RAND Corporation researchers review the current technical, regulatory, and economic context of the electricity market and theoretical benefits of developing a smart grid; discuss some entrepreneurial opportunities associated with smart-grid data; examine empirical evidence related to smart-grid adoption and implementation; and offer policy suggestions for overcoming identified barriers.
RAND Corporation researchers review the current technical, regulatory, and economic context of the electricity market and theoretical benefits of developing a smart grid; discuss some entrepreneurial opportunities associated with smart-grid data; examine empirical evidence related to smart-grid adoption and implementation; and offer policy suggestions for overcoming identified barriers.
Imre Szeman West Virginia University Press, 2016 Library of Congress HD9560.5.A44 2016
After Oil explores the social, cultural and political changes needed to make possible a full-scale transition from fossil fuels to new forms of energy. Written collectively by participants in the first After Oil School, After Oil explains why the adoption of renewable, ecologically sustainable energy sources is only the first step of energy transition.
Energy plays a critical role in determining the shape, form and character of our daily existence, which is why a genuine shift in our energy usage demands a wholesale transformation of the petrocultures in which we live. After Oil provides readers with the resources to make this happen.
As the price of oil climbs toward $100 a barrel, our impending post-fossil fuel future appears to offer two alternatives: a bleak existence defined by scarcity and sacrifice or one in which humanity places its faith in technological solutions with unforeseen consequences. Are there other ways to imagine life in an era that will be characterized by resource depletion?
The French intellectual Georges Bataille saw energy as the basis of all human activity—the essence of the human—and he envisioned a society that, instead of renouncing profligate spending, would embrace a more radical type of energy expenditure: la dépense, or “spending without return.” In Bataille’s Peak, Allan Stoekl demonstrates how a close reading of Bataille—in the wake of Giordano Bruno and the Marquis de Sade— can help us rethink not only energy and consumption, but also such related topics as the city, the body, eroticism, and religion. Through these cases, Stoekl identifies the differences between waste, which Bataille condemned, and expenditure, which he celebrated.
The challenge of living in the twenty-first century, Stoekl argues, will be to comprehend—without recourse to austerity and self-denial—the inevitable and necessary shift from a civilization founded on waste to one based on Bataillean expenditure.
Allan Stoekl is professor of French and comparative literature at Penn State University. He is the author of Agonies of the Intellectual: Commitment, Subjectivity, and the Performative in the Twentieth-Century French Tradition and translator of Bataille’s Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927–1939 (Minnesota, 1985).
In The Birth of Energy Cara New Daggett traces the genealogy of contemporary notions of energy back to the nineteenth-century science of thermodynamics to challenge the underlying logic that informs today's uses of energy. These early resource-based concepts of power first emerged during the Industrial Revolution and were tightly bound to Western capitalist domination and the politics of industrialized work. As Daggett shows, thermodynamics was deployed as an imperial science to govern fossil fuel use, labor, and colonial expansion, in part through a hierarchical ordering of humans and nonhumans. By systematically excavating the historical connection between energy and work, Daggett argues that only by transforming the politics of work—most notably, the veneration of waged work—will we be able to confront the Anthropocene's energy problem. Substituting one source of energy for another will not ensure a habitable planet; rather, the concepts of energy and work themselves must be decoupled.
A Marginal Revolution Best Book of the Year Winner of the Shulman Book Prize
A noted expert on Russian energy argues that despite Europe’s geopolitical rivalries, natural gas and deals based on it unite Europe’s nations in mutual self-interest.
Three decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of the Soviet empire, the West faces a new era of East–West tensions. Any vision of a modern Russia integrated into the world economy and aligned in peaceful partnership with a reunited Europe has abruptly vanished.
Two opposing narratives vie to explain the strategic future of Europe, one geopolitical and one economic, and both center on the same resource: natural gas. In The Bridge, Thane Gustafson, an expert on Russian oil and gas, argues that the political rivalries that capture the lion’s share of media attention must be viewed alongside multiple business interests and differences in economic ideologies. With a dense network of pipelines linking Europe and Russia, natural gas serves as a bridge that unites the region through common interests.
Tracking the economic and political role of natural gas through several countries—Russia and Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and Norway—The Bridge details both its history and its likely future. As Gustafson suggests, there are reasons for optimism, but whether the “gas bridge” can ultimately survive mounting geopolitical tensions and environmental challenges remains to be seen.
WE KNOW, from repeated failures to predict and prevent catastrophes ranging from the Great Tohoku Earthquake to the global financial crisis of 2008, that complex adaptive systems, such as those found in nature or in economies, are actually very hard to predict, much less influence. Today, we face environmental degradation caused in large part by the use of fossil fuels, ever-declining efficiencies in extracting them, a pace of development for renewable energy insufficient for replacement of the fossil fuels we are burning through, and population growth that is likely to add two billion people globally by 2045. Despite partial recovery since the financial crisis of 2008, growth remains sluggish, and large budget deficits persist across much of the developed world. Meanwhile, developing states face their own challenges, stemming from unbalanced growth. Against this backdrop, and in light of the urgent need to pay closer heed to our environment, the last thing the world needs is an energy crisis triggered not merely by recurrent scares over supply, but by more lasting structural changes in our ability to use fossil fuels with reckless abandon. Buying Time applies lessons learned the hard way from the global economic crisis of the past decade, to offer an overview of the state of the environment and our energy future. Grounded in subtle thinking about complex systems, including the economy, energy, and the environment, this book underscores the connections linking them all. Kaz Makabe is a veteran financial systems expert who lived through the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. He nevertheless concludes that nuclear energy is the bridge than can help us cross over the abyss we face.
Cannel Coal Oil Days: A Novel
Theophile Maher West Virginia University Press, 2021 Library of Congress PS2359.M6456C36 2021 | Dewey Decimal 813.4
A newly discovered nineteenth-century novel about West Virginia breaking away from Virginia, set amid the cannel coal boom and featuring an interracial abolitionist movement.
Based mostly on his own experiences, Theophile Maher’s local color novel Cannel Coal Oil Days challenges many popular ideas about antebellum Appalachia, bringing it more fully into the broader story of the United States. Written in 1887, discovered in 2018, and published here for the first time, it offers a narrative of life between 1859 and 1861 in what was then western Virginia as it became West Virginia.
Cannel coal (a soft form of coal whose oil, when distilled, was competitive in the lighting oil business after overfishing reduced the whale oil supply) was at the center of one of Appalachia’s first extractive industries. Using the development of coal oil manufacturing in the Kanawha valley as its launching point, Maher’s semiautobiographical novel tells of a series of interrelated changes, each reflecting larger transformations in the United States as a whole. It shows how coal oil manufacturing was transformed from an amateurish endeavor to a more professional industry, with implications for Appalachian environment and labor. Then, Maher foreshadows the coming Progressive Era by insisting on moral and environmental reforms based in democratic and Christian principles. Finally, he tells the story of the coming of the Civil War to the region, as the novel’s protagonist, a mining engineer, works closely with a Black family to organize the local abolitionist mountain folk into a Union militia to aid in the secession of West Virginia from Virginia.
Social polarization has roiled neoliberal political establishments but has rarely culminated in electoral victories for anticapitalist outsiders. Instead, outsiders who accommodate capitalists often prevail. Capitalist Outsiders revisits celebrated exemplars of Latin American populism in Mexico and Venezuela to shed light on this phenomenon. It reveals how anticorruption campaigns boosted Mexico’s neoliberal-era capitalist outsider by drowning out salacious corporate scandals; how Venezuela’s apparently enlightened capitalist outsiders of the 1940s relied on segregationist, punitive labor relations; and how corporate insiders of Venezuela’s neoliberal political establishment unwittingly validated the anticapitalist Hugo Chávez as the true outsider. It weaves together these case studies to reveal an unlikely common origin for capitalist outsiders in both countries: their sequential insertion into global oil production and Mexico’s early twentieth-century radical oil workers. Capitalist Outsiders moves beyond cataloging “populist” traits and tactics or devising the institutions that might avert their rise. Instead, it specifies the distinct social bases of capitalist vs. anticapitalist outsiders. It exposes how a nation’s earlier incorporation into the capitalist world economy casts a long shadow over neoliberal-era outsider politics.
Hurricane Irene ruptured a Baltimore sewer main, resulting in 100 million gallons of raw sewage flooding the local watershed. Levee failures during Hurricane Katrina resulted in massive flooding which did not recede for months. With temperatures becoming more extreme, and storms increasing in magnitude, American infrastructure and risk-management policies require close examination in order to decrease the damage wrought by natural disasters. Climate Change and Infrastructure, Urban Systems, and Vulnerabilities addresses these needs by examining how climate change affects urban buildings and communities, and determining which regions are the most vulnerable to environmental disaster. It looks at key elements of urban systems, including transportation, communication, drainage, and energy, in order to better understand the damages caused by climate change and extreme weather. How can urban systems become more resilient? How can citizens protect their cities from damage, and more easily rebound from destructive storms? This report not only breaks new ground as a component of climate change vulnerability and impact assessments but also highlights critical research gaps in the material. Implications of climate change are examined by assessing historical experience as well as simulating future conditions.
Developed to inform the 3rd National Climate Assessment, and a landmark study in terms of its breadth and depth of coverage and conducted under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy, Climate Change and Infrastructure, Urban Systems, and Vulnerabilities examines the known effects and relationships of climate change variables on American infrastructure and risk-management policies. Its rich science and case studies will enable policymakers, urban planners, and stakeholders to develop a long-term, self-sustained assessment capacity and more effective risk-management strategies.
This account of the struggle for coal mine health and safety legislation in the U.S. examines the series of laws that steadily expanded the role of the federal government from the late 1800s through the 1980s. Curran concludes that federal legislation has done little to improve change conditions in the coal mines.
