Historically, it was guns, germs, and steel that determined the fates of people and nations. Now, more than ever, it is electricity.
Global demand for power is doubling every two decades, but electricity remains one of the most difficult forms of energy to supply and do so reliably. Today, some three billion people live in places where per-capita electricity use is less than what’s used by an average American refrigerator. How we close the colossal gap between the electricity rich and the electricity poor will determine our success in addressing issues like women’s rights, inequality, and climate change.
In A Question of Power, veteran journalist Robert Bryce tells the human story of electricity, the world’s most important form of energy. Through onsite reporting from India, Iceland, Lebanon, Puerto Rico, New York, and Colorado, he shows how our cities, our money–our very lives–depend on reliable flows of electricity. He highlights the factors needed for successful electrification and explains why so many people are still stuck in the dark.
With vivid writing and incisive analysis, he powerfully debunks the notion that our energy needs can be met solely with renewables and demonstrates why–if we are serious about addressing climate change–nuclear energy must play a much bigger role.
Electricity has fueled a new epoch in the history of civilization. A Question of Power explains how that happened and what it means for our future.