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Entropy: A New World View

Entropy - Jeremy Rifkin What I like about this book is completely peripheral to the author's main message, which is the mainstream take on global warming. I'm skeptical of that, but what I *do* like is his description of an "energy dialectic" in his first few chapters. He observes the characteristics of energy consumption over all of human history. The pattern is one of progressively more powerful energy sources, existing in progressively more centralized forms, requiring greater levels of technology to aquire, and resulting in greater power to those who control energy.- burning wood, which was found everywhere in forests, free for the picking- harnessing water power with water wheels, requiring access to rivers, and some knowledge of construction and mechanics to build- mining coal to burn, requiring mines in coal-rich areas, and mastry of the attendant technologies to extract and distribute the coal- extracting oil from the ground...- nuclear power...- research into more powerful, more technologically dependent, more centralized energy forms (cold fusion, space-based solar microwave relay, etc)Solar and wind power represent a very desirable step back to less centralized energy forms. I would have enjoyed the book much more if he would have pursued this line, and explored how this fits in with the energy dialectic he presents, and what the implications of this might be.Also read "Report from Iron Mountain" by Leonard C Lewin.