An energy book that’s a pleasure to read and sure to win new solar converts.




A detailed blueprint for a solar-powered, all-electric future.

In this bright treatise, Stayton outlines how humanity might transition from finite, carbon dioxide–emitting fossil fuels to permanent, pollution-free solar power by the end of this century. His key points are that people must curtail carbon emissions; that solar photovoltaic electricity can meet people’s needs better than alternatives can; and that the exponential growth of solar installations shows that the shift has already begun. The author has a master’s degree in physics, college teaching experience, and years of living off the grid. He expertly blends scientific research, historical context, personal experience, and visionary thinking in this book and relates it all in plain language. He has a gift for demystifying things, from horsepower and steam engines to gigawatts and thorium reactors. His examples are practical (“A joule is the energy needed to raise a three-quarter pound book by a foot, such as lifting a book to the next higher shelf”), and he uses concise, declarative sentences to make his points: “Every five days, the Sun delivers the energy equivalent of all the fossil fuel reserves in the world.” He also avoids polemics: “Ocean acidification is the smoking gun evidence that convicts fossil fuel emissions of harming the planet. You don’t need to believe in climate change to accept that fact.” But although many readers may believe that the facts, and logic, make a shift to solar power inevitable, Stayton’s timeline appears too optimistic, as it requires 20 percent annual growth in solar installations for decades as well as improvements in storage systems. Also shadowing his sunny scenario is a cloud of powerful interests that stand to lose billions of dollars if fossil fuels go unused. Stayton devotes only a short chapter to this opposition—confident that collective, individual choices will drive the transformation. Whatever the pace of solar adoption, however, Stayton does manage to clarify the feasibility of quitting fossil fuels. Whether readers add rooftop solar panels to their homes or just replace their incandescent bulbs after reading this book, they’ll better understand how energy works, how much humans use (and waste), and why an epochal change is coming.

An energy book that’s a pleasure to read and sure to win new solar converts.

Pub Date: April 30, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9904792-0-8

Page Count: -

Publisher: Sandstone Publishing

Review Posted Online: March 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2015

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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