming a society of sun worshippers.' -- Roger Highfield 'A sweeping narrative of past and present, Project Sunshine explores the way we use (and waste) our resources and how solar power may yet solve the energy crisis ... with wonderful factual nuggets and handy numbers to have up one's sleeve. -- Dame Athene Donald Times Higher Education

About the Author

Steve McKevitt is an expert in communications and consumerism. Over a 25-year career his clients have included Nike, Coca-Cola, Deutsche Bank, Sony PlayStation, Harvey Nichols, Motorola, Universal, Virgin, BT and Atari. Steve is chairman of Golden, an ideas agency with clients in the UK, Europe and the USA, and also works as an advisor to national and regional UK government on employment, skills, business innovation and international trade. Professor Tony Ryan OBE is a polymer chemist at the University of Sheffield. He delivered the 2002 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures and regularly appears on Radio 4's Infinite Monkey Cage with Brian Cox and Robin Ince, and has been on In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brian Clegg TOP 500 REVIEWER on 12 Jun. 2013
Format: Hardcover
The authors of this important book recognize that energy is the fundamental limiter for human existence and coupled with getting food production right, producing enough clean energy is the most essential step required to keep the world as we know it going.

It's a slightly meandering book, taking in population growth, cosmology, world history, fossil fuels, renewables and more. The conclusions are powerful and inevitable. Forget the hydrogen infrastructure beloved of Arnie and Top Gear - it's expensive and impractical. Yes to wind and all those other good things, but for at least 30 years we need a major increase in nuclear (with particular investment in fusion) combined with a rapidly increasing dependence on solar. This needs to be assembled alongside with effective ways of storing energy, which are more likely to be chemical (e.g. producing methanol from air-based carbon, then burning it) than as batteries.

So a great, really important message, but I found quite a lot of the book irritatingly slow, with far too much history that didn't really contribute a lot to the argument. There was also a touch of the `Gore syndrome ` - Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth was largely good, but it was let down badly by a couple of factual errors.

All pop science books have a few errors, but when you lay down the law in a polemic fashion you need to be perfect with you core arguments. This book twice makes the plonking statement that `all our energy comes from the Sun'. This is blatantly not true, as the book makes plain in describing nuclear, geothermal and tidal energy - none if them dependent on sunlight.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Graham Silversides on 28 Jun. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This really is a very well put together book, and an engrossing read. When I started reading it I thought I must have misunderstood the title, but is was simply giving the historic view of energy and how it has been used in it's various forms throughout history. The book covers just about every form of energy ever used as well as future sources and puts it all into context. Ultimately the title is the key. I can't recommend this highly enough, and once you've read it pass it on to your local MP!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By booklover on 1 April 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This looks at the biggest picture - the World and the possible ways that humanity could actually ensure itself a successful future. It is very thought provoking, but is written in an accessible and humorous fashion that, while being scientifically correct and satisfying, at no time becomes dull and heavy. A book suited for scientists and non-scientists alike.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. John M. Godfrey on 13 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A brilliant book that explains in detail the real problems that the world is facing and MUST overcome. The book in general is impartial, doesn't cast blame for where we are today but explains exactly how we've arrived at this crossroad. More importantly it gives us the route that we MUST take from here on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chris W on 29 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Authoritative review of how mankind can tackle the linked issues of energy and food security, and climate change. The authors make a strong technical case for their favoured solutions, although not everyone will agree them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susan Gill on 13 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a comprehensive but optimistic review of our future world and diminishing resources. Easy to read although covering complex topics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr Baggs on 30 April 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Everyone should read this book - it is about our future! Well thought out considerations with little obvious political or partisan spin. Nice to read someone with a solid practical analysis based on a scientifically considered approach.
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