With the effects of climate change already upon us, the need to cut global greenhouse gas emissions is nothing less than urgent. It’s a daunting challenge, but the technologies and strategies to meet it exist today. A small set of energy policies, designed and implemented well, can put us on the path to a low carbon future. Energy systems are large and complex, so energy policy must be focused and cost-effective. One-size-fits-all approaches simply won’t get the job done. Policymakers need a clear, comprehensive resource that outlines the energy policies that will have the biggest impact on our climate future, and describes how to design these policies well.
Designing Climate Solutions: A Policy Guide for Low-Carbon Energy is the first such guide, bringing together the latest research and analysis around low carbon energy solutions. Written by Hal Harvey, CEO of the policy firm Energy Innovation, with Robbie Orvis and Jeffrey Rissman of Energy Innovation, Designing Climate Solutions is an accessible resource on lowering carbon emissions for policymakers, activists, philanthropists, and others in the climate and energy community. In Part I, the authors deliver a roadmap for understanding which countries, sectors, and sources produce the greatest amount of greenhouse gas emissions, and give readers the tools to select and design efficient policies for each of these sectors. In Part II, they break down each type of policy, from renewable portfolio standards to carbon pricing, offering key design principles and case studies where each policy has been implemented successfully.
We don’t need to wait for new technologies or strategies to create a low carbon future—and we can’t afford to. Designing Climate Solutions gives professionals the tools they need to select, design, and implement the policies that can put us on the path to a livable climate future.
The climate crisis is a crisis of leadership. For too long too many leaders have prioritized corporate profits over the public good, exacerbating climate vulnerabilities while reinforcing economic and racial injustice. Transformation to a just, sustainable renewable-based society requires leaders who connect social justice to climate and energy.
During the Trump era, connections among white supremacy; environmental destruction; and fossil fuel dependence have become more conspicuous. Many of the same leadership deficiencies that shaped the inadequate response in the United States to the coronavirus pandemic have also thwarted the US response to the climate crisis. The inadequate and ineffective framing of climate change as a narrow, isolated, discrete problem to be “solved” by technical solutions is failing. The dominance of technocratic, white, male perspectives on climate and energy has inhibited investments in social change and social innovations. With new leadership and diverse voices, we can strengthen climate resilience, reduce racial and economic inequities, and promote social justice.
In Diversifying Power, energy expert Jennie Stephens argues that the key to effectively addressing the climate crisis is diversifying leadership so that antiracist, feminist priorities are central. All politics is now climate politics, so all policies, from housing to health, now have to integrate climate resilience and renewable energy.
Stephens takes a closer look at climate and energy leadership related to job creation and economic justice, health and nutrition, housing and transportation. She looks at why we need to resist by investing in bold diverse leadership to curb the “the polluter elite.” We need to reclaim and restructure climate and energy systems so policies are explicitly linked to social, economic, and racial justice.
Inspirational stories of diverse leaders who integrate antiracist, feminist values to build momentum for structural transformative change are woven throughout the book, along with Stephens’ experience as a woman working on climate and energy. The shift from a divided, unequal, extractive, and oppressive society to a just, sustainable, regenerative, and healthy future has already begun.
But structural change needs more bold and ambitious leaders at all levels, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with the Green New Deal, or the Secwepemc women of the Tiny House Warriors resisting the Trans Mountain pipeline.
Diversifying Power offers hope and optimism. Stephens shows how the biggest challenges facing society are linked and anyone can get involved to leverage the power of collective action. By highlighting the creative individuals and organizations making change happen, she provides inspiration and encourages transformative action on climate and energy justice.
Can human social evolution be described in terms common to other sciences, most specifically, as an energy process? The Eighth Day reflects a conviction that the human trajectory, for all its uniqueness and indeterminism, will never be satisfactorily understood until it is framed in dynamics that are common to all of nature. The problem in doing this, however, lies in ourselves. The major social theories have failed to treat human social evolution as a component of broader natural processes.
The Eighth Day argues that the energy process provides a basis for explaining, comparing, and measuring complex social evolution. Using traditional ecological energy flow studies as background, society is conceived as a self-organization of energy. This perspective enables Adams to analyze society in term of the natural selection of self-organizing energy forms and the trigger processes basic to it. Domestication, civilization, socioeconomic development, and the regulation of contemporary industrial nation-states serve to illustrate the approach. A principal aim is to explore the limitation that energy process imposes on human social evolution as well as to clarify the alternatives that it allows.
Richly informed by contemporary anthropological historicism, sociobiology, and Marxism, The Eighth Day avoids simple reductionism and denies facile ideological categorization. Adams builds on work in nonequilibrium thermodynamics and theoretical biology and brings three decades of his own work to an analysis of human society that demands an extreme materialism in which human thought and action find a central place.
No symbol of progress in our century is more galvanizing than electricity—electric power and the technology it has spawned. The "invisible world" of electric energy that was emerging at the turn of the century is one we take for granted, but its influence on the growth and quality of city life was, and remains, profound. Using Chicago as a test case, Harold L. Platt investigates the emergence of an urban-based, energy-intensive society over the course of half a century in this first book-length history of energy use in the city.
All social structures are essentially power structures dependent on energy. The concept of power and the role of energy in social organization are crucial and timely concerns, especially in light of the current apprehension about future energy resources. In Energy and Structure, Richard N. Adams argues that social power affects humanity's approach to ecological, economic, and political problems, directing people to seek solutions that are often deceptively shortsighted. Adams, an anthropologist, proposes that social power is directly derived from control over energy processes. He identifies how power and mentalistic structures constitute fundamental determinants that shape the lives of people at all stages of cultural development, forcing them to accept alternatives often far removed from their desires. His central thesis is that the amount of power in any system varies with the amount of control exercised over the environment and that increasing power and control lead to increasing centralization of decision-making, social marginalization, and environmental despoliation. Thus the more highly developed societies, by virtue of their greater controls, are responsible for the greater ultimate subordination and destruction of human potential, as humanity combines technological advances with a growing inability to exercise good judgment with respect to our own survival. Energy and Structure begins with an examination of the basic theory of social power—what it is and how it works. Adams defines and differentiates between the concepts of power and control, authority and legitimacy, power domains and levels. He then examines the underlying metatheory of energetic and mentalistic structures and provides an analytic model of the evolution of power, from the primitive band to modern nations. He predicts the emergence of supranational blocs and discusses other future possibilities. Throughout, his theoretical points are solidly supported by examples drawn from a wide range of cultures.
Energy and the Ecological Economics of Sustainability examines the roots of the present environmental crisis in the neoclassical economics upon which modern industrial society is based. The author explains that only when we view ourselves in the larger context of the global ecosystem and accept the physical limits to what is possible can sustainability be achieved.
A global energy war is underway. It is man versus nature, fossil fuel versus clean energy, the haves versus the have-nots, and, fundamentally, an extractive economy versus a regenerative economy. The near-unanimous consensus among climate scientists is that the massive burning of gas, oil, and coal is having a cataclysmic impact on our atmosphere and climate, and depleting earth’s natural resources, including its land, food, fresh water and biodiversity.
These climate and environmental impacts are particularly magnified and debilitating for low-income communities and communities of color that live closest to toxic sites, are disproportionately impacted by high incidences of asthma, cancer and rates of morbidity and mortality, and lack the financial resources to build resilience to climate change.
Energy democracy tenders a response and joins the environmental and climate movements with broader movements for social and economic change. Energy democracy is a way to frame the international struggle of working people, low income communities, and communities of color to take control of energy resources from the energy establishment and use those resources to empower their communities—literally providing energy, economically, and politically. Energy democracy is more important than ever as climate and social justice advocates confront a shocking political reality in the U.S.
This volume brings together racial, cultural, and generational perspectives. This diversity is bound together by a common operating frame: that the global fight to save the planet—to conserve and restore our natural resources to be life-sustaining—must fully engage community residents and must change the larger economy to be sustainable, democratic, and just. The contributors offer their perspectives and approaches to climate and clean energy from rural Mississippi, to the South Bronx, to Californian immigrant and refugee communities, to urban and semi-rural communities in the Northeast. Taken together, the contributions in this book show what an alternative, democratized energy future can look like, and will inspire others to take up the struggle to build the energy democracy movement.
Energy Development and Wildlife Conservation in Western North America offers a road map for securing our energy future while safeguarding our heritage.
Contributors show how science can help craft solutions to conflicts between wildlife and energy development by delineating core areas, identifying landscapes that support viable populations, and forecasting future development scenarios to aid in conservation design. The book
frames the issue and introduces readers to major types of extraction
quantifies the pace and extent of current and future energy development
provides an ecological foundation for understanding cumulative impacts on wildlife species
synthesizes information on the biological response of wildlife to development
discusses energy infrastructure as a conduit for the spread of invasive species
compares impacts of alternative energy to those of conventional development
The final section calls for a shift away from site-level management that has failed to mitigate cumulative impacts on wildlife populations toward broad-scale planning and implementation of conservation in priority landscapes. The book concludes by identifying ways that decision makers can remove roadblocks to conservation, and provides a blueprint for implementing conservation plans. Energy Development and Wildlife Conservation in Western North America is a must-have volume for elected officials, industry representatives, natural resource managers, conservation groups, and the public seeking to promote energy independence while at the same time protecting wildlife.
Society and Natural Resources Book Series, copublished with the Society and Natural Resources Press
Development of various energy sources continues across North America and around the world, raising questions about social and economic consequences for the places and communities where these activities occur. Energy Impacts brings together important new research on site-level social, economic, and behavioral impacts from large-scale energy development. Featuring conceptual and empirical multidisciplinary research from leading social scientists, the volume collects a broad range of perspectives to understand North America’s current energy uses and future energy needs.
Twelve chapters from respected scholars in a variety of disciplines present new ways to consider and analyze energy impact research. Focused on varied energy topics, geographies, and disciplines, each chapter includes a policy brief that summarizes the work and provides “key takeaways” to apply the findings to policy and public discourse.
