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Post details: Book Review - "Hey Mr. Green"

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Permalink 04:45:25 pm, Categories: Background, 363 words   English (US)

Book Review - "Hey Mr. Green"

Hey Mr. Green bookThe Sierra magazine environmental advice columnist Bob Schildgen (aka Mr. Green) has compiled advice on a wide variety of topics, including biofuels, in a new ~200 pg. book - "Hey Mr. Green". Just to double check - I first made sure the book was printed on 100% post-consumer waste - yup. The book is organized into 5 sections based around the topics Home, Food, Fuel, Recycling, and The Big Picture. Each section has an introductory essay followed by a selection of questions and answers from the column. The author consistently injects humor and erudition into the answers, while keeping a central theme of conservation humming in the background. 15 pages of end notes provide references for the facts and figures used in the answers.
The main message of the Fuel section is to reduce the use of cars - as he writes "Carbon-free doesn't beat car-free". I found the explanation of how 100 gallons of fossil fuel turn into 2000 pounds of CO2 easy to follow. Living on the Space Coast, the question and answer about private space travel was thought provoking. A question about the green-worthiness of a biodiesel powered Jeep Liberty CRD elicited a reasoned response beginning with:

"Biodiesel is a good choice for many drivers: It pollutes less than ordinary diesel fuel and generates a lot less globe-warming carbon dioxide than gasoline does."

That advice is tempered with the caution that

"it's a big mistake to think [biodiesel] is a 'perfect solution' to our energy problems."

He goes on to explain the limits of farmland fuel production in this country. In another answer to an ethanol question a bigger picture solution is offered:

"What we really need is a crash program for efficient mass transit, stricter fuel-economy regulations, and a serious commitment to developing solar, wind, and tidal power. In addition, a vast amount of energy could be saved if we all reduced our car use; made our homes as energy efficient as possible; and stuck to the speed limit when we do drive, making sure our vehicles are well tuned and our tires properly inflated."

Other questions answered in the book range from birth control to burial methods, always answered in an intelligent non-preachy way. An enjoyable green read.



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