Before the Lights Go Out: Maggie's energy book is thoughtful, timely, necessary


11 Responses to “Before the Lights Go Out: Maggie's energy book is thoughtful, timely, necessary”

  1. relentless says:

    Saying the man who bought the first power station from Edison was not a ‘supergenius’ is both factually incorrect and dangerous. Choosing to invest in technology at its infancy is no easier and no less important than inventing new technologies.

    The world has plenty of Thomas Edison ‘supergeniuses’ and far too few investor ‘supergeniuses’ to bring their inventions to the masses. Edison made it possible to see the light of electricity, but without someone willing to take considerable financial risk by buying the ‘first’ power plant, nobody would have bought the second one… and his grand invention would never have seen the light of day.

    • digi_owl says:

       I think the guy did it on more of a “would it be cool if” whim then some “this is something that will change the world!” insight.

    • PeterBensley says:

      I think you’ll find the problem isn’t a shortage of people willing to take financial risks to invest in new technology, but rather the fact that only a small minority of those people are incredibly rich.

      But please don’t let me keep you from your deification of the wealthy.

  2. steve849 says:

    I’d think even more would get the important messages in this book if it had a Kindle price of less than $14.99. 

  3. digi_owl says:

    And the core message about sustainability will always be that there is not a one size fits all cure-all in this.

  4. t3kna2007 says:

    Yay Maggie!  This is a big day.  Here’s the whole Internet doing the wave for you:



  5. penguinchris says:

    Congratulations Maggie, and I’m really looking forward to reading it – only had a chance to read the intro so far. 

    Though I have a lot of books, when I received this in the mail from Amazon a couple days ago I started thinking – I believe this is actually the first time I’ve bought a hardcover new release.

  6. surfthis says:

    Just got mine today. Looking forward to reading Maggie’s excellent writing!! 

  7. dan says:

    Read the first couple of chapters while biking this AM.  It’s a small thing, but what I especially like so far is the Midwest-ness of it.  How often does a mainstream book locate itself so deliberately in the flyover?  I lived in MPLS for about 20 years, and am currently working on selling a home in New England so I can get back to the North Woods.  So it’s fun and somehow sort-of calming to get sensible science and policy ideas from the center of the US.

  8. lighthouse10 says:

    A lot of energy saving presumptions are misleading, particularly when it comes to using electricity and lighting.

    So in this case, as an example, effectively the same Coal gets burned at nighttime, regardless of whether lights are on or off:

    As seen and referenced, it is also just one of the many false arguments behind the banning of simple cheap incandescent light bulbs

    • PeterBensley says:

      That’s a specious argument. Yes, using less energy won’t save fuel if you’re running the same capacity of base load power stations, but if you use less energy you can get by with fewer base load stations, or (in the case of reducing nighttime power usage) moving capacity from base load to intermediate/peak load.

      The argument simply isn’t constructed in the interests of accuracy, but because someone is grumpy because he has to go to slightly more effort to buy incandescent lightbulbs.

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