Energy: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth

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9780970950086: Energy: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth

ENERGY: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth takes an unflinching look at the environmental devastation created by our thirst for energy including supposedly clean” renewable sources. From oil spills, nuclear accidents, and mountaintop-removal coal mining to oversized wind farms and desert-destroying solar power plants, virtually every region of the globe is now experiencing the consequences of out-of-control energy development. Essentially no place is sacred, no landscape safe from the relentless search for energy resources to continue powering a culture based on perpetual growth. Precious wildlands, fragile ecosystems, even our own communities and children’s health are at risk.

In a large-format, photo-driven narrative (including 195 color photos), ENERGY features the writings of more than thirty leading thinkers on energy, society, and ecology. Collectively, they lift the veil on the harsh realities of our pursuit of energy at any price, revealing the true costs, benefits, and limitations of all our energy options. Ultimately, the book offers not only a deep critique of the current system that is toxic to nature and people but a hopeful vision for a future energy economy in which resilience, health, beauty, biodiversity, and durability, not incessant growth, are the organizing principles.

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From the Inside Flap:

 IT'S TIME TO REMAKE THE ENERGY ECONOMY AS IF NATURE, PEOPLE, AND THE FUTURE MATTERED. What magic, or monster, lurks behind the light switch and gas pump? Where does the seemingly endless energy that fuels modern society really come from? Will tomorrow bring ever more fossil-fuel burning and nuclear plant construction, or a "green energy" future powered by wind turbines and solar panels? Every citizen who is "energy literate"--that is, well-grounded in energy fundamentals--will have answers to these questions and be able to engage in the crucial societal conversation about energy policy. ENERGY: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth offers a compelling introduction to energy literacy, helping readers see through industry hype and reject political rhetoric inconsistent with the realities of our energy predicament. ENERGY takes an unflinching look at the systems that support our insatiable thirst for more power (and the ideas behind those systems) along with their unintended side effects. From oil spills, nuclear accidents, mountaintop-removal coal mining, and natural gas "fracking" to wind power projects and desert-destroying solar power plants, every source of energy has costs. Virtually every region of the globe now experiences the consequences of out-of-control energy development. No place is sacred, no landscape is safe from the relentless search for resources to power perpetual economic growth. Even the composition of the global atmosphere is affected. With stunning, large-format color photography, ENERGY features the writings of more than thirty leading thinkers on energy, society, and ecology. Collectively, they lift the veil on the harsh realities of our pursuit of energy at any price, revealing the true costs, benefits, and limitations of all our energy options. Ultimately, the book offers not only a deep critique of the current system--which is toxic to nature and people--but also presents a hopeful vision for a new energy economy that fosters beauty and health, emphasizes community-scale generation, and supports durable economies, not incessant growth.

From the Back Cover:

We have reached a point of crisis with regard to energy, a point where the contradictions inherent in our growth-based energy system are becoming untenable, and where its deferred costs are coming due. The essential problem is not just that we are tapping the wrong energy sources (though we are), or that we are wasteful and inefficient (though we are), but that we are overpowered, and we are overpowering nature. 
--RICHARD HEINBERG

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