BOOK REVIEW: The Unpopular Truth about Electricity and the Future of Energy

Book Review by Kip Hansen — 23 December 2022

It may be a little late to order this book for yourself as a Christmas present but from the right source you might be able to get the hardcopy for a cozy read over the long New Year’s weekend.  And if you want to save a lot of money, try the Kindle version —  and you’ll have it immediately!

[International Note:  In Europe try Lehmann’s or in the UK]

Readers here already know that the Climate Wars are not really about the climate or any climate.  The Climate Wars are primarily about where modern civilization gets its power. Where we get our energy.  The Climate Wars are a backdoor attack on human civilization – particularly  the civilizations of the poor who, according to the self-declared great minds that are organizing the Great Reset, must remain poor, especially energy poor.  The Climate Wars comprise, primarily, a war against the massively beneficial use of coal, petroleum and natural gas – the source of power that produces the energy that humans use for nearly every good purpose.   

The world’s governments are spending your tax dollars (and € and ₣ and ₱ and ¥ and £) subsidizing solar and wind power projects all over the world with the intent of replacing the current dependable coal, oil and natural gas power plants with Variable Renewable Energy.

And that’s basically ”the rub”.  We all like renewable energy.  What is problematic is Variable Renewable Energy

If you are tired of having the “renewable energy” conversation with your colleagues at work, your family and friends, it is most likely because when it comes right down to it, you know that it’s a problem, but you can’t really put up a good reasoned presentation on why it isn’t going to work with mankind’s present technologies and why such “free energy” is actually more expensive in the real world.

Dr. Lars Schernikau  and  Prof. Willam Hayden Smith to the rescue!

Their new book, The Unpopular Truth about Electricity and the Future of Energy, will give you the information you need to talk about this topic with a sense of authority backed by real information.  But even better than that, it will educate you on what Power and Energy are, how they are produced, and how they help build and keep civilization going. 

This incredibly detailed book, full of clear and informative illustrations, covers so many important topics in the power, energy and electricity fields that it is difficult to list them, but here is a sampling:

Primary energy vs. electricity – What’s the difference?

Wind and solar renewable energy — Is it really renewable? Is it really cheaper?

Installed capacity vs. generated electricity — How these terms are used to fool governments and bilk investors

Hydrogen and batteries  —Can they really solve the electrical storage problem?

Transmission and distribution — The real hidden problem facing  both solar and wind and the shift to electric battery-powered vehicles.

Energy shortages and energy starvation  — Already a problem in much of the world.

Net energy returns on investment (eROI)

“Net-Zero”, “decarbonization”, the “energy transition” and the future for energy and what that means for sustainability.

This is not a book for your local school district – it is not a children’s book.  It would be a good addition at the local community college or university library.   It is a book written by scientists for the educated general public. 

If you can understand and learn from most of the essays at this web site, then you have enough background to read and learn from this book.  Don’t sell yourself short and don’t be scared off – this book is accessible for anyone who can read a mainstream newspaper or any of the popular science magazines.    What it isn’t is a continuous stream of silly and uninformative energy talking points or a rant against alternative energy.  Rather you will find the real answers to hard questions about how the world powers itself today and a serious discussion of what we could and should do as we move forward.

Written by two very knowledgeable scientists, this book is not just their opinions and collected facts, it is backed by 12 pages of references to articles and papers, the majority of which are supplied with shortened web links for quick access. 

If you are serious about learning the facts about the world’s energy systems and problems – and potential solutions – then this is the book for you.

Bottom Line:  Highly recommended.

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Stephen Wilde
December 23, 2022 2:18 am

Compulsory for all politicians.

Tom Johnson
Reply to  Stephen Wilde
December 23, 2022 4:42 am

You’re assuming that they are capable of reading and then understanding the information. Their track record on that says otherwise – on both counts.

Reply to  Tom Johnson
December 23, 2022 5:35 am

It seems that the puppet masters want us dead. But first, they want to confuse us in order to rob us.

