THE CONQUEST OF ENERGY by George Russell Harrison


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In a world grown increasingly pessimistic, one in which the workings of science are no longer viewed with unalloyed pleasure, Harrison's words seem positively exuberant. His impressively documented volume chronicles man's use of energy through the millenia of ""fire, feed, and fuel"" down to the recent accelerating pace of discoveries in electricity, atomic and nuclear physics. It is a clear, not simple presentation, heavily weighted with statistics. Here are statements of power consumption per capita, of water use, of the miles of oil and gas pipeline; here are charts which show energy units and their equivalents and the types of conversions presently possible. In short there is a raft of data that would serve many a utility executive at annual meetings. Through it all runs the optimism of a man of science who writes sincerely of the aesthetic delights its pursuit involves. He ends with some predictions of how life will be in another generation or two. While not dismissing population and pollution problems, the view is that these will have to be solved some way; that nuclear reactors, perhaps providing half man's power needs, will certainly make for cleaner air; that education and communication will shrink the globe even more and lead to further progress along man's way. Would that belief would make it true!

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 1968
Publisher: Morrow