Physics and the Environment directly connects the physical world to environmental issues that the world is facing today and will face in the future. It shows how the first and second laws of thermodynamics limit the efficiencies of fossil fuel energy conversions to less than 100%, while also discussing how clever technologies can enhance overall performance. It also extensively discusses renewable forms of energy, their physical constraints and how we must use science and engineering as tools to solve problems instead of opinion and politics.
Dr. Kyle Forinash takes you on a journey of understanding our mature and well developed technologies for using fossil fuel resources and how we are unlikely to see huge gains in their efficiency as well as why their role in climate change ought to be an argument for their replacement sooner rather than later. He also discusses the newest technologies in employing renewable resources and how it is important to understand their physical constrains in order to make a smooth transition to them. An entire chapter is dedicated to energy storage, a core question in renewable energy as well as another chapter on the technical issues of nuclear energy. The book ends with a discussion on how no environmental solution, no matter how clever from a technical aspect, will succeed if there are cheaper alternative, even if those alternatives have undesirable features associated with them.