Sustainable Energy — without the hot air

By David MacKay

What’s this book about?
I’m concerned about cutting UK emissions of twaddle – twaddle about sustainable energy. Everyone says getting off fossil fuels is important, and we’re all encouraged to “make a difference,” but many of the things that allegedly make a difference don’t add up.
Twaddle emissions are high at the moment because people get emotional (for example about wind farms or nuclear power) and no-one talks about numbers. Or if they do mention numbers, they select them to sound big, to make an impression, and to score points in arguments, rather than to aid thoughtful discussion.
This is a straight-talking book about the numbers. The aim is to guide the reader around the claptrap to actions that really make a difference and to policies that add up.
This is a free book.
I didn’t write this book to make money. I wrote it because sustainable energy
is important. If you would like to have the book for free for your own
use, please help yourself: it’s on the internet at
This is a free book in a second sense: you are free to use all the material
in this book, except for the cartoons and the photos with a named photographer,
under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share-
Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales Licence. (The cartoons and photos are
excepted because the authors have generally given me permission only to
include their work, not to share it under a Creative Commons license.) You
are especially welcome to use my materials for educational purposes. My
website includes separate high-quality files for each of the figures.


About basicrulesoflife

Year 1935. Interests: Contemporary society problems, quality of life, happiness, understanding and changing ourselves - everything based on scientific evidence.
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