Book Review: The Clean Tech Revolution


We Treehuggers know there's something big going down. Every week there's more and more clean technology news and we're happy to report it. Bigger wind farms, better solar panels, alternative fuels, and ultra efficient architecture are all part of a trend that is making the world a better place.

But while we often focus on how much good these technologies are doing for the world, some folks are focusing on how much money there is to be made.

Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder's new book "The Clean Tech Revolution" is subtitled "The next big growth and investment opportunity," and they are very probably right about that. Ten percent of U.S. venture capital money is now going to "clean technology" investments. Everything from solar power, to efficient air conditioners; all signs point to an economic boom on the horizon.

Good for the planet and for the economy? Absolutely.The key to the book is that it's not an investment guide, it's an overview to an emerging and quickly changing sector of the economy. The book starts with a list of must-know acronyms (from GHG to HVAC to NIMBY (greenhouse gasses, heating ventilation and air conditioning, not in my back yard if you're wondering)) and then quickly launches into an explanation of what Clean Tech means, what it is, and why it's booming.

But then the authors settle down and get to business. In ten chapters they hit everything from bio-plastic to water purification, outlining the most promising companies and the biggest "breakthrough opportunities."

The book is focused on investors, but the appeal is much broader than that. Every chapter is ended with a couple of tips for consumers as well as investors. But the appeal goes beyond that. "Environmental" books are so often about the problems that newcomers and hippies alike can come away either disheartened or frightened. But this book is swollen with solutions.

So whether you just want a nice dose of hope, or an outline of "the next big growth and investment opportunity," this book is a great buy.

Available at and Powell's

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