Apollo's Fire: A Book Review

The US Congress has not done much good with energy policy in recent years, except to promote more fossil fuel extraction of course, leading the nation to the edge of climate cataclysm and fuel shortage. This is not to say that all members of Congress are panderers without vision, or ineffectual partisans, though those certainly are prevailing stereotypes. It's just that we keep wondering 'where's the leadership toward a sustainable future?'

Washington State's Congressman Jay Inslee, in a flourish of dedication and knowledge has co-written a book that proclaims a vision of optimism for US energy and climate policy. Apollo's Fire, written in a manner accessible to all, is titled in homage to the original NASA Apollo Project that put a man on the moon, led to important technological innovations, and put Americans to work with a sense of purpose and pride.

Representative Inslee is a nuanced thinker and speaker, as exemplified by testimony he gave last spring to the House Ways & Means Committee (below); and, Apollo's Fire is as characteristically rational and up front.

"I support IGCC (integrated gasification combined cycle) clean coal technology for electricity generation because it improves air quality and is highly compatible with carbon capture and sequestration. On the other hand, I do not think that the federal government should be providing incentives for the construction of coal-to-liquids plants, which could lead to a doubling of carbon dioxide emissions from transportation fuels."

Inslee is primary congressional sponsor of the New Apollo Energy Act and on the Apollo Alliance advisory board; Apollo's Fire coauthor Bracken Hendricks is a member of the alliance's steering committee.

Representative Inslee's purpose in sponsoring the Bill as well as in co-writing the book is to invigorate the US economy while doing something significant to combat climate change.

Rather than summarize the Bill's provisions, TreeHugger strongly recommends you spend a few minutes reviewing the major elements. The New Apollo Energy Bill is detailed at length here.

Why buy Apollo's Fire, the book? Here are four good reasons:

Partake of an 'insider' view of Congressional goings-on for the last several years.

Get your mind back on a positive track about coping with the climate crisis.

Cite the ideas in a letter to your own Congressional representative and suggest he or she read the book, as well.

It'd make a great present for that relative or friend who has always been and sort of always will be a climate skeptic, but who loved the moon landing. Just to re-light the fire.