Sustainability without the hot air

A fantastic book for anyone who wants to learn about the basics of sustainability and do some simple calculations on energy usage.

David John Cameron MacKayFRS, is the professor of natural philosophy in the department of Physics at the University of Cambridge and chief scientific adviser to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Before being appointed to the DECC, MacKay was most well known as author of the book Sustainable Energy — Without the Hot Air.

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If you are interested in sustainability, then you might want to look at this book as well, which is aptly titled ‘Sustainable Materials – with both eyes open’.

It is a follow-up book to David MacKay’s Sustainable Energy – without the hot air, the no. 2 green/enviro bestseller in 2009 and 2010, which had a large influence on both government policy and public opinion of how we should plan our energy for the future. (Like Sustainable Energy, the new book is available free online for personal non-commercial use, as well as in paperback and hardback.)

The steel and aluminium industries alone account for nearly 30% of global emissions, and demand is rising. The world target is to reduce industry’s carbon emissions by 50% by 2050. However, projections are that world demand for materials will double by 2050, so to meet our emissions target, we have to achieve a 4-fold reduction in emissions per unit of material used: industry will have to make huge changes – not just to the processes involved, but to the entire product life-cycle.

The book presents a vision of change for how future generations can still use steel, cement, plastics etc., but with less impact on the environment. First it’s a wake-up call, then it’s a solutions manual. The solutions presented here are ahead of the game now. By providing an evidence-based vision of change, the book can play a significant role in influencing our future.

The book has been written for: designers; engineers; operations, technical, and business managers; traders; government and NGO officials associated with business, climate, energy, environment, waste, trade and financing. It is relevant to a wide range of industries: energy: steel and aluminium; mining; construction; consulting; manufacturing; transport, automotive, aerospace, marine; architecture. The style of the book is intended for a popular audience as well as the specialist.

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