Project Sunshine (Hardback)

How science can use the sun to fuel and feed the world

Steve McKevitt

Tony Ryan

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It’s an astonishing fact that capturing all the energy in just one hour’s worth of sunlight would enable us to meet the planet’s food and energy needs for an entire year. Project Sunshine tells the story of how scientists are working to reconnect us to the ‘solar economy’, harnessing the power of the sun to provide sustainable food and energy for a global population of 10 billion people: an achievement that would end our dependence on ‘fossilised sunshine’ in the form of coal, oil and gas and remake our connection with the soil that grows our food. Steve McKevitt and Tony Ryan describe the human race’s complex relationship with the sun and take us back through history to see how our world became the place it is today – chemically, geologically, ecologically, climatically and economically – before moving on to the cutting-edge science and technology that will enable us to live happily in a sustainable future.



Steve McKevitt is an expert in communications and consumerism. Over a 25-year career his clients have included Nike, Coca-Cola, Deutsche Bank, Sony PlayStation, Harvey Nichols, Motorola, Universal, Virgin, BT and Atari. Steve is chairman of Golden, an ideas agency with clients in the UK, Europe and the USA, and also works as an advisor to national and regional UK government on employment, skills, business innovation and international trade.

Professor Tony Ryan OBE is a polymer chemist at the University of Sheffield. He delivered the 2002 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures and regularly appears on Radio 4’s Infinite Monkey Cage with Brian Cox and Robin Ince, and has been on In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg.


‘Lucid, optimistic – and plans to save the world … This is stirring stuff, and well told’Fred Pearce, New Scientist
‘A ray of sunshine on the issues of food and energy security.’Nature
‘This is an important, much needed book. It shows that things can’t go on as they have done: population growth, fossil-fuel burning, greenhouse-gas pollution. But it also explains that they don’t need to. Technologies exist, or are on the threshold of existing, that can keep the lights on and keep food on the shelves. Without being Panglossian or diminishing the challenge, Project Sunshine offers rays of hope.’Philip Ball, author of Critical Mass and H2O: A Biography of Water
‘Tony Ryan and Steve McKevitt argue forcefully that if we are to tackle the biggest challenges facing the world today, we need to put our local star at the centre of human affairs. They marshal a wide range of scientific research to show that we could all benefit from becoming a society of sun worshippers.’Roger Highfield
‘A sweeping narrative of past and present, Project Sunshine explores the way we use (and waste) our resources and how solar power may yet solve the energy crisis … with wonderful factual nuggets and handy numbers to have up one’s sleeve.Dame Athene DonaldTimes Higher Education

ABOUT THIS BOOK

about this book

ISBN: 9781848315136

Price: 16.99

Pages: 320

Publication date: 07/03/2013

Category: History & Current Affairs, Popular Science

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