“Writing Renewable Energy – Facts and Fantasies was a great project. I had fun doing it, readers loved it, and a whole bunch of people bought it within the first week or so,” says Shields. “Now it’s time to move along – but before I do that, why not put it in as many people’s hands as possible?”
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There is no doubt that the migration to clean energy is the most pressing issue of our time. Whether our worries are global warming, peak oil, national security, or simply America’s competitiveness in world markets, or our siphoning off another $1 billion in our wealth off to foreign entities every day, 365 days a year, there is definitely room for concern. In fact, you’ll have to try hard to find anyone who thinks that our addiction to oil and coal is a good thing. But, looking at the problem in practical, realistic terms, how can we “get there from here?”
According to Shields, “The truth is that we face tough realities. The technologies are constantly improving, albeit at an uneven rate. And big money and politics make this ten times more complicated than it would have been if we were not talking about energy – home to the largest and most sophisticated business interests on Earth. As I imply in the book’s title, we live in a world in which not everything is possible, and we must make difficult choices as we migrate away from fossil fuels in the direction of clean energy.”
The book is based on interviews with 25 of the world’s top researchers, authors, analysts and industry leaders – a surprisingly large percentage of whom point to these “tough realities” that exist in the technology migration, the economic implications, and the political issues that affect the world energy industry.
Shields continues, “All of us – well, almost all of us – want clean energy. Whether our concerns are healthcare issues caused by emissions, enriching terrorists, military conflicts, social chaos and injustice, global climate change, or other forms of long-term environmental damage, there is no doubt that we need to put an end to our reliance on fossil fuels. But it’s just not that easy. We would do well to understand the realities if we are to have informed, relevant discussions as to what we must do as a nation – and as a civilization.”
Though Shields is by nature a modest gentleman, he doesn’t hide the fact that he believed in the book’s success from the onset. “I wrote it for several different groups – each fairly large. There are people who simply want a broad and objective treatment of the subject. There’s a great deal of science, current events, international relationships, and economics to keep tabs on; that’s not an easy task for anyone,” Shields explains. “But there is also a significant business audience,” as folks see a multi-trillion dollar industry forming and say, ‘Hey, I’d like to be a part of that too.’”