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Inherent Safety at Chemical Sites: Reducing Vulnerability to Accidents and Terrorism Through Green Chemistry

Paul T. Anastas and David G. Hammond, Elsevier, New York, NY, $49.95, 134 pages, Oct. 2015, ISBN: 978-0-128-04190-1


Accidental or deliberate industrial chemical releases pose a serious threat to the safety of people and the environment. The use of green chemistry principles could help to identify and address this risk. This book uses case studies to suggest wholesale replacements of hazardous chemicals with benign and inherently safer, or greener, materials. Such preventive measures could improve the safety of industrial employees and nearby residents more than physical security barriers and plans.

This primer begins with an introduction to the concepts of green chemistry and outlines the various ways that a green approach to chemical design, production, and management is not only good for the planet, but also serves to protect people and infrastructure from terrorist acts. Specific examples and case studies illustrate what has been done to advance this cause and offer guidance for enhancing safety and security for people and resources.

Thirst for Power: Energy, Water, and Human Survival

Michael E. Webber, Yale Univ. Press, New Haven, CT, $30, 248 pages, April 2016, ISBN: 978-0-300-21246-4


Although it is widely understood that energy and water are the world’s two most critical resources, their vital interconnections and vulnerabilities are less often recognized. This book offers a holistic way of thinking about energy and water that reveals the interdependence of the two resources, identifies the seriousness of the challenges associated with them, and lays out an optimistic approach for establishing the sustainability of both resources.

The author explains how energy and water supplies are linked and how problems for one can cripple the other. He shows that current population growth, economic growth, climate change, and shortsighted policies are likely to make things worse. Yet, he asserts, more integrated planning with long-term sustainability in mind can avert such a daunting future. Personal anecdotes and insights into the latest science of energy and water combine to pave a hopeful path toward long-term water-energy solutions and...

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