Meaningful public engagement is critical in limiting the negative implications of energy development, and understanding the social influences on and of energy systems is a cornerstone of addressing the climate crisis. As such, Energy Impacts is a significant work for students, scholars, and professionals working in sociology, education, geography, environmental studies, and public health.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1528422. Publication is also supported, in part, by Montana State University.
Ali Adil, Lisa Bailey-Davis, Nancy Bowen-Elizey, Morey Burnham, Weston Eaton, Heather Feldhaus, Felix Fernando, Emily Grubert, C. Clare Hinrichs, John Hintz, Richard Hirsh, Season Hoard, Tamara Laninga, Eric Larson, Achla Marathe, Natalie Martinkus, Seven Mattes, Ronald Meyers, Patrick Miller, Ethan Minier, Myra Moss, Jacob Mowery, Thomas Murphy, Sevda Ozturk Sari, John Parkins, Christopher Podeschi, Nathan Ratledge, Sanne Rijkhoff, Kelli Roemer, Todd Schenk, Anju Seth, Kate Sherren, Jisoo Sim, Marc Stern, Jessica Ulrich-Schad, Cameron Whitley, Laura Zachary
Norway and Sweden are among the biggest consumers of energy per capita, yet the Nordic nations also lead the world in clean power production and have ambitious goals of decarbonizing their energy systems by 2050. Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland vary drastically in geography and the availability of natural resources, but each consistently generates electricity from renewable sources at multiple times the average rate of other high-income countries.
Mogens Rüdiger and Anna Åberg present a concise and timely history of energy production, trade, and consumption in Norden, starting with a review of the regional energy mix—from wind, solar, tide and wave, geothermal, biomass, nuclear, coal, and gas sources. Brief chapters describe the diversity of Nordic energy markets, assess how far the green transition has come, and explore what comes next as global crises, domestic politics, and technological developments present novel challenges and opportunities. Energy infrastructures and economic activities, Rüdiger and Åberg argue, serve as unique cultural focal points in the region. The coauthors summarize the national policy frameworks for the sector as well as the key energy and economic indicators used in infrastructure planning, regulation, and the opening of the electricity and gas markets to free competition.
Energy in the Nordic World is the essential primer to the power markets at the heart of Europe’s energy transition.
The Energy of Nature
E. C. Pielou University of Chicago Press, 2001 Library of Congress QC73.P54 2001 | Dewey Decimal 530
Energy is crucial for events of every kind, in this world or any other. Without energy, nothing would ever happen. Nothing would move and there would be no life. The sun wouldn't shine, winds wouldn't blow, rivers wouldn't flow, trees wouldn't grow, birds wouldn't fly, and fish wouldn't swim; indeed no material object, living or dead, could even exist. In spite of all this, energy is seldom considered a part of what we call "nature."
In The Energy of Nature, E. C. Pielou explores energy's role in nature—how and where it originates, what it does, and what becomes of it. Drawing on a wide range of scientific disciplines, from physics, chemistry, and biology to all the earth sciences, as well as on her own lifelong experience as a naturalist, Pielou opens our eyes to the myriad ways energy and its transfer affect the earth and its inhabitants. Along the way we learn how energy is delivered to the earth from the sun; how it causes weather, winds, and tides; how it shapes the earth through mountain building and erosion; how it is captured and used by living things; how it is stored in chemical bonds; how nuclear energy is released; how it heats the unseen depths of the planet and is explosively revealed in the turmoil of earthquakes and volcanoes; how energy manifests itself in magnetism and electromagnetic waves; how we harness it to fuel human societies; and much more.
Filled with fascinating information and and helpful illustrations (hand drawn by the author), The Energy of Nature is fun, readable, and instructive. Science buffs of all ages will be delighted.
“A luminous, inquiring, and thoughtful exploration of Earth’s energetics.”—Jocylyn McDowell, Discovery
The transformation from a carbon-based world economy to one based on high efficiency and renewables is a necessary step if human society is to achieve sustainability. But while scientists and researchers have made significant advances in energy efficiency and renewable technologies in recent years, consumers have yet to see dramatic changes in the marketplace—due in large part to government policies and programs that favor the use of fossil fuels.
Energy Revolution examines the policy options for mitigating or removing the entrenched advantages held by fossil fuels and speeding the transition to a more sustainable energy future, one based on improved efficiency and a shift to renewable sources such as solar, wind, and bioenergy. The book:
examines today's energy patterns and trends and their consequences
describes the barriers to a more sustainable energy future and how those barriers can be overcome
provides ten case studies of integrated strategies that have been effective in different parts of the world
examines international policies and institutions and recommends ways they could be improved
reviews global trends that suggest that the transition to renewables and increased efficiency is underway and is achievable
Energy policy represents a linchpin for achieving a broader transition to a more sustainable economy. Energy Revolution offers a unique focus on policies and programs, and on the lessons provided by recent experience. It represents a key statement of the available options for reforming energy policy that have proven to be successful, and is an essential work for policymakers, researchers, and anyone concerned with energy and sustainability issues.
Energy can be neither created nor destroyed—but it can be wasted. The United States wastes two-thirds of its energy, including 80 percent of the energy used in transportation. So the nation has a tremendous opportunity to develop a sensible energy policy based on benefits and costs. But to do that we need facts—not hyperbole, not wishful thinking. Mara Prentiss presents and interprets political and technical information from government reports and press releases, as well as fundamental scientific laws, to advance a bold claim: wind and solar power could generate 100 percent of the United States’ average total energy demand for the foreseeable future, even without waste reduction.
To meet the actual rather than the average demand, significant technological and political hurdles must be overcome. Still, a U.S. energy economy based entirely on wind, solar, hydroelectricity, and biofuels is within reach. The transition to renewables will benefit from new technologies that decrease energy consumption without lifestyle sacrifices, including energy optimization from interconnected smart devices and waste reduction from use of LED lights, regenerative brakes, and electric cars. Many countries cannot obtain sufficient renewable energy within their borders, Prentiss notes, but U.S. conversion to a 100 percent renewable energy economy would, by itself, significantly reduce the global impact of fossil fuel consumption.
Enhanced by full-color visualizations of key concepts and data, Energy Revolution answers one of the century’s most crucial questions: How can we get smarter about producing and distributing, using and conserving, energy?
In the early 2000s, energy prices have fluctuated wildly, from historic highs in the winter and spring of 2001 to the lowest wholesale prices in decades a few short months later. As the largest user of fossil-fuel energy, the United States is the key player in the world's energy markets, and our nation's energy policy (or lack thereof) has become a subject of increasing concern.
Energy: Science, Policy, and the Pursuit of Sustainability is an essential primer on energy, society, and the environment. It offers an accessible introduction to the "energy problem" -- its definition, analysis, and policy implications. Current patterns of energy use are without question unsustainable over the long term, and our dependence on fossil fuels raises crucial questions of security and self-sufficiency. This volume addresses those questions by examining the three broad dimensions of the issue: physical, human, and political-economic. Chapters consider:
the laws of nature and the impacts of energy use on our physical and ecological life-support systems
the psychological, social, and cultural factors that determine how we use energy
the role of government actions in adjusting costs, influencing resource consumption, and protecting the environment
how markets work, and the reasons and cures for market failures in responding to long-term environmental and energy problems
Energy links energy use with key environmental issues of population, consumption, and pollution and offers readers a range of material needed for an informed policy perspective.
Energy: The Life of John J. McKetta Jr.
By Elisabeth Sharp McKetta, Foreword by William H. Cunningham University of Texas Press, 2017 Library of Congress TP140.M35M354 2017 | Dewey Decimal 660.092
Energy recounts the life of Dr. John J. McKetta Jr., a first-generation Ukrainian American coal miner who worked his way up from the mines to become the world’s foremost energy expert, a university dean, an encyclopedia editor, and one of the most widely known and respected professors in his field. To honor his one hundredth birthday in 2015, thousands of his former students raised more than $25 million to celebrate his contributions to their lives and to chemical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, which rechristened his home department the John J. McKetta Jr. Department of Chemical Engineering.
In this biography, granddaughter Elisabeth Sharp McKetta retraces Dr. McKetta’s path to becoming the godfather of modern chemical engineering. She describes how he dedicated his life to supporting students throughout their careers, becoming legendary for phoning scores of them on their birthdays every year, while also showing Americans how to produce and use energy efficiently. John J. McKetta Jr.’s fascinating story has been the subject of hundreds of articles and interviews, and now Energy is the first full-length book about his remarkable life.
The future of our energy supplies is an explosive topic. Unprecedented global population growth means that energy consumption will certainly continue to increase dramatically, and the worldwide political structures will be reordered. Finding alternative energy sources to avoid a climate catastrophe is a major priority for the 21st century.
The Energy-Environment Connection
Edited by Jack M. Hollander; Foreword by The Reverend Theodore M. Hesburgh Island Press, 1992 Library of Congress TD195.E49E543 1992 | Dewey Decimal 333.7914
Society currently faces critical and unprecedented decisions involving energy supply, use, and regulation. The Energy-Environment Connection brings together leading scientists and policy analysts to provide the latest thinking on all aspects of the vital connection between energy and the environment. Its goal is to help citizens and leaders find ways to balance the costs and benefits of energy within the context of global sustainability.
Transnational perspectives on the relationship between nuclear energy and society.
With the aim of overcoming the disciplinary and national fragmentation that characterizes much research on nuclear energy, Engaging the Atom brings together specialists from a variety of fields to analyze comparative case studies across Europe and the United States. It explores evolving relationships between society and the nuclear sector from the origins of civilian nuclear power until the present, asking why nuclear energy has been more contentious in some countries than in others and why some countries have never gone nuclear, or have decided to phase out nuclear, while their neighbors have committed to the so-called nuclear renaissance. Contributors examine the challenges facing the nuclear sector in the context of aging reactor fleets, pressing climate urgency, and increasing competition from renewable energy sources.
