Sir David MacKay, a brilliant scientist, innovator, and Cambridge University professor, has died at age 48, from cancer, according to a report in Cambridge News this week:
An expert in sustainable energy, his book Sustainable Energy – without the hot air was praised for its straight-talking approach to ending human dependence on fossil fuels, and was praised by Bill Gates as “one of the best books on energy that has ever been written.”
A digital edition remains free to download at www.withouthotair.com.
As news of his death broke online tributes came pouring in.
Amber Rudd, secretary of state for energy and climate change, said: “David was the model of a scientist in government; challenging, insightful and with the ability to explain the most complex subjects in a clear way.
“His legacy, including the 2050 calculator now emulated across the world and his brilliant book on sustainable energy, was deservedly recognised by a knighthood earlier this year.
“His ideas and arguments will continue to influence how we deal with climate change.”
Ed Miliband, former energy minister and Labour leader tweeted: “RIP David Mackay, former DECC Chief Scientific Adviser. He was passionate, original, brave. A truly good man. Deep condolences to his family.
Sir MacKay was one of the earliest prominent supporters of this #flyingless petition and campaign. In the book Sustainable Energy — Without the Hot Air, MacKay concisely explained how to count aviation’s greenhouse gas contribution and skeptically summarized the potential for future technology improvements to improve this impact.