Reply to  Tom Johnson
December 23, 2022 8:46 am

They don’t read the bills they pass, so why would they read any books?

Reply to  Tom Johnson
December 23, 2022 3:58 pm

The vast majority of politicians only care about acquiring money and power. Using “Climate Change” as an excuse to arrogate power is totally independent of any unfortunate consequences for everyone else. They couldn’t care less about facts and reason.

Reply to  JamesB_684
December 24, 2022 12:50 am

I strongly suspect that, if any attention is paid to any literature sent to their attention, it get passed to a staff person who will see if they can find any particulars that can be used to support something the politician wants to push.

Reply to  Stephen Wilde
December 23, 2022 8:45 am

Compulsory for all politicians.

Wishful thinking. ‘Politicians’ are mostly self-selected knowitalls who love to transmit, but whose receivers are plugged with self-righteous earwax.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Stephen Wilde
December 23, 2022 9:55 am

 Congress critters can read the book after they read
the 4,100 pages of the Omnibus Pork Bill.

Reply to  Stephen Wilde
December 26, 2022 4:25 pm

🙂 “This is not a book for your local school district – it is not a children’s book.”

Stephen Wilde
December 23, 2022 2:20 am

And if CO2 does not control the climate the whole edifice collapses.

Reply to  Stephen Wilde
December 23, 2022 5:53 am

Around here, temperature records are being set opposite of warming expectations. I’m thankful that this cold front is beginning to leave.

In Wyoming they just set their all time low temperature (-42 F in Casper).

Reply to  Scissor
December 23, 2022 9:54 am

My son lives in Casper. He planned to leave to visit us in Las Vegas NV Wednesday but the storm stopped that. He was waiting for the roads from Casper to the interstate to thaw enough for him to travel.

It was – 30 f when we spoke Wednesday.

BTW; He is driving an AWD/4 WD truck with MS tires and is a professional truck driver but still won’t push it since it is SOOO COOOOLLLLDD.

Update: He is on the road now, “driving on ice”. He is taking it easy in AWD.

Reply to  Stephen Wilde
December 23, 2022 7:30 am

Stephen Wilde:

CO2 does NOT control the climate.

See “Net-Zero Catastrophe Beginning?”

December 23, 2022 2:27 am

“it is not a children’s book”

Indeed, children’s books are LGBTQIZzzzzz compliant. Such a drag…

December 23, 2022 2:28 am

Please stop calling it “renewable”. There’s no such thing as renewable energy.

Reply to  raybbr
December 23, 2022 3:46 am

“Renewable” in the same way that your strawberry patch can give you a supply of strawberries, if conditions are right, but the quantities will be variable, from bucket loads to zip, and unless you want gorge on them until you have the worst belly ache, you have to put a lot aside to consume in later sessions.

But then the produced strawberries spoil and decompose unless frozen and stored for use as and when required.

Conclusion: if we can solve intermittently of supply and reliable long-term storage and replenishment of that randomly produced energy. we’ll have the know-how to indulge our strawberry appetites whenever we desire.

What a first-world proposition to ponder, hey?

Reply to  Mr.
December 23, 2022 9:59 pm

You can store strawberries as jam.

Don’t know how to make electric jam.

Reply to  Hasbeen
December 26, 2022 4:27 pm

Strawberry jam and ice cream 🙂

Reply to  Mr.
December 24, 2022 12:53 am

It is called long distance refrigerated shipping.

Reply to  raybbr
December 23, 2022 5:56 am

It is called renewable because the generating units have a very short life so they have to be renewed often.

December 23, 2022 3:15 am

Renewable is all fine, but building 21 century version of ‘Stonehenge’ to capture electricity from the space (aka Tesla’s patents) is a bit over the top. Coordinates are there, so you’ve been warned ‘Keep Out’ ! since few military guys are about apparently ‘beaming messages out of space to Russia’, if you are prepared to believe it.
Only joking. 🙂

Reply to  vuk
December 23, 2022 8:49 am

“Only joking.”

