Minireviews: George R. R. Martin, energy alternatives

George R. R. Martin – A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, book 4) (2005)

In A Song of Ice and Fire, multiple political actors operate with different maps of the same terrain, leading all to disaster. Good intentions don’t protect you from making blunders, and the most dangerous characters are not the greediest and most ambitious, but the ones who execute their greed and ambition – or their good intentions – incompetently. It’s a world where the major players tend to be unaware of many of the most important events that are currently happening around them. In other words, much like the real world.

Recommended: Yes, and never mind the so-and-so HBO series, which is a competent visualization but does not approach the novels.

Burton Richter – Beyond Smoke and Mirrors – Climate Change and Energy in the 21st Century (2010)

An overview of climate issues, mostly focused on good and bad energy solutions. Richter favors nuclear energy, hydropower, carbon capture and storage – and increases in efficiency.

Recommended: Yes, it seems scientifically sound, and level-headed, but his faith in efficiency is economically naive: Efficiency does allow you to get the same energy for less CO2 emissions, or the same benefit for less energy, but it also makes your energy cheaper, which means we’ll use more of it. So much more that it cancels out the benefit? Who knows? Richter doesn’t even address the possibility. I guess that’s the problem with scientists venturing into economics and politics.

One Response to Minireviews: George R. R. Martin, energy alternatives

  1. Pingback: Archer, Rahmstorf – The Climate Crisis « Bjørn Stærk's Max 256 Blog

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