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A Bright Future: How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change and the Rest Can Follow

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  122 ratings  ·  28 reviews
The first book to offer a proven, fast, inexpensive, practical way to cut greenhouse gas emissions and prevent catastrophic climate change.

As climate change quickly approaches a series of turning points that guarantee disastrous outcomes, a solution is hiding in plain sight. Several countries have already replaced fossil fuels with low-carbon energy sources, and done so r
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by PublicAffairs
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  122 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am suspicious of anything that Steven Pinker is a part of. He seems to be an academic who was grown in a vat by oligarchs specifically to make them feel better about feeding on the wreckage of the third world and owning more wealth than the bottom half of humanity. So I came into this book skeptical. I am between a 3 and a 4, but to be generous I am going to award it 4 because it sold me on the part that I was really interested in: nuclear power.

The arguments I have heard in opposition to nuc
Apr 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Those who believe in the impending climate change apocalypse are likely to have a favorable view of only renewable energy as the solution. The authors of this book are very much in the apocalypse camp. The book’s opening lines give it away with “If you think climate change is a serious problem, we have bad news; it is worse than you think.” With such a view, one would think that they would offer renewables and more renewables as the only carbon-free solution. So, I was agreeably surprised to see ...more
Einar Arnarson
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is mainly a broad overview of the issues with not including nuclear power if we are serious about mitigating catastrophic climate change. It is written for lay audience and is a fairly general overview of why the authors think that nuclear fits in the solution, not a definitive book on the subject.

According to the authors what we need is ‘not less energy, but cleaner energy’. Their vision is for non greenhouse gas emitting energy cheap enough so that the poorer people of the world can
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bibliocase
Climate change is undeniably the single most urgent, compelling and critical issue that has both captured the imagination and contorted the thinking perspective across continents today. However, the debate surrounding this seminal subject has assumed ideological hues and entrenched colours, thereby threatening to obfuscate the big picture. While the left hurls ridicule on an irresponsible and greed fueled consumerist right, the right in its defense holds the left totally culpable for what it all ...more
Steve Stanton
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This vital new book exposes the shocking truth about climate change and the lies that have been perpetrated in America. Using data graphs and analysis, authors Goldstein and Qvist examine all the options available for a planet full of humans with rapidly emerging energy needs. They explain the fallacy of “renewable energy” and point to nuclear power as the only way to avoid a mass extinction event. Most of the climate damage has already been started, and merely curbing the growth of coal-fired p ...more
Sagar Jethani
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science, tech
A pro-nuclear treatise written by a nuclear energy consultant.

I wish this book had taken its mission more seriously, because the topic is of immense importance: is nuclear energy the only realistic path toward a carbon-free energy paradigm? Unfortunately, the authors utterly fail to advance their case.

Rather than seriously address legitimate safety concerns about nuclear power, Goldstein and Qvist engage in partisan attacks against critics by mischaracterizing them as being categorically uninfor
Cheryl Campbell
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An exceptionally insightful book on the science behind our climate crisis. But it truly shines in giving an overall history of nuclear power, including the good, bad and ugly. Turns out the ugly is quite maneagable and the engineering on this is very far along. The efficiency of nuclear power, relative to a coal powered plant, is so effective that the author believes we probably cannot "get there from here" unless we incorporate nuclear solutions with a full array of renewable technologies. He s ...more
Selim Tlili
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Qvist and Goldstein do an excellent job of framing the scale of the climate change problem and the sheer amount of carbon emitted in the world.
They make an extremely convincing case, backed by credible data, explaining why nuclear power is the only option that we have that will solve this problem.

End of the day the world will not accept a climate change solution that doesn’t provide reliable and inexpensive power. Nuclear power is the only option that can provide those requirements at scale.

Juan Farfán
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I’ve read about solving climate change. It shows the facts about how Sweden and France hace decarbonized their economies without putting aside economic grow. The world needs more energy, carbon free energy that contributes to solve poverty and climate change. A must read if you want to have a realistic picture to tackle climate change and environmental issues
Steve Peterson
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Interesting historical study of the landmark please decision. Traces the individual stories of the key players. Helps you understand the human factors behind Supreme Court decisions. Very relevant today’s issues re the court.
Taz Lake
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you care about a secure energy future, this is a well researched, broad reaching, relatively easy read on how the world is putting nuclear energy to work for the future and what could be done better.
Morten Greve
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had rather low expectations. I mean, a foreword by the insufferable Steven Pinker and a gloriously hyperbolic title... I expected unconvincing one-sided nuclear industry propaganda.

And it IS rather one-sided. But it also contains enough well-substantiated insights to make me reconsider my views on the role nuclear should play in the desperately urgent energy transition of the coming decades. In particular, they argue very convincingly that the decision to close existing reactors ahead of time
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: climate
"No single event can be directly tied to global warming, but the overall pattern fits what a warming planet produces."

