Item description for Energy In The 21st Century by John R. Fanchi...
Energy may be the most important factor that will influence the shape of society in the 21st century. The cost and availability of energy significantly impacts our quality of life, the health of national economies, the relationships between nations, and the stability of our environment. What kind of energy do we want to use in our future? Will there be enough? What will the consequences of our decisions be? Every one of us has a stake in the answers to these questions and the decisions that are being made to provide energy. The choices we make today will effect generations to come. What kind of future do we want to prepare for them? We can make the best decisions by being aware of our options and the consequences of our choices. This informative book examines how society can make the transition from a reliance on fossil fuels to energy independence. The reader is exposed to a broad range of energy types and will develop an appreciation of the role that each energy type may play in the future. Energy in the 21st Century was written to give the concerned citizen enough information about energy to make informed decisions and contribute to the debate.
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Studio: World Scientific Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 0.5" Weight: 0.85 lbs.
Release Date Mar 11, 2005
Publisher World Scientific Publishing Company
ISBN 9812561951 ISBN13 9789812561954
Reviews - What do customers think about Energy In The 21st Century?
A Mere Introduction To Energy, Great For Pre-College Kids! Apr 23, 2006
At first read, Fanchi's Energy in the 21st century is a mere introduction to the historical concepts and processes of human's endless quests and successes of extracting energy for commercial use. The book provides three things; a historical template of all energy procurements that served mankind since the dawn of civilization, a faux-empirical discussion on the energy options today, and thirdly potential energy options for tommorrow and what they mean for us, both economically and envirnmentally, today.
In the historical portions, Fanchi succeeds in communicating historical epochs and progressions in the field of science and energy with time-charts and longitudinal comparisons of energy used and energy costs.
The middle chunk of the book consists of Fanchi's examination of our energy options today. In this regard, Fanchi only succeeds in laying out what options are readily or not readily available, however he fails to properly discuss indept what each energy source really is. In the fossil fuels chapter he begins to discuss Shale Oil and Tar Sands (pg. 43) as a very likely direction for the future of fossil fuel extraction. He sets it up to be discussed in depth but leaves you with questions as he moves on to a totally different topic in the next 3 sentences. I say he fails, because there are to many instances where this "jumping foward" occurs. He does the same thing when describing Nuclear Fusion as the future of nuclear energy then he skips off topic to address an earlier mentioning of Global Dependence on Nuclear power in the next paragraph.
Finally, Fanchi discusses the future of energy. Here he injects alot of professional opinions of the energy crisis and the best directions for us to follow. He also has some predictions based on stuff he got off a few websites. I'm not going to say much on that, other than it is interesting insight to see what the experts really think.
Overall, the book is written at a level suitable for junior high school and high school kids who would be interested in the subject (And I hope they are).
If anything, I would definately recommend this book to JHS/HS teachers of environmental science to insert into their significant to us, our habits, our environment and our future.
If you are an adult or college student then I would suggest don't waste time and money on this book and get the "Energy Technology and Directions for the Future, First Edition" text by Fanchi. I've read that one as well and noted that Fanchi goes in depth on all the things (with much better and necessary technical examples) he missed explaining in "Energy In the 21st..."
As an envirnomental engineer grad student who is interesting in entering the energy sector workforce next year, I found that "Energy Technology and Directions for the Future, First Edition" to be a more perfect read and great bookshelf companion.
Great Insight into Energy Policy Jan 18, 2006
As a high school science teacher for twenty five years, Energy in the 21st Century would be an excellent book for an advanced high school level class or an introductory college level class. The book has a good overview to energy policy and insight that a non-major science student could understand regarding the past and future energy policy in our country.
This book will not only help every student and teacher to understand the problems of energy, but to help come up with possible solutions as to how these problems can be addressed. A good instructor should be able to take the information and give students insights creating thoughtful debates and the development of research projects.
Energy in the 21st Century invokes the question of how do you balance our energy policies with what people perceive as reality. It stimulates the thought of balancing our country's energy policy with environmental concerns. The book doesn't offer answers to our energy concerns but gets the reader to investigate possible energy solutions.
