Kick Fossil Fuels

Photo: courtesy Eco 10 Publishing
Venture capitalist’s book is the perfect read as gas prices soar

For a quirky, self-professed former “software renegade” in high school, Tom Rand has done quite well for himself. Not only did he eventually go legit, building a software company that spanned three countries, in 2005 he turned his attention — and considerable smarts — to climate change. Rand has spent years expounding his assertion that the technology exists to rid ourselves of our reliance on fossil fuels. And he puts his money where his mouth is: as a venture capitalist, no less.

So it’s no surprise that Rand, a sort of modern-day caped crusader who is now the Cleantech Practice, Lead Advisor at the MaRS Discovery District, and who sits on the board of a number of clean energy companies and organizations, has spun his thoughts into a new book.

But instead of a rant, Kick the Fossil Fuel Habit: 10 Clean Technologies to Save Our World (2010, Eco Ten Publishing) is a message of hope and future sustainability. Rand cares deeply about the children of the world, and what they are set to inheriting from us. And his passion is evident in his recent TEDxTO talk and in the video trailer for the book.

Don't get him wrong: Kick the Fossil Fuel Habit doesn’t present a 1-2-3 quick-fix solution to a very big problem. But it does — by taking an in-depth (and very reader-friendly ...even entertaining) look at 10 technologies that together can clean up our future — successfully prove the point that we can do without fossil fuels.

Rand stresses, however, that we need to act quickly and, equally important, collectively. That means this generation of government, businesses and individuals all need act together to save the world for the next. And it won’t be a walk in the park. “To kick our fossil fuel habit,” Rand writes, “we'll need to deploy resources on a scale not seen since World War II, generate a degree of international political co-operation beyond anything we've yet done, and at the same time develop a new set of economic rules that finally put a prohibitive price on carbon.”

A bonus: beautiful photography helps bring Rand’s message to life. As you take a break from work over the holidays, spend some time with a read that both enlightens and inspires.