Can This Capitalism Be Saved?

Must-Read: Cosma Shalizi (2014): Review of Oliver Morton (2008): "Eating the Sun: How Plants Power the Planet":

Of Heliophagy: I cannot remember the last time I read a popular science book with such enjoyment, or learned so much from it....

Our global civilization runs at something like 40 terawatts.... Tidal and geothermal energy are too localized and small-scale.... Nuclear fission looks more attractive when one compares long-lived radioactive waste to long-lived carbon dioxide as a pollutant, but there are very real practical obstacles. All our other options are ultimately solar.... Morton is very hopeful about the last two, and especially about what real molecular engineering might be able to do in the space intermediate between photovoltaic plates (high efficiency, but also high cost) and naturally-occurring leaves (low efficiency, but they grow).... A marvelous book, filled with wonders: I strongly urge you to encounter them for yourself.