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Dawn of the Solar Age

Dawn of the Solar Age
An End to Global Warming and to Fear

© 2018 | 308 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd

Our planet is growing hotter, which is mainly due to the burning of fossil fuels. Yet, most of us remain chained to the belief that there is no alternative source of energy sufficiently plentiful and cheap.

Dawn of the Solar Age provides a blueprint for shifting the energy base of human civilisation out of fossil fuels and successfully reducing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The author shows how the commercialisation of fully proven technologies—that can provide limitless amounts of renewable energy and entirely replace all fossil fuels—is being delayed to serve the purposes of dominant corporations and nations. He studies the economic viability of these technologies and tells us how we can avert the imminent disaster that we face today. He concludes that the transition out of fossil fuels, though difficult, need not be too slow to prevent irreparable damage.

Foreword by M. S. Swaminathan
Part I: Where We Are Today
Elements of a Perfect Storm
A Desperate Search for Remedies
Blind Alleys and Red Herrings
Part II: What Can Save Us
Solar Thermal Revolution
The Strange Neglect of Biomass
Transport Fuels Are the Place to Start
Limitless Potential of Biomass
Completing the Energy Shift—Hydrogen from Sunlight
Part III: The Market Economy Is Not a Friend
The Inertia of the Market Economy
Where the World Went Wrong
Backlash: Attack on Climate Science
Part IV: Gateway to a Better World
How the Sun Will Change Our World
Catch Up: India as a Case Study
Retreat from War Index

The author is one of India’s most renowned journalists and a former member of the Bruntland Commission. He has been at the heart of India’s national discussion of sustainable development for decades and brings to the subject a wide international experience, a fierce understanding of technology and science, and a gift for communicating complex subjects in accessible and engaging language.

Since the brief surge of optimism that followed the signing of Paris Agreement a starker sense of reality has set in. The pledges agreed in Paris take the world to an increase of 3.5°C, well beyond any idea of safe levels. Already there is alarming evidence of an accelerating warming that risks pushing the world beyond the threshold at which human action could prevent catastrophe. The Trump administration is spearheading a pushback by fossil fuel interests that will slow the effort further.

Against this background, Prem Shankar Jha offers a clear way forward. The book is an exploration of the options for avoiding dangerous climate change, starting from the essential question: Given that we know how to effect a transition to a low-carbon economy, and given the catastrophic risk to human civilisations that climate change represents, why have we failed to respond?

Isabel Hilton
Columnist and reviewer for The Guardian

This is an extremely timely book. Today, as the perception of the risks facing humanity from the worsening impact of climate change is beginning to sink into the public’s consciousness, this book comes as an antidote to despair. For it shows not only that the technologies needed for an immediate shift out of fossil fuels have already been found, but that some of them have been around for almost a century. Perversely, on account of inertia in the system and the power of vested interests, these have been neglected to the detriment of all species on planet earth, including human society. Prem Shankar Jha’s book also solves a riddle that has puzzled the climate science community for more than a decade: when the world’s governments could create the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to identify and assess the threat of climate change, why did they fail utterly to convert into action the solutions identified by the IPCC?

R.K. Pachauri
Former Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

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ISBN: 9789386602992