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Book Review: There Is No Energy Problem by Coleman Raphael

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Most Americans are aware that their country is precariously dependent on, or worse, addicted to oil, especially foreign oil and that this oil is a limited energy resource. That awareness, in general, is based primarily on the price of gas at the pump. In his new book, There Is No Energy Problem, author Coleman Raphael contends that Americans and our government need to prepare now for the fact that the world is running out of oil. He states in his Introduction and Summary, that, in support of this need, the two objectives of his book “are to show that energy is the basis for all of life’s activities and to show that energy will not disappear.”

To look at this small 139-page book, the typical reader might wrongly conclude that such a slight volume could not possibly fully address what they might perceive as a complex, scientific subject. In fact, There Is No Energy Problem is designed to be primer on energy that enables lay readers to easily understand the subject. Raphael’s professional background in physics and other relevant disciplines, combined with his ability to present his content without using complex, scientific terms, makes the book approachable for “every citizen.”

The book’s content flows logically and clearly. First, the reader is given an overview of energy and its various forms. How the world is currently using these energy sources is explored followed by a look at the types and available quantities of energy sources. This content will be particularly enlightening for many readers. Next, the author reviews the alternative fuel sources, electricity, fuel cells, and hydrogen.

This completes the energy primer and Raphael spends the remainder of the book presenting his thinking on the secondary components of a 21st-century U.S. Energy Plan and his case for making solar energy the cornerstone of that plan. Raphael points out in his Introduction that the closing chapter of the book on the cost of his proposed plan might be of most interest to readers. Heretofore there is no mention of this aspect in the preceding chapters.

For this reader, There Is No Energy Problem achieves the goals set out by the author in his opening Summary. Collectively, scientific and social observers concur that the understanding and attitude of the vast majority of Americans leaves them woefully unprepared for the role they must play in adapting to the depletion of world oil supplies. Many U.S. administrations have attempted to treat the country’s addiction to oil, especially foreign oil, without success. In There Is No Energy Problem, Coleman Raphael makes it clear, without preaching, that that we must all become “Citizen Scientists” in order to know enough to make informed decisions about the plans that are ultimately presented to us by our government regarding our global energy future. This book has a place in every home library.

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  • http://www.lunch.com/DrJosephSMaresca Dr Joseph S Maresca

    More homeowners are converting to natural gas to save money in the long term despite conversion costs. Energy efficient autos are utilizing natural gas, electricity, batteries and hybrids of gas and electric. The end of the road comes when the “Artificial Sun” is perfected and virtual power becomes commercially feasible.

  • Igor

    All the energy the USA needs falls every day on the Nevada desert in a patch 90 miles on a side. That’s with todays primitive solar cells.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Igor –

    What, are you some kind of tree-hugging communist-socialist-nazi-anarchist??? How DARE you claim that the way to solve our energy woes is to do anything but send our money to the Middle East despite the fact that we’re now a net oil exporter since we now export more oil than we import!!!

  • Igor

    IMO exporting natural resources is the path to colonization and oppression. We were better off when we imported cheap foreign oil. Domestic gas prices have gone up steadily since we started drilling more, contrary to the promises of rightist “drill, baby, drill” proponents.