Here is the exact quote, one of my all time favorites (i.e., "favs") from Metropolitan:
I don't read novels. I prefer good literary criticism. That way you get both the novelists' ideas as well as the critics' thinking. With fiction I can never forget that none of it really happened, that it's all just made up by the author.
So I read the review of Big Coal ($$$), instead of the book, with great interest.
Here is what I learned:
Goodell's journey inevitably leads to the most dramatic and contentious consequence of coal consumption, global warming. Coal accounts for nearly 40 percent of America's carbon dioxide emissions; it provides more than two-thirds of the energy for China, the world's fastest-opening CO2 spigot. Most climate scientists agree that global temperatures are likely to increase between 2 degrees and 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the coming century. Such warming could trigger a sea-level rise of two to seven feet, coastal flooding, extreme weather and regional drought. Just protecting the United States coast against rising waters would cost hundreds of billions of dollars.
So what is to be done? Goodell's writing, so fiery and committed through the narrative parts of "Big Coal," turns oddly tentative when it comes time to endorse solutions. He waves off green dreams like wind and solar electricity. He pins much of his hopes on a kind of national psychotherapy program to "change our thinking" and "make the invisible visible," which translates into a vague endorsement of new emissions taxes and regulations.
Goodell does identify two specific, promising solutions: carbon trading and carbon sequestration. Carbon trading defines the cost of pumping carbon dioxide into the air and lets the market choose the best way to reduce emissions. Sequestration is an experimental technique for snatching carbon dioxide out of the power plant and pumping it into the ground — a technique that dovetails with a highly efficient new way of burning coal, known as the integrated gassification combined cycle.
Right on. Therefore, Big Coal by Jeff Goodell gets placed in the highly sought after "recommended reading" category in the env-econ.net archives.