The inspiration for Nuclear Now, the new Oliver Stone film, co-written by Joshua Goldstein
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 rapidly, in one to two decades. By following their methods, we could decarbonize the global economy by midcentury, replacing fossil fuels even while world energy use continues to rise. But so far we have lacked the courage to really try.
In this clear-sighted and compelling book, Joshua Goldstein and Staffan Qvist explain how clean energy quickly replaced fossil fuels in such places as Sweden, France, South Korea, and Ontario. Their people enjoyed prosperity and growing energy use in harmony with the natural environment. They didn't do this through personal sacrifice, nor through 100 percent renewables, but by using them in combination with an energy source the Swedes call kÃ¤kraft, hundreds of times safer and cleaner than coal.
Clearly written and beautifully illustrated, yet footnoted with extensive technical references, Goldstein and Qvist's book will provide a new touchstone in discussions of climate change. It could spark a shift in world energy policy that, in the words of Steven Pinker's foreword, literally saves the world.
About the Author
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.A. from Stanford and a Ph.D. from M.I.T. He is professor emeritus at American University in Washington, DC, and research scholar at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he lives. See www.joshuagoldstein.com.
Staffan A. Qvist is a Swedish engineer, scientist and consultant to clean energy projects around the world. He has lectured and authored numerous studies in the scientific literature on various topics relating to energy technology and policy, nuclear reactor design and safety, and climate change mitigation strategies -- research that has been covered by Scientific American and many other media outlets. Trained as a nuclear engineer (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley), he is now involved in renewable energy development projects and also works with several "fourth generation" nuclear start-ups. For more information, see www.staffanqvist.com.
The most important book about climate change since An Inconvenient Truth.—from the foreword by Steven Pinker
"A Bright Future starts with a bang. 'Few books can credibly claim to offer a way to save the world, but this one does,' the psychologist Steven Pinker writes in his foreword. That is a bold assertion, but by the time I had finished the book, I was half-convinced he was right."—Ed Crooks, Financial Times
"A Bright Future addresses the fears that people have around nuclear as an energy source and illuminates a path to making it a more significant part of our energy portfolio. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to preserve the planet for our children and grandchildren."—Christine Todd Whitman, former head of the EPA
"A Bright Future lays out the only viable path that has been proposed for rapid global decarbonization."—James Hansen, climate scientist, Columbia University
"A Bright Future comes along at a critical time for our planet. Its key message: the climate is changing, the consequences are serious, and we can and must take action."—George P. Shultz
"A rational if somewhat unlikely strategy to reverse global warming using current technology and without self-denial... The authors argue for nuclear power, and the facts are certainly on their side....A reasonable argument directed at a lay audience."—Kirkus Reviews
"Goldstein and Qvist offer food for thought, making this a viable resource in the arsenal of arguments for and against the best methods of staving off a global energy crisis."—Booklist