Written by leading academics in their respective disciplines, the nine chapters of Engaging the Atom place the evolution of nuclear energy within a broader set of national and international configurations, including its role within policies and markets.
This volume presents six new papers on environmental/energy economics and policy. Robert Stavins evaluates carbon taxes versus a cap-and-trade mechanism for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, arguing that specific design features of either instrument can be more consequential than the choice of instrument itself. Lucas Davis and James Sallee show that the exemption of electric vehicles from the gasoline tax is likely to be efficient as long as gasoline prices remain below social marginal costs, even though it results in lower tax revenue. Caroline Flammer analyzes the rapidly growing market for green bonds and highlights the importance of third-party certification to the financial and environmental performance of publically traded companies. Antonio Bento, Mark Jacobsen, Christopher Knittel, and Arthur van Benthem develop a general framework for evaluating the costs and benefits of fuel economy standards and use it to account for the differences between several recent studies of changes in these standards. Nicholas Muller estimates a measure of output in the U.S. economy over the last 60 years that accounts for air pollution damages, and shows that pollution effects are sizable, affect growth rates, and have diminished appreciably over time. Finally, Marc Hafstead and Roberton Williams illustrate methods of accounting for employment effects when evaluating the costs and benefits of environmental regulations.
This volume presents six new papers on environmental and energy economics and related policy issues. Robert Pindyck provides a systematic overview of what is known, and remains unknown, about climate change, along with the implications of uncertainty for climate policy. Shaikh Eskander, Sam Fankhauser, and Joana Setzer offer insights from a comprehensive data set on climate change legislation and litigation across all countries of the world over the past thirty years. Adele Morris, Noah Kaufman, and Siddhi Doshi shine a light on how expected trends in the coal industry will create significant challenges for the local public finance of coal-reliant communities. Joseph Aldy and his collaborators analyze the treatment of co-benefits in benefit-cost analyses of federal clean air regulations. Tatyana Deryugina and her co-authors report on the geographic and socioeconomic heterogeneity in the benefits of reducing particulate matter air pollution. Finally, Oliver Browne, Ludovica Gazze, and Michael Greenstone use detailed data on residential water consumption to evaluate the relative impacts of conservation policies based on prices, restrictions, and public persuasion.
In 1965, Royal Dutch Shell started experimenting with a new approach to preparing for the future. This approach, called scenario planning, eschewed forecasting in favor of plausible alternative stories. By using stories, or Ÿscenarios,Œ Shell aimed to avoid the false assumption that the future would look much like the present“an assumption that marred most corporate planning at the time. The Essence of Scenarios offers unmatched insight into the company’s innovative practice, which still has a huge influence on the way businesses, governments, and other organizations think about and plan for the future.In the course of their research, Angela Wilkinson and Roland Kupers interviewed almost every living veteran of the Shell scenario planning operation, along with many top Shell executives from later periods. Drawing on these interviews, the authors identify several principles that characterize the Shell process and explain how it has survived and thrived for so long. They also enumerate the qualities of successful Shell scenarios, which above all must be plausible stories with logical trajectories. Ultimately, Wilkinson and Kupers demonstrate the value of scenario planning as a sustained practice, rather than as a one-off exercise.
In the late 1990s, West Texas was full of rundown towns and pumpjacks, aging reminders of the oil rush of an earlier era. Today, the towns are thriving as 300-foot-tall wind turbines tower above those pumpjacks. Wind energy has become Texas’s latest boom, with the Lone Star State now leading the nation. How did this dramatic transformation happen in a place that fights federal environmental policies at every turn? In The Great Texas Wind Rush, environmental reporters Kate Galbraith and Asher Price tell the compelling story of a group of unlikely dreamers and innovators, politicos and profiteers.
The tale spans a generation and more, and it begins with the early wind pioneers, precocious idealists who saw opportunity after the 1970s oil crisis. Operating in an economy accustomed to exploiting natural resources and always looking for the next big thing, their ideas eventually led to surprising partnerships between entrepreneurs and environmentalists, as everyone from Enron executives to T. Boone Pickens, as well as Ann Richards, George W. Bush and Rick Perry, ended up backing the new technology. In this down-to-earth account, the authors explain the policies and science that propelled the “windcatters” to reap the great harvest of Texas wind. They also explore what the future holds for this relentless resource that is changing the face of Texas energy.
For more than three decades, David Orr has been one of the leading voices of the environmental movement, championing the cause of ecological literacy in higher education, helping to establish and shape the field of ecological design, and working tirelessly to raise awareness of the threats to future generations posed by humanity’s current unsustainable trajectory.
Hope Is an Imperative brings together in a single volume Professor Orr’s most important works. These include classics such as “What Is Education For?,” one of the most widely reprinted essays in the environmental literature, “The Campus and the Biosphere,” which helped launch the green campus movement,and “Loving Children: A Design Problem,” which renowned theologian and philosopher Thomas Berry called “the most remarkable essay I’ve read in my whole life.”
The book features thirty-three essays, along with an introductory section that considers the evolution of environmentalism, section introductions that place the essays into a larger context, and a foreword by physicist and author Fritjof Capra.
Hope Is an Imperative is a comprehensive collection of works by one of the most important thinkers and writers of our time. It offers a complete introduction to the writings of David Orr for readers new to the field, and represents a welcome compendium of key essays for longtime fans. The book is a must-have volume for every environmentalist’s bookshelf.
Lately it has become a matter of conventional wisdom that hydrogen will solve many of our energy and environmental problems. Nearly everyone -- environmentalists, mainstream media commentators, industry analysts, General Motors, and even President Bush -- seems to expect emission-free hydrogen fuel cells to ride to the rescue in a matter of years, or at most a decade or two.
Not so fast, says Joseph Romm. In The Hype about Hydrogen, he explains why hydrogen isn't the quick technological fix it's cracked up to be, and why cheering for fuel cells to sweep the market is not a viable strategy for combating climate change. Buildings and factories powered by fuel cells may indeed become common after 2010, Joseph Romm argues, but when it comes to transportation, the biggest source of greenhouse-gas emissions, hydrogen is unlikely to have a significant impact before 2050.
The Hype about Hydrogen offers a hype-free explanation of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, takes a hard look at the practical difficulties of transitioning to a hydrogen economy, and reveals why, given increasingly strong evidence of the gravity of climate change, neither government policy nor business investment should be based on the belief that hydrogen cars will have meaningful commercial success in the near or medium term. Romm, who helped run the federal government's program on hydrogen and fuel cells during the Clinton administration, provides a provocative primer on the politics, business, and technology of hydrogen and climate protection.
On a spring morning in 1914, in the stark foothills of southern Colorado, members of the United Mine Workers of America clashed with guards employed by the Rockefeller family, and a state militia beholden to Colorado’s industrial barons. When the dust settled, nineteen men, women, and children among the miners’ families lay dead. The strikers had killed at least thirty men, destroyed six mines, and laid waste to two company towns.
Killing for Coal offers a bold and original perspective on the 1914 Ludlow Massacre and the “Great Coalfield War.” In a sweeping story of transformation that begins in the coal beds and culminates with the deadliest strike in American history, Thomas Andrews illuminates the causes and consequences of the militancy that erupted in colliers’ strikes over the course of nearly half a century. He reveals a complex world shaped by the connected forces of land, labor, corporate industrialization, and workers’ resistance.
Brilliantly conceived and written, this book takes the organic world as its starting point. The resulting elucidation of the coalfield wars goes far beyond traditional labor history. Considering issues of social and environmental justice in the context of an economy dependent on fossil fuel, Andrews makes a powerful case for rethinking the relationships that unite and divide workers, consumers, capitalists, and the natural world.
Examines the nuclear power plant constructed at Shoreham, New York, and the accumulated miscalculations and mishaps that eventually forced its deconstruction. An intricate study of the groups, policies and regulatory issues involved in a historic legal battle.
Robin Veder’s The Living Line is a radical reconceptualization of the development of late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century American modernism. The author illuminates connections among the histories of modern art, body cultures, and physiological aesthetics in early-twentieth-century American culture, fundamentally altering our perceptions about art and the physical, and the degree of cross-pollination in the arts. The Living Line shows that American producers and consumers of modernist visual art repeatedly characterized their aesthetic experience in terms of kinesthesia, the sense of bodily movement. They explored abstraction with kinesthetic sensibilities and used abstraction to achieve kinesthetic goals. In fact, the formalist approach to art was galvanized by theories of bodily response derived from experimental physiological psychology and facilitated by contemporary body cultures such as modern dance, rhythmic gymnastics, physical education, and physical therapy. Situating these complementary ideas and exercises in relation to enduring fears of neurasthenia, Veder contends that aesthetic modernism shared industrial modernity’s objective of efficiently managing neuromuscular energy. In a series of finely grained and interconnected case studies, Veder demonstrates that diverse modernists associated with the Armory Show, the Société Anonyme, the Stieglitz circle (especially O’Keeffe), and the Barnes Foundation participated in these discourses and practices and that “kin-aesthetic modernism” greatly influenced the formation of modern art in America and beyond. This daring and completely original work will appeal to a broad audience of art historians, historians of the body, and American culture in general.
The rapid growth of organized crime in Mexico and the government’s response to it have driven an unprecedented rise in violence and impelled major structural economic changes, including the recent passage of energy reform. Los Zetas Inc. asserts that these phenomena are a direct and intended result of the emergence of the brutal Zetas criminal organization in the Mexican border state of Tamaulipas. Going beyond previous studies of the group as a drug trafficking organization, Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera builds a convincing case that the Zetas and similar organizations effectively constitute transnational corporations with business practices that include the trafficking of crude oil, natural gas, and gasoline; migrant and weapons smuggling; kidnapping for ransom; and video and music piracy.