The Points to Ponder segments take science and relates it with economics and opens doors for the reader to think about how energy decisions have been made in the past and where it may be going in the future. Dr. Fanchi's book not only gives the basic structure and science of energy, but also questions were we're going with energy. It shares both positive and negative sides of the use of energy from both a science and environmental perspective. Energy in the 21st Century is well balanced in it's arguments and offers an investigating forecast into future events.
From A Practicing Electrical Engineer Nov 29, 2005
This is an excellent general book for anyone who wishes a quick overview of the field of energy. It quickly presents the basic subjects related to energy in an way understandable to anyone with a high-school or above education and may be very effective in introducing high-school level readers to the field of energy and the problems involved with the various forms.
Unlike many books on energy it does not try to push any particular energy agenda. It does not include a bunch of questionable statistics to try to obscure problems with the various forms of energy nor does it try to paint a too-rosy picture of any particular form. It is a good, quick, even- handed discussion of the production, use of and problems with energy in the various forms in which it is used.
I would highly recommend it for:
1. The general reader who wants a easily understood book dealing with a subject that can be complicated.
2. Anyone who wants a quick read that gives a good even-handed overview of the field of energy.
3. An engineering student (or perhaps a future engineering student) who may want to know more about energy related engineering subjects.
Also, even though this is a easy book to understand, I learned much from it even after having worked in an energy related field for many years.
I would highly recommend this book.
Disappointing Book Nov 16, 2005
Prof. Fanchi has had a distinguished career in energy, and has written a number of excellent technical books. I approached this general-reader volume on energy with high expectations -- which were quickly dashed. What this books shows most clearly is the corrosive effects of Political Correctness on US universities, and the resulting plunge in academic standards.
The PC slime starts with the ahistorical rejection of AD/BC dates, and slides on down from there. There is a startling absence of well-organized data on energy in this book. The key topic of thermodynamics is completely ignored -- even though that is essential to understanding why the energy content of fuel input to a power plant is 2-4 times the electric energy output from the plant. Important facts about energy sources are glossed over -- such as the demonstrated need to continue to run conventional power plants to back up wind-power plants since the wind can drop at any moment. Fusion power, which is beyond today's technology, is put on a pedestal -- unfortunately with incorrect statements. (Contrary to statements in the book, many fusion power cycles do indeed create radioactive waste, due to the high neutron fluxes they generate). Although the chapter on hydrogen is properly titled "Hydrogen - An Energy Carrier", the text seriously downplays the problem that hydrogen is not a primary source of energy. As one might expect by this stage, the coverage of anthropogenic global warming owes more to Politically Correct platitudes than to serious science.
Read this book if you want to get a sense for how bad things are in US universities. If you want a useful book on energy for the general reader, look instead at "Energy: a historical perspective and 21st Century forecast", by Amos Salvador (AAPG Study #54).
Accessible, but lacking in imagination Sep 24, 2005
This book is a general-audience version of Fanchi's 2004 college textbook "Energy: Technology and Directions for the Future" and as such is a reasonably neutral look at most of the energy challenges and options we have in the coming century. Fanchi does cover most of the major points in detail, but I found the coverage lacking in imagination - and in some cases already made obsolete by the recent rise in oil prices.
Fanchi toes the line with a very conventional treatment of these issues - for example, using national energy intensity numbers to indicate energy efficiency without mentioning any of the caveats involved, or over-emphasizing energy density in a treatment of the usefulness of different types of fuel. Worst in this regard is the long discussion of hydrogen without making very clear why hydrogen isn't an energy source like crude oil.
The book also contains some real errors - some minor (our sun is good for billions, not just millions, of years) but some more significant. Decay of nuclear waste is not accelerated by sitting in water. Use of biomass for fuel need make no net contribution to greenhouse gases, but Fanchi states these emissions "are as important to biomass consumption as they are to fossil fuel consumption".
The book does convey some of the basic issues in energy technology for the coming century at a publicly accessible level. For the most part the images and tables are simple and used effectively, although some are not fully explained. The book is a quick read thanks to a large font and line-spacing. It also ends with some informative points on economics and forecasting, and an interesting comparison between some projections of future energy use and supply, suggesting there is still a lot we don't know.