Come Clean America! This week I read “Coming Clean: Breaking America’s Addiction to Oil and Coal by Micheal Brune. I’m going to come clean for a moment and let you know that Brune is the Executive Director of the Rainforest Action Network and the book was published by Sierra Club Books. Ironically, last week I read Green Inc., and many organizations mentioned in this book, including Brune’s own, were called out by MacDonald for ethical and moral issues.
As controversy is a great prerequisite for fodder, I’ll point out that Brune is a huge advocate of global warming. He writes, “Let me be blunt: if we only take individual action and do nothing else to save our climate, we’re probably cooked. We need to aim higher by changing corporate America and challenging our political leaders.”
Brune highlights several issues in the book including Big Oil; King Coal; how banks are funding global climate change; how to jump-start Detroit; wind and solar; and as always one of my favorites, biofuels, which Brune calls agrofuels. I rarely read an energy book where the author is truly up to speed on biofuels and Brune is no exception. Like most everyone, he hates corn ethanol and writes that biofuels may have an important role to play if they meet five criteria. They must:
- 1. reduce greenhouse gases
- 2. not displace food crops and threaten food security for the world’s poor
- 3. uphold the integrity of critical ecosystems, particularly in tropical forests
- 4. strengthen the human rights of community farmers and indigenous people
- 5. should be developed only as part of a broader strategy to reduce fuel consumption and redesign mobility