The book’s second section, ‘Energy’, pays much attention to the various economics of in the application of various forms of energy. The author is very cautious in providing the basic definitions of power and energy as well as doing an essentially good job in relating energy stored. For instance, in gasoline or liquid hydrogen all the way to the energy that is stored in food are critical considerations in this section. The section, offers a transition to the nuanced discussion on the potential dangers of radiation, which are clearly designed for the purposes of ameliorating the public’s irrational fear. Even though the material in this case is rather accessible to all non-scientists, the discussion seeks to avoid the simplification of complex issues and at the same time, does not dismiss nor exaggerate the various harmful effects of nuclear radiation (Muller 40). The other section of the chapter has many descriptions of the various operations of nuclear weapons as well as fusion reactors and nuclear fission.
Additionally, the Fukushima near-meltdown, the BP oilrig explosion, the Middle East upheavals and the adverse reality of aspects and impacts of global warming remind the leaders as well as all other citizens that there is nothing else, which has more impact on the human lives as compared to the supply and demand for any form of energy. The procurement of energy dominates the country’s economy as well as foreign policy, which are more than all other factors. However, the issue of ‘energy’ is essentially confusing and complicated than before. There is need to appreciate the fact that in the event that nuclear power is used, there is a likelihood of global insecurity and extensive damage to human life and property. The author asserts on the need of knowing whether the solar and wind power are viable in any instance (Muller 37). The chapter also maintains that there is need to know whether the actual natural gas deposits in certain regions such as Pennsylvania are historic proportions or rather false hopes, which will later contribute to more problems than solutions. At this point, Muller provides a wide category of the answers in this book regarding the energy priorities in the current environment as well as that in the coming years.
Public knowledge with respect to energy and global warming is accompanied with many massive misinterpretations of information. The American economy is built around various forms of cheap as well as abundant fossil fuels including the worldwide oil supply, which has the possibility of lasting several hundred years. Evidently, irrespective of the fact that the U.S. bears much less availability of oil, there are still several centuries that provide coal as well as natural gas reserves. Muller adds that the main downside of the use of fossil fuels is the element, which environmental impacts due to burning coal (especially, global warming) pose thereafter. Considering the current level of CO2 generation for each GNP, the real problem of global warming is actually within the developing world. All efforts of CO2 reductions in the U.S. and Europe will be critical in offsetting by a major increase the emission levels in Brazil, India, China and others. The reluctance of China and India to commit fully to ensuring significant reductions is one of the main reasons of the detrimental status of the global environmental sustainability (Muller 45). Evidently, Muller is a major advocate for energy conservation and proposes significant increments in CAFE standards, usage of clean coal as well as more nuclear power. In this chapter, he encourages government to support fully projects on wind and solar even though he sees them as capital intensive, expensive and having a limited value. He also advocates the cancelation of subsidies for corn ethanol as he champions for the growth of quality switch-grass as well as other efficient crops. He recommends, on a smaller scale the use of efficient LED and fluorescent lights and building cool and insulation roofs, which are technologies that are very affordable and available in the third world.
Muller Physics for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines. New York: W. W. Norton. 2009. Print