Thirst for Power: Energy, Water, and Human Survival

webber-thirst-for-power-cover-331x500Although it is widely understood that energy and water are the world’s two most critical resources, their vital interconnections and vulnerabilities are less often recognized. This farsighted book offers a new, holistic way of thinking about energy and water — a big-picture approach that reveals the interdependence of the two resources, identifies the seriousness of the challenges, and lays out an optimistic approach with an array of solutions to ensure the continuing sustainability of both.

Michael Webber, a leader and teacher in the field of energy technology and policy, explains how energy and water supplies are linked and how problems in either can be crippling for the other. He shows that current population growth, economic growth, climate change, and short-sighted policies are likely to make things worse. Yet, Webber asserts, more integrated planning with long-term sustainability in mind can avert such a daunting future. Combining anecdotes and personal stories with insights into the latest science of energy and water, he identifies a hopeful path toward wise long-range water-energy decisions and a more reliable and abundant future for humanity.

Michael E. Webber is co-director of the ATI Clean Energy Incubator, deputy director of the Energy Institute, Josey Centennial Fellow in Energy Resources, and professor of mechanical engineering. He has developed a popular energy-literacy Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and created a PBS television special titled Energy at the Movies. He also holds four patents and writes and lectures extensively on energy and other topics.