This book, Energy and Human Ambitions on a Finite Planet, by Tom Murphy (TM), grew out of a course at University of California (San Diego), so it should be regarded both as a textbook and as a book for a wide general readership. This reviewer has also taught similar material at the introductory level to undergraduates, so its suitability can be verified for the classroom – particularly with all the useful suggested questions that can be posed for students..
The message in this book is simple, stated clearly towards the end of the first chapter. There are hard physical limits to the growth of available energy to power our civilization and these will probably be seriously in effect by the end of the 21st century. TM judges we are undoubtedly closer to the end of growth than we were at its beginning in the 19th century.