My article for Blog Idol contest: Review of Tom Rand’s Kick the Fossil Fuel Habit

Both in the YouTube clip for the book and in his TED talk, Tom speaks about possible replacement to fossil fuels we are hooked on. His confidence that we can kick the habit is contagious. Just a few solar farms in Sahara can produce enough electricity for the entire world! Instead of burning coal to heat water, use geoexchange technology that can reduce energy use and carbon emissions by up to 70%, and lowers peak electrical load in the summer months. Tom is currently implementing this technology by converting a derelict building at 357 College St., Toronto, into a green hotel.

Sounds great. However I am a pessimist, or an extremely cautious person (call it what you like), and I have been taught by experience that, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. As some of you may know, it is actually possible to make a gravity-powered clock, for example. The only catch is that manufacturing this clock will be a lot more expensive than a regular alarm clock and a lifetime supply of batteries.

I will be happy if someone explains to me that I am mistaken and the obstacles to Tom’s suggestions that I see are no obstacles at all.

(Read more at BlogIdol website…)

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Kick the Fossil Fuel Habit – Tom Rand’s book and talk

Tom Rand of MaRS just published a book: Kick the Fossil Fuel Habit, 10 Clean Technologies to Save Our World.

It’s 240 pages (hard-cover) of accessible text and stunning photography. Great to flip through, but with solid, fleshed-out analysis. Out now in Canada (in Chapters on April 15th), in about a month in the US.

There’s also a short video “trailer”, both funny and hard-hitting. Designed to go viral!

This project is advocacy, pure and simple. It’s timely, important – and something Tom is very passionate about. His goal is to educate the public about our options and why it’s important to consider them carefully.

If you’re in the Toronto region on April 15th, Tom will be giving a “book launch” talk at MaRS at 6 pm in the main auditorium. It’s free, but space is limited and registration is required.

It would be wonderful if you could support this effort by:


Tom is also looking for corporate sponsors to distribute the book internally, or to sponsor a print run for schools/libraries. Got any suggestions or contacts?

You’ll find everything you need at www.kickthefossilfuelhabit.org (video, link to buy the book, publisher info, etc.).