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Crossing the Energy Divide: Moving from Fossil Fuel Dependence to a Clean-Energy Future

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Crossing the Energy Divide: Moving from Fossil Fuel Dependence to a Clean-Energy Future


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The practical, environmentally and economically smart strategy for solving the global energy crisis — starting now

  • How improving the way we manage energy can dramatically reduce fossil fuel usage, supercharge economic growth, and get us to the era of safe, renewable energy.
  •  Solutions that are working today for thousands of companies and organizations.
  • Solving the energy crisis by clearing away ideological blind-spots, structural barriers, bad habits, and outmoded laws.


  • Copyright 2010
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-701544-5
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-701544-3

If we continue our highly inefficient, dangerous energy usage, we’re headed for both economic and environmental catastrophe. However, the hard truth is that alternative fuels can’t fully replace fossil fuels for decades. What’s more, new research indicates that energy inefficiencies are retarding economic growth even more than most experts ever realized.

Crossing the Energy Divide is about solving all these problems at once. The authors, two leading experts in energy and environmental economics, show how massive improvements in energy efficiency can bridge the global economy until clean renewables can fully replace fossil fuels.

Robert and Edward Ayres demonstrate how we can radically reform the way we manage our existing energy systems to double the amount of “energy service” we get from every drop of fossil fuel we use.

These techniques require no scientific breakthroughs: Many companies and institutions are applying them right now, but tens of thousands more could. This book offers a strategic guide for using them to solve the energy crisis once and for all—reducing carbon emissions, achieving true energy security, and reigniting economic growth for decades to come.

More energy, without more emissions

Recapturing lost energy from today’s fossil fuels

There is such a thing as a free lunch

Mitigating climate disaster and improving prosperity at the same time

The future of electricity

Reforming tomorrow’s electrical system: smarter, more productive, and more reliable

The implications for cities, transportation, business, and government

Making the decisions that prepare you for a high-cost energy future

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Crossing the Energy Divide: Recapturing Lost Energy

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Table of Contents

About the Authors     xi

Introduction     The Chasm to Be Crossed    1

Chapter 1        An American Awakening    9

Chapter 2        Recapturing Lost Energy    31

Chapter 3        Engineering an Economic Bridge    45

Chapter 4        The Invisible-Energy Revolution    59

Chapter 5        The Future of Electric Power    79

Chapter 6        Liquid Fuels: The Hard Reality    101

Chapter 7        Vehicles: The End of the Affair    113

Chapter 8        Preparing Cities for the Perfect Storm    125

Chapter 9        The Water-Energy Connection    145

Chapter 10      Policy Priorities    157

Chapter 11      Implications for Business Management    181

Chapter 12      How Much, How Fast?    191

Comments and References    203

Index    227

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