Although Warburg summarily dismisses the potential of solar energy as a major part of the clean-energy mix, his arguments...

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HARVEST THE WIND

AMERICA'S JOURNEY TO JOBS, ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, AND CLIMATE STABILITY

Warburg believes that that collaboration between the government and the private sector can make wind power a major source of energy for the generation of power in the United States.

An attorney specializing in environmental law who served as president of the Conservation Law Foundation from 2003 to 2009, the author has been a committed environmentalist for more than 40 years. Warburg makes the case that with this “inexhaustible domestic energy resource,” America can finally demonstrate a willingness to lead the international fight for climate stability. He reports on recent travels through the U.S. and in Denmark. where he met with “farmers, ranchers, shop owners, truckers, crane operators and more,” whose lives have been improved by the new technology. He also visited large and small-scale wind farms, on land and offshore. While Warburg admits that wind power still presents serious problems for the environment—the turbines are responsible for the death of thousands of birds, the noise they produce can disturb neighboring residential communities, etc.—he is optimistic that these will be resolved and that the benefits of the new technology exceed the costs. At present, Danish investors are the leaders in turbine production. They outsource assembly production to China and the U.S., which rank first and second respectively in annual installations. The author writes that while American companies are only beginning to compete, they recognize that this is “the next big strategic bet.” Citing a 2011 government report, Warburg estimates that Kansas alone could supply 90 percent of the nation's present power consumption with the installation of a sufficient number wind turbines. In 2010, seven percent of the state's energy needs have been met by wind power, providing up to $50,000 annually to farmers.

Although Warburg summarily dismisses the potential of solar energy as a major part of the clean-energy mix, his arguments about wind power are balanced and informative.

Pub Date: April 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0107-3

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Beacon

Review Posted Online: Jan. 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2012

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Not an easy read but an essential one.

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HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST

Title notwithstanding, this latest from the National Book Award–winning author is no guidebook to getting woke.

In fact, the word “woke” appears nowhere within its pages. Rather, it is a combination memoir and extension of Atlantic columnist Kendi’s towering Stamped From the Beginning (2016) that leads readers through a taxonomy of racist thought to anti-racist action. Never wavering from the thesis introduced in his previous book, that “racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” the author posits a seemingly simple binary: “Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” The author, founding director of American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, chronicles how he grew from a childhood steeped in black liberation Christianity to his doctoral studies, identifying and dispelling the layers of racist thought under which he had operated. “Internalized racism,” he writes, “is the real Black on Black Crime.” Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses: power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture, and so forth, all the way to the intersectional constructs of gender racism and queer racism (the only section of the book that feels rushed). Each chapter examines one facet of racism, the authorial camera alternately zooming in on an episode from Kendi’s life that exemplifies it—e.g., as a teen, he wore light-colored contact lenses, wanting “to be Black but…not…to look Black”—and then panning to the history that informs it (the antebellum hierarchy that valued light skin over dark). The author then reframes those received ideas with inexorable logic: “Either racist policy or Black inferiority explains why White people are wealthier, healthier, and more powerful than Black people today.” If Kendi is justifiably hard on America, he’s just as hard on himself. When he began college, “anti-Black racist ideas covered my freshman eyes like my orange contacts.” This unsparing honesty helps readers, both white and people of color, navigate this difficult intellectual territory.

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-50928-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: One World/Random House

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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