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Clean Energy Nation: Freeing America From the Tyranny of Fossil Fuels    by Jerry McNerney & Martin Cheek order for
Clean Energy Nation
by Jerry McNerney
Order:  USA  Can
AMACOM, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

'Unfortunately, far too many Americans do not fully comprehend how our lives, our families, our values, and our fortunes are jeopardized by our continued dependence on fossil fuels,' write the authors of this book which attempts to raise the public's awareness about the dangers of our continued reliance on fossil fuels for energy production.

'They do not truly see the dangers we must deal with in the coming decades, from other nations for dwindling petroleum resources; and the humanitarian threat of disease, poverty, and climate change.'

Of course, McNerney and Cheek intend to both define those dangers and suggest some alternative energy strategies that will make the bleak scenario they paint less of a sure-thing reality in the decades to come. Appealing to both the reader's sense of patriotism and the can-do mentality that made the United States an industrial leader and world power, this book looks at renewalable, clean energy options that range from solar and wind power to biofuel feed stocks and thermal powered energy plants.

Although this is certainly timely, there really isn't anything new or terribly innovative in this volume. It covers concerns already voiced by scientists, politicians, and individuals. Those who read it will probably agree with everything they find here, so the authors are reaching an audience that is already well aware of the problems and some of the solutions underscored in the book.

A former energy consultant and renewable energy engineer, Jerry McNerney is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California's 11th congressional district. Martin Cheek is a journalist who specializes in science and high tech subjects. It would appear that this book, which utilizes the skills of a professional writer, is more of an attempt to solidify the congressman's credentials as a concerned politician who cares about the environment and energy self -sufficiency than it is a groundbreaking discussion of the subject.

With elections looming next year and the American public's confidence in their national leaders hitting an all time low after the recent budget impasse debacle, this book seems a little too self-serving. Perhaps this is being overly skeptical, but right now anything associated with an American politician from either party, especially a book, doesn't have much appeal.

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