"Each step in the right direction toward global stabilization gets us to the goal."

"Sweden cut its total carbon emissions by half while expanding its economy by 50 percent."

"The idea that personal behavioral changes would add up to solve global environmental problems has been popular among environmentalists for decades, but this approach has virtually no impact on the world's car
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
This book doesn't spend a lot of time on climate change or its impacts, although what's there is very good. It jumps into how Sweden, France, and Ontario have radically reduced their carbon emissions while maintaining strong to booming economies. In a word, the solution is nuclear. Goldstein and Qvist argue that renewables alone can't replace fossil fuels currently, and that they probably won't be able to for at least 3 decades. So although we may eventually build a battery, or a hydrogen econom ...more
Angie Reisetter
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is brief, pointed, and well-argued. I'm a bit dismayed to see that the publisher's blurb very carefully avoided mentioning nuclear power, when that's the main topic of the book. But they evidently thought that it's too loaded a word and chose to try to get readers hooked first. As I tell my students, if I thought it was possible to decarbonize our world without nuclear, I'd be all for it, but analysis after analysis shows that it's not possible. We really need clean, safe nuclear power to f ...more
Nouvel Diamant
Aug 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
I found the book quite annoying and useless:

a) Combating climate change with the further development of nuclear power plants would be stupid and would at most create further problems

b) The book completely ignores the fact that in the recent past in the western world CO2 emissions have increased dramatically due to behavioral changes (e.g. flying) and this simply has to be reversed "by ourselves"
Adam Roll
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the most important book on climate change out there, and the most impressive one about the necessity of nuclear power as the solution to the problem. I am aghast that organizations like Greenpeace and the Republican party would try and make a political issue about something as simple in scientific terms as this. Climate change is not hard to understand, see, or fix, but we need to do something about it right away with our political choices. Vote blue, vote nuclear!
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is probably the most positive book I've read on climate change, ever. It's realistic about the issues that we've created for ourselves, but also provides examples of countries and regions that have been successful in moving towards a path to a solution by way of nuclear power. Love the tone, the concrete examples, the easiness of the read.
Chris Quartly
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Makes an open and shut case that we need nuclear power to fight against climate change and radically decarbonise our planet. Public opinion is against nuclear based on ignorance and anti-nuclear propaganda. Nuclear is carbon free, has the safest record and is clean and generates massive amount of power that renewables simply cannot. A hugely important book that all should read.
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
One of the authors is apparently a consultant/contractor for nuclear power and this isn't really disclosed. That makes me distrustful of the premise. I did learn more than I'd previously known about nuclear energy though!
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sweden has replaced fossil fuels with renewables and nuclear power, while increasing its energy consumption. It is used as a model of how the world can quickly meet CO2 reduction goals. Time for politics to get out of the way.
Sharon Chase
May 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I read this for my book group. It caused me to rethink my bias against nuclear power. It was not perfect, but should be read. Some risk needs to be acceptable if necessary to solve global warming.
Matt Heavner
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Important (if a bit hyperbolic on climate as an existential threat) - this describes why (and how) we need to transition from coal to nuclear (renewables are great, but we need "nuables").
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
A disingenuous, flawed book.
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A must read for lovers of planet Earth, especially if you happen to be an energy policy maker with a fear of nuclear energy.
Christopher Febles
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good explanation, interesting science. Really good thoughts about nuclear power
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Positive narrative on how to solve global warming centered on nuclear’s role
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
När klimatfrågan är hetare än någonsin, argumenterar författarna för att en betydande del av lösningen faktiskt redan ligger framför näsan på oss - kärnkraft - och i förordet uppmuntras de av Steven Pinker med följande ord:

"Klimatnyckeln erbjuder ett konstruktivt alternativ. Mänsklig uppfinningsrikedom försatte oss i den här situationen, och mänsklig uppfinningsrikedom ska ta oss ur den. Genom att visa hur vi kan lösa problemet, är Klimatnyckeln den viktigaste boken om klimatförändringarna sedan
Molly Laurain
rated it really liked it
Mar 09, 2019
rated it really liked it
Jun 18, 2019
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Joshua S. Goldstein is an International Relations professor who writes about the big issues facing humanity. He is the author of six books about war, peace, diplomacy, and economic history, and a bestselling college textbook, International Relations. Among other awards, his book War and Gender (2001) won the International Studies Association's "Book of the Decade Award" in 2010. Goldstein has a B. ...more
“United States and Australia, use more per person, whereas others, like Japan and Britain, use less. Americans drive bigger cars than Japanese do, and drive more rather than take trains, and they live in bigger homes that are kept warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Americans consequently emit more carbon pollution than do people in more energy-efficient countries.” 0 likes
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