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Electricity Vs Fire: The Fight For Our Future Paperback – 10 May 2015

5.0 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Walt Patterson (10 May 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0993261205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0993261206
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 824,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

WALT PATTERSON Walt Patterson is Associate Fellow in the Energy, Environment and Resources Programme at Chatham House in London, UK, a Visiting Fellow at the University of Sussex and a founder-member of the International Energy Advisory Council. Born in Canada, he has lived in the UK since 1960. A postgraduate nuclear physicist, he has been actively involved in energy and environment since the late 1960s. Electricity Vs Fire: The Fight For Our Future is Patterson's fourteenth book. He has also published hundreds of papers, articles and reviews, on topics including nuclear power, coal technology, renewable energy, energy systems, energy policy and electricity. He has been specialist advisor to two Select Committees of the UK House of Commons, an expert witness at many official hearings, a frequent broadcaster and advisor to media, and speaker or chair in conferences around the world. He has been awarded the Melchett Medal of the Energy Institute. The Scientific American 50 named him 'energy policy leader' for his advocacy of decentralized electricity. Walt Patterson On Energy, , is an online archive of his work since 1970. It averages over 600 hits a day, with visits from more than 120 countries.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This has been an inspirational book. It prompted me to participate in the 'Speakers for Schools' scheme ([...]) whose aim is to provide state schools with free talks from the UK’s leading figures to inspire & empower the next generation.
My talk on 'Climate change and what can we do about it' uses the idea of FIRE, so brilliantly conceived by Walt. It warns and hopefully, inspires 6th formers to get involved. Walt's seminal work is now reaching critical parts of society whose members will suffer the consequences if action is not taken.
Professor Leon Freris, Co-founder of CREST, the 'Centre of Renewable Energy Systems Technology, at Loughborough University.
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Format: Paperback
Walt Patterson, one of the original energy campaigners and activists, has published a new book; "Electricity versus Fire: The Fight for Our Future" which I strongly recommend for all energy specialists, as well as non-energy specialists.

This is Walt's 14th book I think and I can recommend them all. His early work, "Nuclear Power", first appeared in 1976 and sold 130,000 copies in 5 languages. Nobody should make any comment on nuclear power - pro or con - without first reading this classic which is now available as a free download from Walt's website:

http://www.waltpatterson.org/nppenguin.htm

The new book, "Electricity versus Fire", argues that we need to transition away from our old fire based sources of energy services and move towards electricity, generated from clean energy. Like Walt's other books it argues that the language we use around energy is in itself confusing and often wrong. We don't have an energy crisis or an energy supply problem, we have a fuel supply problem. Since the 1970s we have been using the term energy to talk about two separate things - fuel and energy. As Walt said in an earlier work, try putting gasoline in your laptop or 12v DC into your internal combustion engine - it does not work, they are not the same. The use of fuel (in fire based technologies ranging from candles to cookers to sophisticated internal combustion engines etc) is the issue and the cause of both environmental impact and geopolitical problems. Of course currently electricity is mainly generated by fire based technologies but that is not necessary.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Why are we so obsessed with fire - is it an atavistic need, the machinations of big oil and its friends or just lazy thinking and policy? Probably all of these but mostly the last, argues Walt Patterson in his typically fluid, engaging prose.

For this book is a great read. I occasionally wanted some stats or charts - because this guru of energy policy (a phrase he would hate) certainly has all the data - but I realised he was right to use only the power of words to make his very clear case. We need electricity for nearly all that we do - moving, making, lighting, heating, cooling, eating and using the ever greater flow of information - but we don't need fire to produce it or, worse, to power those activities directly. Burning oil, gas and coal is a ludicrously wasteful and harmful way of powering our lives.

In convincing us of our urgent need to stop burning stuff, he does not preach or shout but calmly leads us from pictures of our deep past to the troubling present. He is visionary but realistic - alternatives to jet fuel are not around the corner. As well as looking at the processes for making electricity, Patterson also looks at how we should do and make things better and more efficiently. He doesn't ask us to give up our lifestyles but to live them more thoughtfully, more cleanly and, in the end, more fruitfully.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have just finished reading "Electricity vs Fire", the latest offering from Walt Patterson. I have met and talked with Walt on a number of occasions on the conference circuit and have always found him deeply thoughtful, engaging and in possession of an inner humanity. All these qualities come across in this book which outlines very clearly why we must stop burning fossil fuels and transform our society to operate with "fireless" electricity.

Such is Walt's facility words that this is an ideal book for the lay-person. Indeed, on occasion I was wanting Walt to "get on with it" but on reflection this was just because I've been in the business and know the arguments. The steady and logical route that Walt takes through the subject should cause few people difficulty in understanding. In fact, I think it should be required reading for all.
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Format: Paperback
Walt Patterson has written a book that is a very engaging, and very personal, tour of the whole history and range of our human experience. Moreover, he has brought that whole story together to give a powerful insight into the central challenge of how we move forward sustainably.It’s as if he has reduced everything to the simple concept of “fire” only to show us that inside that concept there is a whole universe of understanding.

In my experience, there is always something new to learn from someone who can crack back a complex issue into very simple concepts, and build out from there. I have had the privilege to work with Walt in the past, and know he is excellent in this regard. I can strongly recommend this as a new angle on a very important subject.
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