Combining vivid interview commentary with in-depth analysis of organized crime as a transnational and corporate phenomenon, Los Zetas Inc. proposes a new theoretical framework for understanding the emerging face, new structure, and economic implications of organized crime in Mexico. Correa-Cabrera delineates the Zetas establishment, structure, and forms of operation, along with the reactions to this new model of criminality by the state and other lawbreaking, foreign, and corporate actors. Since the Zetas share some characteristics with legal transnational businesses that operate in the energy and private security industries, she also compares this criminal corporation with ExxonMobil, Halliburton, and Blackwater (renamed “Academi” and now a Constellis company). Asserting that the elevated level of violence between the Zetas and the Mexican state resembles a civil war, Correa-Cabrera identifies the beneficiaries of this war, including arms-producing companies, the international banking system, the US border economy, the US border security/military-industrial complex, and corporate capital, especially international oil and gas companies.
When Consumers Power’s plan to build a nuclear power plant in Midland, Michigan, was announced in 1967, it promised to free Michigan residents from expensive, dirty, coal-fired electricity and to keep Dow Chemical operating in the state. But before the plan could be completed, the facility was called an engineering nightmare, a financial disaster, a construction boondoggle, a political headache, and a regulatory muddle. Most locals had welcomed nuclear power eagerly. Why, after almost twenty years and billions of dollars, did this promise of a high-tech, coal-free, prosperous future fail? And what lessons does its failure offer today as Americans try to develop a clean energy economy based on renewable power? To answer these questions, energy consultant and author LeRoy Smith carefully traces the design and construction decisions made by Consumers Power, including its choice of reactor and its hiring of the Bechtel Corporation to manage the project. He also details the rapidly changing regulatory requirements and growing public concern about the environmental risks of nuclear power generation. An examination of both the challenges and importance of renewable energy, this book will be of value to anyone interested in grappling with the complexities of our ongoing efforts to eliminate fossil fuels in favor of clean renewable energy.
Oil and Urbanization on the Pacific Coast tells the story of oilman Ralph Bramel Lloyd, a small business owner who drove the development of one of America’s largest oil fields. Lloyd invested his petroleum earnings in commercial real estate—much of it centered around automobiles and the fuel they require—in several western cities, notably Portland, Oregon. Putting the history of extractive industry in dialogue with the history of urban development, Michael R. Adamson shows how energy is woven into the fabric of modern life, and how the “energy capital” of Los Angeles exerted far-flung influence in the US West.
A contribution to the relatively understudied history of small businesses in the United States, Oil and Urbanization on the Pacific Coast explores issues of interest to multiple audiences, such as the competition for influence over urban development waged among local growth machines and outside corporate interests; the urban rivalries of a region; the importance of public capital in mobilizing the commercial real estate sector during the Great Depression and World War II; and the relationships among owners, architects, and contractors in the execution of commercial building projects.
On Petrocultures brings together key essays by Imre Szeman, a leading scholar in the field of energy humanities and a critical voice in debates about globalization and neoliberalism. Szeman’s most important and influential essays, in dialogue with exciting new pieces written for the book, investigate ever-evolving circuits of power in the contemporary world, as manifested in struggles over space and belonging, redefinitions of work and individual autonomy, and the deep links between energy use and climate change.
These essays explore life lived in the twenty-first century by examining critically the vocabulary through which capitalism makes sense of itself, focusing on concepts like the nation, globalization, neoliberalism, creativity, and entrepreneurship. At the heart of the volume is the concept of “petrocultures,” which demands that we understand a fundamental fact of modern life: we are shaped by and through fossil fuels. Szeman argues that we cannot take steps to address global warming without fundamentally changing the social, cultural, and political norms and expectations developed in conjunction with the energy riches of the past century. On Petrocultures maps the significant challenge of our dependence on fossil fuels and probes ways we might begin to leave petrocultures behind.
One of GreenBiz's Six Best Sustainability Books of 2016
The next few decades will see a profound energy transformation throughout the world. By the end of the century (and perhaps sooner), we will shift from fossil fuel dependence to rely primarily on renewable sources like solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal power. Driven by the need to avert catastrophic climate change and by the depletion of easily accessible oil, coal, and natural gas, this transformation will entail a major shift in how we live. What might a 100% renewable future look like? Which technologies will play a crucial role in our energy future? What challenges will we face in this transition? And how can we make sure our new system is just and equitable?
In Our Renewable Future, energy expert Richard Heinberg and scientist David Fridley explore the challenges and opportunities presented by the shift to renewable energy. Beginning with a comprehensive overview of our current energy system, the authors survey issues of energy supply and demand in key sectors of the economy, including electricity generation, transportation, buildings, and manufacturing. In their detailed review of each sector, the authors examine the most crucial challenges we face, from intermittency in fuel sources to energy storage and grid redesign. The book concludes with a discussion of energy and equity and a summary of key lessons and steps forward at the individual, community, and national level.
The transition to clean energy will not be a simple matter of replacing coal with wind power or oil with solar; it will require us to adapt our energy usage as dramatically as we adapt our energy sources. Our Renewable Future is a clear-eyed and urgent guide to this transformation that will be a crucial resource for policymakers and energy activists.
Planning as Persuasive Storytelling is a revealing look at the world of political conflict surrounding the Commonwealth Edison Company's ambitious nuclear power plant construction program in northern Illinois during the 1980s. Examining the clash between the utility, consumer groups, community-based groups, the Illinois Commerce Commission, and the City of Chicago, Throgmorton argues that planning can best be thought of as a form of persuasive storytelling. A planner's task is to write future-oriented texts that employ language and figures of speech designed to persuade their constituencies of the validity of their vision. Juxtaposing stories about efforts to construct Chicago's electric future, Planning as Persuasive Storytelling suggests a shift in how we think about planning. In order to account for the fragmented and conflicted nature of contemporary American life and politics, that shift would be away from "science" and the "experts" and toward rhetoric and storytelling.
With global demand for energy poised to increase by more than half in the next three decades, the supply of safe, reliable, and reasonably priced gas and oil will continue to be of fundamental importance to modern economies. Central to this supply are the pipelines that transport this energy. And while the fundamental economics of the major pipeline networks are the same, the differences in their ownership, commercial development, and operation can provide insight into the workings of market institutions in various nations.
Drawing on a century of the world’s experience with gas and oil pipelines, this book illustrates the importance of economics in explaining the evolution of pipeline politics in various countries. It demonstrates that institutional differences influence ownership and regulation, while rents and consumer pricing depend on the size and diversity of existing markets, the depth of regulatory institutions, and the historical structure of the pipeline businesses themselves. The history of pipelines is also rife with social conflict, and Makholm explains how and when institutions in a variety of countries have controlled pipeline behavior—either through economic regulation or government ownership—in the public interest.
The electric power industry has been transformed over the past forty years, becoming more reliable and resilient while meeting environmental goals. A big question now is how to prevent backsliding.
Pollution, Politics, and Power tells the story of the remarkable transformation of the electric power industry over the last four decades. Electric power companies have morphed from highly polluting regulated monopolies into competitive, deregulated businesses that generate, transmit, and distribute cleaner electricity. Power companies are investing heavily in natural gas and utility-scale renewable resources and have stopped building new coal-fired plants. They facilitate end-use efficiency and purchase excess electricity produced by rooftop solar panels and backyard wind turbines, helping to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
But these beneficial changes have come with costs. The once-powerful coal industry is on the edge of ruin, with existing coal-fired plants closing and coal mines shutting down. As a result, communities throughout Appalachia suffer from high unemployment and reduced resources, which have exacerbated a spiraling opioid epidemic. The Trump administration’s efforts to revive the coal industry by scaling back environmental controls and reregulating electricity prices have had little effect on the coal industry’s decline.
Major advances therefore come with warning signs, which we must heed in charting the continuing course of sustainable electricity. In Pollution, Politics, and Power, Thomas O. McGarity examines the progress made, details lessons learned, and looks to the future with suggestions for building a more sustainable grid while easing the economic downsides of coal’s demise.
As the electric power industry faces the challenges of climate change, technological disruption, new market imperatives, and changing policies, a renowned energy expert offers a roadmap to the future of this essential sector.
As the damaging and costly impacts of climate change increase, the rapid development of sustainable energy has taken on great urgency. The electricity industry has responded with necessary but wrenching shifts toward renewables, even as it faces unprecedented challenges and disruption brought on by new technologies, new competitors, and policy changes. The result is a collision course between a grid that must provide abundant, secure, flexible, and affordable power, and an industry facing enormous demands for power and rapid, systemic change.
The fashionable solution is to think small: smart buildings, small-scale renewables, and locally distributed green energy. But Peter Fox-Penner makes clear that these will not be enough to meet our increasing needs for electricity. He points instead to the indispensability of large power systems, battery storage, and scalable carbon-free power technologies, along with the grids and markets that will integrate them. The electric power industry and its regulators will have to provide all of these, even as they grapple with changing business models for local electric utilities, political instability, and technological change. Power after Carbon makes sense of all the moving parts, providing actionable recommendations for anyone involved with or relying on the electric power system.
Your building has the potential to change the world. Existing buildings consume approximately 40 percent of the energy and emit nearly half of the carbon dioxide in the US each year. In recognition of the significant contribution of buildings to climate change, the idea of building green has become increasingly popular. But is it enough? If an energy-efficient building is new construction, it may take 10 to 80 years to overcome the climate change impacts of the building process. New buildings are sexy, but few realize the value in existing buildings and how easy it is to get to “zero energy” or low-energy consumption through deep energy retrofits. Existing buildings can and should be retrofit to reduce environmental impacts that contribute to climate change, while improving human health and productivity for building occupants.
In The Power of Existing Buildings, academic sustainability expert Robert Sroufe, and construction and building experts Craig Stevenson and Beth Eckenrode, explain how to realize the potential of existing buildings and make them perform like new. This step-by-step guide will help readers to: understand where to start a project; develop financial models and realize costs savings; assemble an expert team; and align goals with numerous sustainability programs. The Power of Existing Buildings will challenge you to rethink spaces where people work and play, while determining how existing buildings can save the world.