Hard to tell lately…

Steve Case
December 23, 2022 3:44 am

 “free energy” is actually more expensive in the real world.

Coal is free too, all you have to do is dig it out of the ground. The last time I checked, a backhoe is cheaper than a 500 foot tall Wind “Turbine”

Reply to  Steve Case
December 23, 2022 4:15 am

“You’re gonna need a bigger backhoe”.

Rick C
Reply to  Steve Case
December 23, 2022 10:40 am

The cost of harvesting energy is inversely proportional to the energy density of source. Of course this relationship can be manipulated by regulation and taxes, but it holds true under genuine free market conditions.

Dean S
Reply to  Steve Case
December 23, 2022 4:24 pm

A wind turbine costs approximately USD1.3m per MW of capacity. Commercial ones are mostly less than USD5m.

That won’t even buy you a large mining truck at most coal mines these days, let alone an excavator. Size gives you economies of scale, the preferred diggers these days are between USD15m to USD25m.

December 23, 2022 3:47 am

Love to buy this but here in the UK it’s a 153 page paperback for 21 pounds on Amazon. I wish there was another option for those who are kindle-averse.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Miha
December 23, 2022 4:43 am

Energy over which you have no control is useless and not renewable. Solutions to the problem pre-fossil fuels included Horse Latitudes and Horse Mills once fairly common around where I grew up in Perthshire

Reply to  Kip Hansen
December 24, 2022 3:37 pm

Kip, I understand your preference and the reasons. Personally, though, I prefer to stick with reading glasses. You can’t silently change printed books behind the owner’s back. Call me paranoid but I’m not quite that certain when it comes to digital books.

B Zipperer
Reply to  Kip Hansen
December 26, 2022 8:50 am

I agree, however the bigest downside of the Kindle is lack of color.
I’m reading Vinos’ “Winter Gatekeeper ” book [Kindle version] and many of the graphs are hard to interpret without colors.
btw I do encourage people to read it; even in black & white; it is a good read.

December 23, 2022 5:09 am


I can’t remember a time when being collectively stuffed was ever popular. But the media lurves it – so much, it’s baffled when the prognostications of calamity fail to materialise.

We got lucky’: inside California’s strangely quiet wildfire year

“Summer came and went, the weather warmed and the hillsides yellowed across the state, while residents held their breath. But a giant blaze or siege of simultaneous infernos – the events that have defined recent fire seasons – failed to appear.

As they are touting this year as the hottest year since the last one, where did all the wildfires go? How can that be?? Just don’t mention the hurricane season….

And the arrogance and hubris go on

“Emperor penguin at risk of extinction, along with two-thirds of native Antarctic species, research shows
International study projects up to 80% of emperor penguin colonies will be ‘quasi-extinct’ by 2100

“influencing global policy to effectively limit climate change is the most beneficial conservation strategy”

Hands up all those who truly believe we can halt the climate in its tracks. Now seek help.

Now the Guardian tells its readers that Californian rewilding is in fact neglect…

an accumulation of dry vegetation, fueled by decades of neglect by forest managers and a prolonged drought, has set the stage for megafires of extreme size and severity.

Now, that is funny.

Last edited 1 month ago by strativarius
Dave Andrews
Reply to  strativarius
December 23, 2022 7:01 am

What the heck does ‘quasi-extinct’ mean ? My dictionary defines quasi as “in a certain manner, sense or degree : in appearance only”

Surely if something is extinct it no longer exists, you can’t have partial extinction. These people don’t know what they are talking about.

Reply to  Dave Andrews
December 23, 2022 7:10 am

What the heck does ‘quasi-extinct’ mean ?

Good question. I wish I knew.

Reply to  strativarius
December 23, 2022 8:16 am

It means somebody couldn’t find any still alive. But they may not have looked very hard.

