Given the recent assertions made by the Bush administration, it would seem that coal is a glistening new energy alternative, the answer to the current oil crisis. Few of us realize that coal is already one of America's biggest and most influential industries: "Big Coal" provides more than half of the electricity consumed by Americans today. Every time we flip a light switch or turn on the television, we burn a lump of coal. And coal's dominance is growing.
The problem, Jeff Goodell points out in the eye-opening call to action, is that on close examination, the glowing promise of coal quickly turns to ash. Coal mining practices are setting us up for economic and environmental catastrophes. Forty percent of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere each year comes from coal-fired power plants, and pollution from these plants has killed more than half a million Americans in the last two decades. But we've become so complacent about our energy future that we haven't invested in alternatives.
In this essential work, Goodell clearly explains how we got here and discusses how we can get out.
"There is perhaps no greater act of denial in modern life than sticking a plug into an electrical outlet...(electricity) pours out of the socket almost like magic. In his new book, Jeff Goodell breaks the spell with a single number: 20. That's how many pounds of coal each person in the United States consumes, on average, every day to keep the electricity flowing." - New York Times Book Review
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; Reprint edition (April 3 2007)
Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 14 x 2.8 cm