The insights and practical experience of Sroufe, Stevenson, and Eckenrode, along with the project case study examples, provide new insights on investing in existing buildings for building owners, engineers, occupants, architects, and real estate and construction professionals. The Power of Existing Buildings helps decision-makers move beyond incremental changes to holistic, results-oriented solutions.
The beauty of the Hudson River Valley was a legendary subject for artists during the nineteenth century. They portrayed its bucolic settings and humans in harmony with nature as the physical manifestation of God’s work on earth. More than a hundred years later, those sentiments would be tested as never before. In the fall of 1962, Consolidated Edison of New York, the nation’s largest utility company, announced plans for the construction of a pumped-storage hydroelectric power plant at Storm King Mountain on the Hudson River, forty miles north of New York City. Over the next eighteen years, their struggle against environmentalists would culminate in the abandonment of the project.
Robert D. Lifset offers an original case history of this monumental event in environmental history, when a small group of concerned local residents initiated a landmark case of ecology versus energy production. He follows the progress of this struggle, as Con Ed won approvals and permits early on, but later lost ground to environmentalists who were able to raise questions about the potential damage to the habitat of Hudson River striped bass.
Lifset uses the struggle over Storm King to examine how environmentalism changed during the 1960s and 1970s. He also views the financial challenges and increasingly frequent blackouts faced by Con Ed, along with the pressure to produce ever-larger quantities of energy.
As Lifset demonstrates, the environmental cause was greatly empowered by the fact that through this struggle, for the first time, environmentalists were able to gain access to the federal courts. The environmental cause was also greatly advanced by adopting scientific evidence of ecological change, combined with mounting public awareness of the environmental consequences of energy production and consumption. These became major factors supporting the case against Con Ed, spawning a range of new local, regional, and national environmental organizations and bequeathing to the Hudson River Valley a vigilant and intense environmental awareness. A new balance of power emerged, and energy companies would now be held to higher standards that protected the environment.
Power Struggles: Hydro Development and First Nations in Manitoba and Quebec examines the evolution of new agreements between First Nations and Inuit and the hydro corporations in Quebec and Manitoba, including the Wuskwatim Dam Project, Paix des Braves, and the Great Whale Project. In the 1970s, both provinces signed so-called “modern treaties” with First Nations for the development of large hydro projects in Aboriginal territories. In recent times, however, the two provinces have diverged in their implementation, and public opinion of these agreements has ranged from celebratory to outrage.Power Struggles brings together perspectives on these issues from both scholars and activists. In debating the relative merits and limits of these agreements, they raise a crucial question: Is Canada on the eve of a new relationship with First Nations, or do the same colonial attitudes that have long characterized Canadian-Aboriginal relations still prevail?
In the late 1990s, while Enron was flying high, a smaller power company flew under the radar. AES was founded in 1981 according to a different set of principles—fiscally conservative investment strategies paired with the belief that business can be both fun and socially responsible.
When Roger Sant arrived in Washington, D.C., in 1974, industry and government were focused on securing ever more oil, gas, coal, and nuclear energy, not on efficiency. Sant, who left a teaching position at Stanford’s business school to become assistant administrator of the Federal Energy Administration, was committed to changing the focus. With his colleague Dennis Bakke and a handful of investors, Sant founded AES, an upstart energy service company that would ultimately help transform the industry. The company was built on Sant and Bakke’s ideals: a healthy work environment, a healthy natural environment, and efficient electricity generation and delivery at an affordable price. AES seized the opportunities created by deregulation of the electricity industry, breaking free of an energy infrastructure dating back to Thomas Edison’s day. While Enron and many others stumbled, AES proved itself able to survive and often to thrive. Rapid growth would become the company’s greatest challenge, yet through exhilarating highs and disappointing lows, AES has maintained its founders’ original vision of electricity generation that sustains workers, consumers, and the environment.
Power to People is the story of electricity privatization, expanding global markets, and the transformation of an industry. It is also proof of the electrifying combination of innovation and good citizenship.
Thirty years ago, our global energy landscape did not look remarkably different from what it does today. Three or four decades from now, it certainly will: dwindling oil reserves will clash with skyrocketing demand, as developing nations around the world lead their citizens into the modern energy economy, and all the while, the grave threat of catastrophic climate change looms ever larger. Energy worries are at an all-time high—just how will we power our future?
With The Powers That Be, Scott L. Montgomery cuts through the hype, alarmism, and confusion to give us a straightforward, informed account of where we are now, and a map of where we’re going. Starting with the inescapable fact of our current dependence on fossil fuels—which supply 80% of all our energy needs today—Montgomery clearly and carefully lays out the many alternative energy options available, ranging from the familiar, like water and solar, to such nascent but promising sources as hydrogen and geothermal power. What is crucial, Montgomery explains, is understanding that our future will depend not on some single, wondrous breakthrough; instead, we should focus on developing a more diverse, adaptable energy future, one that draws on a variety of sources—and is thus less vulnerable to disruption or failure.
An admirably evenhanded and always realistic guide, Montgomery enables readers to understand the implications of energy funding, research, and politics at a global scale. At the same time, he doesn’t neglect the ultimate connection between those decisions and the average citizen flipping a light switch or sliding behind the wheel of a car, making The Powers That Be indispensible for our ever-more energy conscious age.
From the solitary windmill standing sentry over a rural homestead to the sleek machinery of a modern wind farm, windmills are a powerful symbol of self-reliance and human ingenuity. Once the province of backyard tinkerers and eccentric inventors, they have over the past two decades entered the mainstream to be embraced by environmentalists, venture capitalists, and policymakers alike. But reaching that point wasn't easy.In Reaping the Wind, journalist Peter Asmus tells the fascinating and convoluted history of commercial wind power in the United States. He introduces readers to maverick scientists and technologists who labored in obscurity, to entrepreneurs and visionary capitalists who believed that a centuries-old idea could be made feasible in the modern world, and to enterprising financial advisers and investors who sought to exploit the last great tax shelter in federal history. Beginning with the early pioneers, from William Heronemus, a former U.S. Navy captain who dreamt of huge floating wind farms off the coast of New England, to the $40 million success story of Jim Dehlsen of Zond, he offers an animated narrative that profiles the colorful cast of characters involved with the development of the American wind power industry.Reaping the Wind is both engaging and instructive, with information about the technologies and policies that drive the industry and give it promise interwoven with the human story of the struggle to develop -- against great odds -- reliable, clean energy from a source as unpredictable and seemingly uncontrollable as the wind. Anyone interested in renewable energy or the human and political drama behind the development of new technologies will find the book an engrossing and enlightening read.
C. P. Snow once remarked that not knowing the second law of thermodynamics is like never having read Shakespeare. Yet, while many people grasp the first law of energy, “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed,” few recognize the second, “Entropy can only increase.” What is entropy anyway, and why must it increase? Whether we want to know how a device as simple as a refrigerator works or understand the fate of the universe, we must start with the concepts of energy and entropy.
In The Refrigerator and the Universe, Martin and Inge Goldstein explain the laws of thermodynamics for science buffs and neophytes alike. They begin with a lively presentation of the historical development of thermodynamics. The authors then show how the laws follow from the atomic theory of matter and give examples of their applicability to such diverse phenomena as the radiation of light from hot bodies, the formation of diamonds from graphite, how the blood carries oxygen, and the history of the earth. The laws of energy, the Goldsteins conclude, have something to say about everything, even if they do not tell us everything about anything.
Traditionally protected as monopolies, electric utilities are now being caught in the fervor for deregulation that is sweeping the country. Nearly forty states have enacted or are considering laws and regulations that will profoundly alter the way the electric utility industry is governed. Concerned citizens are beginning to ponder the environmental implications of such a change, and while many fear that the pressure of competition will exacerbate environmental problems, others argue that deregulation provides a tremendous opportunity for citizens to work toward promoting cleaner energy and a more sustainable way of life.
In Reinventing Electric Utilities, Ed Smeloff and Peter Asmus consider the challenges for citizens and the utility industry in this new era of competition. Through an in-depth case study of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), a once-troubled utility that is now widely regarded as a model for energy efficiency and renewable energy development, they explore the changes that have occurred in the utility industry, and the implications of those changes for the future. The SMUD portrait is complemented by regional case studies of Portland General Electric and the Washington Public Power Supply System, the New England Electric Service, Northern States Power, the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas, and others that highlight the efforts of citizen groups and utilities to eliminate unproductive and environmentally damaging sources of power and to promote the use of new, cleaner energy technologies.
The authors present and explain some of the fundamental principles that govern restructuring, while acknowledging that solutions will depend upon the unique resource needs, culture, and utility structure of each particular region. Smeloff and Asmus argue that any politically sustainable restructuring of the electric services industry must address the industry's high capital cost commitments and environmental burdens.
Throughout, they make the case that with creative leadership, open and competitive markets, and the active participation of citizens, this upheaval offers a unique opportunity for electric utilities to lessen the burden of electricity production on the environment and reduce the cost of electric services through the use of more competitive, cleaner power sources.
While neither technological innovation nor the magic of the market will in and of itself reinvent the electric utility industry, the influence of those dynamic forces must be understood. Reinventing Electric Utilities is an important work for policymakers, energy professionals, and anyone concerned about the future of the electric services industry.
This new volume draws from provocative discussions on the urban social contract among policy makers, researchers, public intellectuals, and citizens at the 2015 UIC Urban Forum. Michael A. Pagano presents papers that emphasize political agreements, disagreements, challenges, and controversies on health, energy, and environmental policies. Authors explore the substantive and philosophical changes in the urban social contract and offer proposals for remaking it in the new century. Topics range from big-picture analyses to specifics covering areas like public services, the smart cities movement, and greening strategies. Contributors: Alba Alexander, Megan Houston, Dennis R. Judd, Cynthia Klein-Banai, William C. Kling, Howard A. Learner, David A. McDonald, David C. Perry, Emily Stiehl, Anthony Townsend, Natalia Villamizar-Duarte, and Moira Zellner.
