It is one of the best summary of any paper/book I have read for a long time. It certainly satisfies my “a(ccessible) ,e(ntertaining) ,i(nformative) ,o(piniated), u(nderstandible)” principles of writing http://www.sciencenet.cn/m/user_content.aspx?id=50188 It is a role model of how to write a summary.
Upon reading this summary, not only you have learned a lot of things you did not know but also you immediately want to read the entire book which I shall do in due time.
To top it off, the author has made the book entirely free for anyone in the world to download. I’d reproduce the summary here for the convenience of ScienceNet readers except for the fact several of the most informative figures and charts in the summary will not come through. Thus in its place, here is my 100 word summary of the executive summary of the McKay book.
Instead of using hard to digest and understand scientific units and data, the authors transforms the energy needs of a developed country into terms (e.g., kilowatt-hour per day - the energy required to light a 40 watt bulb all day, or the energy require to commute by car for 50 km every day, to take a hot bath, etc.) everyone can understand and feel. He then proceeds to explain how much of the various form of wind, solar, nuclear, and wave energy capacity in these terms we need to meet our daily needs and devise plans to meet these needs.
As a lazy alternative to reading the summary (where you can pause and think as you read) , there is in fact a six minutes You-Tube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UR8wRSp2IXs which you can view on line featuring the author talking about the problems of energy. It is roughly a further dumbed-down version of the summary. By all means read or view the above URLs, you will never feel the same about energy again.