Curious George
Reply to  strativarius
December 23, 2022 2:40 pm

Surely it must be a committee-bestowed designation.

Reply to  Dave Andrews
December 23, 2022 8:29 am

It is the same technique the leftists use to promote fear by changing names of terms that would normally be innocuous. It includes the word extinction so it’s scarier.
Like referring to ocean Ph levels becoming less alkaline as “acidification”.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Dave Andrews
December 23, 2022 5:35 pm

Ask Schrödinger about his cat.

Reply to  strativarius
December 23, 2022 2:32 pm

Are these the same penguins that decided on a different destination last year before the greenies said they had gone extinct? Only a few million left?

Reply to  strativarius
December 26, 2022 4:30 pm

The penguins just moved to the other side of the peninsula !

December 23, 2022 5:10 am
Dean S
Reply to  observa
December 23, 2022 4:26 pm

Yes that high pressure system responsible is playing havoc with my Bass Strait adventure plans over the New Year period………

B Zipperer
Reply to  observa
December 26, 2022 9:07 am

Thx. From the link:
“The biggest contribution over the 10 days and a bit came from wind energy, with a 67.6 per cent share over that time, while large scale solar – heavily curtailed because of negative prices and the impact of rooftop PV – contribute just 6.1 per cent.”

So, they can average > 100% [plus curtailment?] but leave out the fact that there were gaps where they needed some backup or their connections to the state of Victoria.
Reminds me of the joke “Did you hear about the statistician that drowned in a river that on average was only 3 ft deep?”

December 23, 2022 5:43 am

Kip says:”We all like renewable energy.

Sorry Kip I don’t like renewable energy unless oil, coal, natural gas are considered renewable. Hydro is ok.

Reply to  mkelly
December 23, 2022 6:00 am
Reply to  Scissor
December 23, 2022 6:07 am

No, of course it isn’t legal. It’s thoughtcrime.

December 23, 2022 7:28 am

Correction — the climate wars are not about climate and the war on fossil fuels is not about emissions. Neither are about where we get our energy. Both are literally about power. Not electricity, not that kind of power, but who weilds power.

Reply to  Moriarty
December 23, 2022 7:37 am


Building Better Worlds

Michael in Dublin
December 23, 2022 7:54 am

Not only is it important to read a book like The Unpopular Truth about Electricity and the Future of Energy to equip ourselves to engage in serious and intelligent discussions about climate but we also need to read much more history of scientific endeavor.

If we want to see how a great scientist works, we would do well to read all we can on Michael Faraday. I would venture to say there is not a single climate alarmist today that comes anywhere near the stature and thoroughness of Faraday.

How did Michael Faraday invent?

Project Gutenberg gives us free access to much material on Faraday.
A useful place to start is with Michael Faraday 3rd ed by J H Gladstone 1874.

Enjoy reading stimulating books like the two listed here and challenge young people to read these.

Last edited 1 month ago by Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
December 23, 2022 5:25 pm

The politicians and the Left have no use for informed, serious, and reasoned discussions. They are laser focused on acquiring political power and money, at the expense of everyone else.

December 23, 2022 8:30 am

I think it is a little simplistic to say the Climate Wars are only about energy.
I’m doing some business level strategic analysis for the startup I have founded, and have found this interesting initial analysis outcome: the prices of the main agriculture crops in the US: corn, wheat, soy, cotton and alfalfa – basically step changed from the period before 2010 vs. the period from 2010 to 2020. They basically doubled in average price. Now this isn’t just crops; there are minerals and what not that also show this structural change.
And what happened around 2010? Well, the most obvious is the GFC in 2008 and its ensuing massive worldwide emission of money.

This is particularly interesting because the US also saw record low natural gas prices in the 2010-2020 period due to fracking – so the nitrogen fertilizer prices in this period theoretically should have been falling. Crops need more than just nitrogen fertilizer, but it is the single largest fertilizer by volume.