Energy supply problems for the long run have not been solved according to John Blackburn, and they will reappear when the present temporary glut in the oil market ends. Now is the time, Blackburn argues, to plan an orderly transition to a sustainable energy future—before another crisis looms.
This free e-book collects articles, op-eds, and other short-form writing from the Island Press Urban Resilience Project. Written by a diverse group of activists, academics, and practitioners, this contributed volume addresses various dimensions of resilience—economic, ecological, and social.
Risk and risk allocation have always been central issues in public utility regulation. Unfortunately, the term “risk” can easily be misrepresented and misinterpreted, especially when disconnected from long-standing principles of corporate finance.
This book provides those in the regulatory policy community with a basic theoretical and practical grounding in risk as it relates specifically to economic regulation in order to focus and elevate discourse about risk in the utility sector in the contemporary context of economic, technological, and regulatory change. This is not a “how-to” book with regard to calculating risks and returns but rather a resource that aims to improve understanding of the nature of risk. It draws from the fields of corporate finance, behavioral finance, and decision theory as well as the broader legal and economic theories that undergird institutional economics and the economic regulatory paradigm.
We exist in a world of scarce resources and abundant uncertainties, the combination of which can exacerbate and distort our sense of risk. Although there is understandable impulse to reduce risk, attempts to mitigate may be as likely to shift risk, and some measures might actually increase risk exposure. Many of the concepts explored here apply not just to financial decisions, such as those by utility investors, but also to regulatory and utility decision-making in general.
The fossil fuel revolution is usually rendered as a tale of historic advances in energy production. In this perspective-changing account, Christopher F. Jones instead tells a story of advances in energy access—canals, pipelines, and wires that delivered power in unprecedented quantities to cities and factories at a great distance from production sites. He shows that in the American mid-Atlantic region between 1820 and 1930, the construction of elaborate transportation networks for coal, oil, and electricity unlocked remarkable urban and industrial growth along the eastern seaboard. But this new transportation infrastructure did not simply satisfy existing consumer demand—it also whetted an appetite for more abundant and cheaper energy, setting the nation on a path toward fossil fuel dependence.
Between the War of 1812 and the Great Depression, low-cost energy supplied to cities through a burgeoning delivery system allowed factory workers to mass-produce goods on a scale previously unimagined. It also allowed people and products to be whisked up and down the East Coast at speeds unattainable in a country dependent on wood, water, and muscle. But an energy-intensive America did not benefit all its citizens equally. It provided cheap energy to some but not others; it channeled profits to financiers rather than laborers; and it concentrated environmental harms in rural areas rather than cities.
Today, those who wish to pioneer a more sustainable and egalitarian energy order can learn valuable lessons from this history of the nation’s first steps toward dependence on fossil fuels.
The world’s water is under siege. A combination of corporate greed, the elite pursuit of political power, and our unrelenting reliance on carbon-based energy is accerlating a broad range of environmental and political crises. Potentially catastrophic climate change, driven primarily by the consumption of oil and gas, threatens the environment in a variety of ways, including producing unprecedented patterns of heavy weather and superstorms in some places and droughts in others. Alongside intensifying environmental dangers posed by our reliance on carbon energy, the conditions of modern life, from happiness to the possibility of democratic politics, are also being undermined.
In Running Dry, historian Toby Craig Jones explores how modern society’s unquenchable thirst for carbon-based energy is endangering the environment broadly, as well as the historical roots of this threat. This accessible book examines the history of the "energy-water nexus," the ways in which oil and gas extraction poison and dry up water resources, the role of corporate "science" in deflecting attention away from the emerging crises, and the ways in which the rush to capture more energy is also challenging America's democratic order.
For decades, we’ve heard that local, renewable power is on the horizon, and cheaper technologies will one day revolutionize our energy system. Michelle Moore has spent her career proving this opportunity is already here—and any community, no matter how small, can build their own clean energy future. Rural Renaissance: Revitalizing America’s Hometowns Through Clean Power is the inspiring and practical guide to igniting this transition today.
In Rural Renaissance, Moore argues we don’t have to wait for new legislation or technologies to begin our work. From the White House to her hometown in rural Georgia, Moore has gathered the tools needed to bring the far-reaching benefits of clean power to small communities, particularly in rural America. In this accessible guide, Moore provides an overview of the current energy landscape, including the federal, state, and local policies that will shape each community’s unique approach. Next, she describes five pathways to clean power in rural America and strategies for achieving them, including energy efficiency, renewable power, resilience (including microgrids and battery storage), the electrification of transportation, and finally, broadband internet. Throughout this journey, Moore shares stories of challenges and successes and encourages readers to design programs that address inequality.
Clean energy shouldn’t be reserved for the wealthy or for sleek and modern city centers. Rural Renaissance offers a vision of thriving rural communities where clean power is the spark that leads to greater investment, vitality, and equity. We can start today—and this book provides the toolbox.
Taken from the pages of Science and supplemented by contributions from the magazine’s editors, State of the Planet 2008-2009 offers contemporary science writing that is sometimes provocative, frequently enlightening, and always authoritative. Published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Science is one of the most respected scientific magazines in the world. With a readership of more than one million people, it offers “hard science” from top scientists to both educated lay readers and scientists alike. The articles collected here are arranged thematically and each section is introduced by a prominent scientist or science writer. Donald Kennedy, who was Editor-in-Chief of Science when these articles appeared in the magazine, contributes a preface and several short essays. Focusing on issues of energy and sustainability, sections of the volume are devoted to the prospects of energy-sparing technologies and alternatives to fossil fuel use, including ethanol and cellulosic digestion. Other sections center on climate change, led by a comprehensive essay on the state of scientific knowledge today and followed by contributions about the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, as well as the effects of climate change that have been measured to date, including changes in migration and breeding cycles of birds and flowering in plants, changing patterns of hurricanes and extreme weather events, and alterations in forest fire frequency. Interspersed throughout the book are Science news pieces that highlight particular issues and cases relevant to the main scientific findings. A glossary of key terms and concepts helps students and nonspecialists better understand the terminology and the issues.
Although we take it for granted today, the concept of "energy" transformed nineteenth-century physics. In The Science of Energy, Crosbie Smith shows how a North British group of scientists and engineers, including James Joule, James Clerk Maxwell, William and James Thomson, Fleeming Jenkin, and P. G. Tait, developed energy physics to solve practical problems encountered by Scottish shipbuilders and marine engineers; to counter biblical revivalism and evolutionary materialism; and to rapidly enhance their own scientific credibility.
Replacing the language and concepts of classical mechanics with terms such as "actual" and "potential" energy, the North British group conducted their revolution in physics so astutely and vigorously that the concept of "energy"—a valuable commodity in the early days of industrialization—became their intellectual property. Smith skillfully places this revolution in its scientific and cultural context, exploring the actual creation of scientific knowledge during one of the most significant episodes in the history of physics.
We remember Thomas Edison as the inventor of the incandescent light bulb, but he deserves credit for something much larger, an even more singular invention that profoundly changed the way the world works: the modern electric utility industry. Edison’s light bulb was the first to work within a system where a utility generated electricity and distributed it to customers for lighting. The story of how electric utilities went within one generation from prototype to an indispensable part of most Americans’ lives is a story about the relationships between political and technological change.
John L. Neufeld offers a comprehensive historical treatment of the economics that shaped electric utilities. Compared with most industries, the organization of the electric utility industry is not—and cannot be—economically efficient. Most industries are kept by law in a state of fair competition, but the capital necessary to start an electric company—generators, transmission and distribution systems, and land and buildings—is so substantial that few companies can enter the market and compete. Therefore, the natural state of the electric utility industry since its inception has been a monopoly subject to government oversight. These characteristics of electric utilities—and electricity’s importance—have created over time sharp political controversies, and changing public policies have dramatically changed the industry’s structure to an extent matched by few other industries. Neufeld outlines the struggles that shaped the industry’s development, and shows how the experience of electric utilities provides insight into the design of economic institutions, including today’s new large-scale markets.
The US shale boom and efforts by other countries to exploit their shale resources could reshape energy and environmental landscapes across the world. But how might those landscapes change? Will countries with significant physical reserves try to exploit them? Will they protect or harm local communities and the global climate? Will the benefits be shared or retained by powerful interests? And how will these decisions be made? The Shale Dilemma brings together experts working at the forefront of shale gas issues on four continents to explain how countries reach their decisions on shale development. Using a common analytical framework, the authors identify both local factors and transnational patterns in the decision-making process. Eight case studies reveal the trade-offs each country makes as it decides whether to pursue, delay, or block development. Those outcomes in turn reflect the nature of a country’s political process and the power of interest groups on both sides of the issue. The contributors also ask whether the economic arguments made by the shale industry and its government supporters have overshadowed the concerns of local communities for information on the effects of shale operations, and for tax policies and regulations to ensure broad-based economic development and environmental protection.
As an informative and even-handed account, The Shale Dilemma recommends practical steps to help countries reach better, more transparent, and more far-sighted decisions.
Few industries in the U.S. are as stuck in the past as our utilities are. In the face of growing challenges from climate change and the need for energy security, a system and a business model that each took more than a century to evolve must now be extensively retooled in the span of a few decades. Despite the need, many of the technologies and institutions needed are still being designed or tested. It is like rebuilding our entire airplane fleet, along with our runways and air traffic control system, while the planes are all up in the air filled with passengers.
In this accessible and insightful book, Peter Fox-Penner considers how utilities interact with customers and how the Smart Grid could revolutionize their relationship. Turning to the supply side, he considers the costs of, and tradeoffs between, large-scale power sources such as coal plants and small-scale power sources close to customers. Finally, he looks at how utilities can respond to all of these challenges and remain viable, while financing hundreds of billions of dollars of investment without much of an increase in sales.
