We close with a vision for the future. We are presented with a laundry list of clean energy options that have been successful in communities in our own country as well as other countries around the world. The authors know there is no silver bullet to solve this problem and they introduce us to a host of small and mid-sized regional solutions that, when combined, could provide salvation.
The strength here is the breadth of information, but it comes at the cost of its depth. Clearly there is much critical thought here and attempts are made to include it, but there just isn't the space to do so adequately. For example, in the chapter on agriculture they suggest the possibility of farmers installing systems that would capture the methane from their animals' waste in order to generate electricity. They completely fail to acknowledge that what they're talking about here are factory farms, a system which in and of itself is unsustainable and that has its own set of environmental, ethical, and social issues. While a complete exploration of this topic is obviously outside the purview of this book, to suggest that we draw from one unsustainable environment-damaging system to replace another doesn't seem to be a viable solution.
Easily readable and appropriate as a solid introduction to our modern energy crisis, McNerney and Cheek do a laudable job of organizing a great wealth of information into terms and examples that anyone can understand and relate to. Their call is to the public to put pressure on their congressional leaders and on politicians to have the political will to put the good of the country above their own personal gain. Let's hope that this is the direction that we're headed.