‘Energy for Future Presidents’ Is Informative for All

September 27, 2012

Richard A. Muller may be best known by the students at UC Berkeley as a professor of physics; although he retired in 2009 he continues to give guest lectures on campus. And it was from these humble beginnings that his lessons to future presidents began. It all started with a series of lectures called “Physics for Future Presidents”, in which he gave an overview of modern qualitative physics that he felt every future leader ought to know. After videos of this lecture were posted on YouTube, the series was turned into a book. And now Muller, who is the CEO of international energy consulting group Muller & Associates, has set his sights on the energy crisis with his audio book ‘Energy for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines’. But his work doesn’t just speak to the leaders of tomorrow. It is an easily accessible lesson for all of us concerning the hype in the headlines versus the reality of our environmental status.

There’s a lot to love about this audio book, but one of the best things about Muller is that he delivers information from the eye of an objective observer. While there’s no denying that the environment has become a hot topic that is contentiously debated amongst the political elite, Muller addresses even highly-charged incidents like the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima and the explosion on the BP oil rig without choosing a side, instead focusing on what these disasters have meant to the changing energy landscape. He approaches the current state of energy usage in the world, as well as our potential and probable future, from a critical standpoint. As he explains at one point, “We don’t have an energy crisis; we have a transportation fuel crisis. We don’t have an energy shortage; we have an oil shortage.” He quite simply calls a spade a spade, which is a rather refreshing approach to environmental issues.

He also breaks down several issues of contention, discussing biofuels, electric cars, and alternative forms of energy, just for example. He delves into alternative fuels, including what they are and whether or not they’re sustainable. He talks about energy productivity, giving great examples for listeners to try in their own homes. He goes over big issues like climate change and energy security. And of course, he gives his advice to future leaders. To say that ‘Energy for Future Presidents’ hits all the high points of the energy debate is an understatement. And while Muller mostly avoids the in-depth scientific side of the discussion, no doubt in deference to the layperson, he still manages to impart quite a bit of information to the listener.

Not all of us have the time, money, or inclination to take¬†environmental studies¬†courses in order to learn more about the world in which we live and the effect we’re having on it with our consumer lifestyles. But Muller has brought the classroom to you with ‘Energy for Future Presidents’. So if you’re looking for a largely unbiased overview of the so-called “energy crisis”, this will give you a fairly comprehensive springboard from which to form an intelligent opinion. And it couldn’t hurt to know more about this issue since it will almost certainly play a role in the upcoming election.

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