Upon publication, Smart Power was praised as an instant classic on the future of energy utilities. This Anniversary Edition includes up-to-date assessments of the industry by such leading energy experts as Daniel Estes and Jim Rogers, as well as a new afterword from the author. Anyone who is interested in our energy future will appreciate the clear explanations and the in-depth analysis it offers.
A new national policy on climate change is under debate in the United States and is likely to result in a cap on greenhouse gas emissions for utilities. This and other developments will prompt utilities to undergo the largest changes in their history. Smart Power examines the many facets of this unprecedented transformation.
This enlightening book begins with a look back on the deregulatory efforts of the 1990s and their gradual replacement by concerns over climate change, promoting new technologies, and developing stable prices and supplies. In thorough but non-technical terms it explains the revolutionary changes that the Smart Grid is bringing to utility operations. It also examines the options for low-carbon emissions along with the real-world challenges the industry and its regulators must face as the industry retools and finances its new sources and systems.
Throughout the book, Peter Fox-Penner provides insights into the policy choices and regulatory reform needed to face these challenges. He not only weighs the costs and benefits of every option, but presents interviews with informed experts, including economists, utility CEOs, and engineers. He gives a brief history of the development of the current utility business model and examines possible new business models that are focused on energy efficiency. Smart Power explains every aspect of the coming energy revolution for utilities in lively prose that will captivate even the most techno-phobic readers.
Southern Illinois Coal: A Portfolio
C. William Horrell. Edited with an Introduction by Herbert K. Russell. Foreword by Jeffrey L. Horrell Southern Illinois University Press, 1995 Library of Congress HD8039.M6152U645 1995 | Dewey Decimal 305.9622
The coal mining photographs of C. William Horrell, taken across the southern Illinois Coal Belt over a twenty-year period from 1966 to 1986, are extraordinary examples of documentary photography—so stark and striking that captions often seem superfluous.
Horrell’s photographs capture the varied phenomena of twentieth-century coal mining technology: the awesome scale of surface mining machines and their impact on the land; massive machines forced into narrow passageways with inches to spare as they carry coal from the face to conveyer belts; and, more significant, the advent of continuous miners, machines that can handle four previously separate processes and which have been a fixture in underground or “deep” mines since the mid-1960s.
Horrell was also intrigued by the related activities of mining, including coal’s processing, cleaning, and transportation, as well as the daily, behind-the-scenes operations that keep mines and miners working. His photographs reflect the beauty of the commonplace—the clothes of the miners, their dinner pails, and their tools—and reveal the picturesque remnants of closed mines: the weathered boards of company houses, the imposing iron beauty of an ancient tipple, and an abandoned building against the lowering sky of an approaching storm. Finally, his portraits of coal minersshow the strength, dignity, and enduring spirit of the men and women who work the southern Illinois coal mines.
In 2006 Abu Dhabi launched an ambitious project to construct the world’s first zero-carbon city: Masdar City. In Spaceship in the Desert Gökçe Günel examines the development and construction of Masdar City's renewable energy and clean technology infrastructures, providing an illuminating portrait of an international group of engineers, designers, and students who attempted to build a post-oil future in Abu Dhabi. While many of Masdar's initiatives—such as developing a new energy currency and a driverless rapid transit network—have stalled or not met expectations, Günel analyzes how these initiatives contributed to rendering the future a thinly disguised version of the fossil-fueled present. Spaceship in the Desert tells the story of Masdar, at once a “utopia” sponsored by the Emirati government, and a well-resourced company involving different actors who participated in the project, each with their own agendas and desires.
Steering a New Course offers a comprehensive survey and analysis of America's transportation system -- how it contributes to our environmental problems and how we could make it safer, more efficient, and less costly.
Though oil prices have been on a downward trajectory in recent months, that doesn't obscure the fact that fossil fuels are finite, and we will eventually have to grapple with the end of their dominance. At the same time, however, skepticism about the alternatives remains: we've never quite achieved the promised 'too cheap to meter' power of the future, be it nuclear, solar, or wind. And hydrogen and bio-based fuels are thus far a disappointment. So what does the future of energy look like?The Tesla Revolution has the answers. In clear, unsensational style, Willem Middelkoop and Rembrandt Koppelaar offer a layman's tour of the energy landscape, now and to come. They show how rapid technological advances in batteries and solar technologies are already driving large-scale transformations in power supply, while economic and geopolitical changes, combined with a growing political awareness that there are alternatives to fossil fuels will combine in the coming years to bring an energy revolution ever closer. Within in our lifetimes, the authors argue, we will see changes that will reshape economics, the balance of political power, and even the most mundane aspects of our daily lives.Determinedly forward-looking and optimistic, though never straying from hard facts, The Tesla Revolution paints a striking picture of our global energy future.
Everything is subject to a lifecycle. In the field of energy, the obvious question is, “Where are we in the lifecycle of fossil fuels?” Competitive technology for sourcing renewable energy, marketplace readiness, and pressures from climate change all signal that the fossil fuel era is coming to an end. This book explains the alternatives and suggests when and how change will occur. Employing a global perspective and detailed analysis, it provides recommendations on policies and strategies to make a smooth and wholesale transition to renewables before the continued use of fossil fuels becomes economically and socially disruptive.
Gregory Meehan’s overview eschews politics in favor of comprehensive coverage and logical explanation. He addresses economic, environmental, and security concerns and does not shy away from illuminating limitations and problems with various energy sources. Meehan’s dogged pursuit of the current state of knowledge and energy practices around the world shows that different answers are proving viable for different social and environmental contexts. This is the most wide-ranging and thorough introduction to the world’s energy issues and choices to date.
Lecture and exercise guides available upon request.
Bringing the word sustainability back from the brink of cliché—to a substantive, truly sustainable future
Is sustainability a hopelessly vague word, with meager purpose aside from a feel-good appeal to the consumer? In The Three Sustainabilities, Allan Stoekl seeks to (re)valorize the word, for a simple reason: it is useful. Sustainability designates objects in time, their birth or genesis, their consistency, their survival, their demise. And it raises the question, as no other word does, of the role of humans in the survival of a world that is quickly disappearing—and perhaps in the genesis of another world.
Stoekl considers a range of possibilities for the word, touching upon questions of object ontology, psychoanalysis, urban critique, technocracy, and religion. He argues that there are three varieties of sustainability, seen from philosophical, cultural, and economic perspectives. One involves the self-sustaining world “without us”; another, the world under our control, which can run the political spectrum from corporatism to Marxism to the Green New Deal; and a third that carries a social and communitarian charge, an energy of the “universe” affirmed through, among other things, meditation and gifting. Each of these carves out a different space in the relations between objects, humans, and their survival and degradation. Each is necessary, unavoidable, and intimately bound with, and infinitely distant from, the others.
Along the way, Stoekl cites a wide range of authors, from philosophers to social thinkers, literary theorists to criminologists, anthropologists to novelists. This beautifully written, compelling, and nuanced book is a must for anyone interested in questions of ecology, energy, the environmental humanities, contemporary theories of the object, postmodern and posthuman aesthetics, or religion and the sacred in relation to community.
Unnatural Resources explores the intersection of energy production and environmental regulation in Appalachia after the oil embargo of 1973. The years from 1969 to 1973 saw the passage of a number of laws meant to protect the environment from human destruction, and they initially enjoyed broad public popularity. However, the oil embargo, which caused lines and fistfights at gasoline stations, refocused Americans’ attention on economic issues and alerted Americans to the dangers of relying on imported oil. As a drive to increase domestic production of energy gained momentum, it soon appeared that new environmental regulations were inhibiting this initiative. A backlash against environmental regulations helped inaugurate a bipartisan era of market-based thinking in American politics and discredited the idea that the federal government had a constructive role to play in addressing energy issues. This study connects political, labor, and environmental history to contribute to a growing body of literature on the decline of the New Deal and the rise of pro-market thinking in American politics.
The southwestern Pennsylvania town of Connellsville lay in the middle of a massive reserve of high quality coal. Connellsville coal was so soft and easily worked that one man and a boy could cut and load ten tons of it in ten hours.
This region became a major source of coke, a vital material in industrial processes, above all in steel manufacture, producing forty-seven percent of America`s supply in 1913. But by the 1920s, what had seemed to be a gold mine was turning into a devastating economic, environmental and social loss.
In Wealth, Waste and Alienation, Kenneth Warren draws from primary source material, including the minutes and letters of the Carnegie Steel Company, the United States Steel Corporation, and the archives of Henry Clay Frick, to explain the birth, phenomenal growth, decline and death of the Connellsville coke industry. Its rich natural resources produced wealth for individuals, companies, and some communities, but as Warren shows, there was also social alienation, waste, and devastation of the natural environment. The complicated structure of enterprise, capital, and labor which made this region flourish unwound almost as quickly as it arose, creating repercussions that are still reverberating in what’s left of Connellsville today, a kind of postindustrial rural shell of its former productive glory.
A Foreign Affairs Best Book of the Year on Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Republics
The Russian oil industry—which vies with Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest producer and exporter of oil, providing nearly 12 percent of the global supply—is facing mounting problems that could send shock waves through the Russian economy and worldwide. Wheel of Fortune provides an authoritative account of this vital industry from the last years of communism to its uncertain future. Tracking the interdependence among Russia’s oil industry, politics, and economy, Thane Gustafson shows how the stakes extend beyond international energy security to include the potential threat of a destabilized Russia.
“Few have studied the Russian oil and gas industry longer or with a broader political perspective than Gustafson. The result is this superb book, which is not merely a fascinating, subtle history of the industry since the Soviet Union’s collapse but also the single most revealing work on Russian politics and economics published in the last several years.” —Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs
“The history of Russia’s oil industry since the collapse of communism is the history of the country itself. There can be few better guides to this terrain than Thane Gustafson.” —Neil Buckley, Financial Times