My point isn’t that energy is not a big focus of climate change doomers – I am just saying that there are also other factors at play. The reduction in the average Western person’s standard of living is not just occurring due to solar PV and wind subsidy costs and their effects on electricity prices – the reduction is due to rising prices across the board in all sorts of things. And so maybe some part of the climate doomer movement – from a political standpoint – is to misdirect attention away from bad government policies overall as opposed to climate or even energy in particular.

Reply to  c1ue
December 23, 2022 10:36 am

Very interesting observations C1ue.

It’s now patently undeniable that the climate caper perfidy is being used by global governance cultists and their minions to achieve their nefarious ends.

For which all we ordinary citizens of the world and our descendants will suffer.

B Zipperer
Reply to  Kip Hansen
December 26, 2022 9:19 am

From an internet screenshot:
“There is no need for climate protests in China because China is already communist.”

So, “climate change” [politically construed] is just the tool the Left uses to alter society
into their version of utopia. Control the energy sources, you control society.

John Oliver
December 23, 2022 9:46 am

I think I will order it. A few days ago I suggested we focus on concise arguments why manmade co 2 is not the all controlling evil molecule or existential threat because I know that is what the general public has been led to believe.

I’m not I scientist but I am concerned with bad public policy namely net zero. So maybe this is more like what we need unless we just want to sit around and debate nuisance of our individual pet theory on climate and “climate change” or lack there of.

Reply to  John Oliver
December 23, 2022 7:53 pm

John Oliver:

You may have missed my earlier post regarding Net-Zero. It is being pushed by public policy morons who have no idea what Net-Zero will inevitably lead to.

See: “Net-Zero Catastrophe Beginning?”

John Oliver
December 23, 2022 10:17 am

I meant nuance

Climate Heretic
December 23, 2022 11:07 am

Does the book contain information on the future trends of energy? Oil, Gas and Coal will eventually run out. What will replace them? We know renewables will not cut the mustard. So what is left?

The only two things that will replace current energy regimes and only one is certain. The two energy sources. I’m talking about are Molten Salt Reactors (MSR), this will suffice mankind for ages. The other one is fusion. None of the current ones are capable of delivering us the energy we need.

The only fusion project that I have confidence in is, the Polywell [1] (Bussard Fusion Reactor) and if aneutronic fusion is achieved, that is Boron ions colliding with Hydrogen ions. Mankind will have energy for thousands of years.

Anyway, Christmas is upon us, so I will extend my seasons greetings to one and all.

Climate Heretic

Last edited 1 month ago by Climate Heretic
December 23, 2022 11:15 am

“free energy” is actually more expensive in the real world.

Sailing vessels no longer transport our goods across the seas for good reason: intermittent energy cannot compete with reliable energy, even if it appears to be absolutely free. The same applies to our electricity grid – a modern economy cannot be powered by intermittent energy.

The sooner our politicians understand this and stand up for sanity, the better. We are already a long way down the path to destruction.

December 23, 2022 2:26 pm


Hatter Eggburn
December 23, 2022 2:56 pm

WUWT silence on the 40-year record cold storm in the USA? What’s up with that? O yes – this is the USA so it’s obvious mafia enforcers are putting the frighteners on. Frustrating for those of us curious about such things. You know – about climate and stuff.

Even the BBC are reporting it for God’s sake.

Anyone interested in 40 year record cold in the USA?

Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
December 23, 2022 7:00 pm

Record cold is weather, record heat is climate change, don’t you know? Seriously, even a site such as this cannot serve the particular interests of all people in a timely manner. Wait a few days and maybe someone will cover the event and the quality of coverage may benefit from better preparation time rather than being of the “breaking news” flavour.

December 24, 2022 4:01 am

In the UK, it’s available at Blackwell’s (£17.29, free delivery) if you want to avoid using Amazon.

Last edited 1 month ago by CampsieFellow
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