A passionate, but not ideological, argument that offers a practical approach to solving real problems.

LIGHTING THE WORLD

TRANSFORMING OUR ENERGY FUTURE BY BRINGING ELECTRICITY TO EVERYONE

The former chairman, president, and CEO of Duke Energy, the largest electric power company in the United States, argues that access to clean, sustainable electricity should be a basic human right.

Without access to electricity, education, health care, efficient farming, and development are barely conceivable. One out of every 6 people worldwide (1.5 billion total) lack any access to electricity. Another 1.5 billion have limited access. Discussing income equality, equal rights for women, and other issues without talking about electricity, writes Rogers, “is a huge blind spot.” Everyone, he insists, will benefit from dramatically reducing the use of expensive and polluting kerosene and firewood and improving health and educational levels. The primarily coal-based supply systems of North America and Western Europe, which India and China are instituting, will not provide a sustainable solution. What is needed, Rogers argues, is “a new way to deliver [electricity] that doesn't involve the heavy pollution of power plants, or the complex grid of electrical wires.” The author presents case studies from India and Africa to show how small-scale solar power and battery-storage combinations are being used to provide light and cellphone charger capabilities at the village level. Rogers also examines installer education, maintenance, and payment systems, developing the case for power generation by way of franchises and locally authorized monopolies. As he notes, for remote rural villages, central generating and long-range grid distribution are not practical. Rogers provides a comprehensive overview of sub-Saharan Africa, India, and Indonesia as potential major contributors to the needed post-coal redesign of electrical production and distribution in America and Europe. He compares fuel sources and generating technologies in light of the challenges of reducing carbon emissions and global warming, and he both points out the problems and ranks proposed solutions.

A passionate, but not ideological, argument that offers a practical approach to solving real problems.

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-137-27985-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2015

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A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

STILLNESS IS THE KEY

An exploration of the importance of clarity through calmness in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Austin-based speaker and strategist Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, 2018, etc.) believes in downshifting one’s life and activities in order to fully grasp the wonder of stillness. He bolsters this theory with a wide array of perspectives—some based on ancient wisdom (one of the author’s specialties), others more modern—all with the intent to direct readers toward the essential importance of stillness and its “attainable path to enlightenment and excellence, greatness and happiness, performance as well as presence.” Readers will be encouraged by Holiday’s insistence that his methods are within anyone’s grasp. He acknowledges that this rare and coveted calm is already inside each of us, but it’s been worn down by the hustle of busy lives and distractions. Recognizing that this goal requires immense personal discipline, the author draws on the representational histories of John F. Kennedy, Buddha, Tiger Woods, Fred Rogers, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other creative thinkers and scholarly, scientific texts. These examples demonstrate how others have evolved past the noise of modern life and into the solitude of productive thought and cleansing tranquility. Holiday splits his accessible, empowering, and sporadically meandering narrative into a three-part “timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the human body.” He juxtaposes Stoic philosopher Seneca’s internal reflection and wisdom against Donald Trump’s egocentric existence, with much of his time spent “in his bathrobe, ranting about the news.” Holiday stresses that while contemporary life is filled with a dizzying variety of “competing priorities and beliefs,” the frenzy can be quelled and serenity maintained through a deliberative calming of the mind and body. The author shows how “stillness is what aims the arrow,” fostering focus, internal harmony, and the kind of holistic self-examination necessary for optimal contentment and mind-body centeredness. Throughout the narrative, he promotes that concept mindfully and convincingly.

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53858-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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A welcome contribution from a newcomer who provides both a different view and balance in addressing one of the country's...

THE NEW GEOGRAPHY OF JOBS

A fresh, provocative analysis of the debate on education and employment.

Up-and-coming economist Moretti (Economics/Univ. of California, Berkeley) takes issue with the “[w]idespread misconception…that the problem of inequality in the United States is all about the gap between the top one percent and the remaining 99 percent.” The most important aspect of inequality today, he writes, is the widening gap between the 45 million workers with college degrees and the 80 million without—a difference he claims affects every area of peoples' lives. The college-educated part of the population underpins the growth of America's economy of innovation in life sciences, information technology, media and other areas of globally leading research work. Moretti studies the relationship among geographic concentration, innovation and workplace education levels to identify the direct and indirect benefits. He shows that this clustering favors the promotion of self-feeding processes of growth, directly affecting wage levels, both in the innovative industries as well as the sectors that service them. Indirect benefits also accrue from knowledge and other spillovers, which accompany clustering in innovation hubs. Moretti presents research-based evidence supporting his view that the public and private economic benefits of education and research are such that increased federal subsidies would more than pay for themselves. The author fears the development of geographic segregation and Balkanization along education lines if these issues of long-term economic benefits are left inadequately addressed.

A welcome contribution from a newcomer who provides both a different view and balance in addressing one of the country's more profound problems.

Pub Date: May 5, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-547-75011-8

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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