Coal Wars: The Future of Energy and the Fate of the Planet. Richard Martin. St. Martin’s Press.

Coal Wars: The Future of Energy and the Fate of the Planet Book Cover Coal Wars: The Future of Energy and the Fate of the Planet
Richard Martin
St. Martin's Press
April 14, 2015

Our modern technological society would be inconceivable without coal and the energy it provides. Unfortunately, that society will not survive unless we wean ourselves off coal. The largest single source of greenhouse gases, coal is responsible for 43 percent of the world’s carbon emissions.

Richard Martin, author of SuperFuel, argues that to limit catastrophic climate change, we must find a way to power our world with less polluting energy sources, and we must do it in the next couple of decades – or else it is “game over.” It won’t be easy: Big Coal is an established, lucrative, and politically influential worldwide industry that continues to expand in the booming economies of Asia. And its decline will dramatically change lives everywhere – from Appalachian coal miners and coal company executives to activists in China’s nascent environmental movement.

Based on a yearlong immersion in the belly of the coal industry, with travels to Wyoming, West Virginia, and China’s remote Shanxi Province, Coal Wars chronicles the dramatic stories behind coal’s big shutdown – and the industry’s desperate attempts to remain a global behemoth.

Richard Martin is one of America’s foremost writers and analysts on energy, technology, and foreign affairs. He is the editorial director at Navigant Research, the premier clean energy research and analysis firm. A frequent contributor to Wired, Fortune, and The Atlantic, he is the author of SuperFuel, which chronicled the thorium power movement. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.