We dont have an energy crisis. We have a consumption crisis. And this book, which takes aim at cherished assumptions regarding energy, offers refreshingly straight talk about whats wrong with the way we think and talk about the problem. Though we generally believe we can solve environmental problems with more energymore solar cells, wind turbines, and biofuelsalternative technologies come with their own side effects and limitations. How, for instance, do solar cells cause harm? Why cant engineers solve wind powers biggest obstacle? Why wont contraception solve the problem of overpopulation lying at the heart of our concerns about energy, and what will?
This practical, environmentally informed, and lucid book persuasively argues for a change of perspective. If consumption is the problem, as Ozzie Zehner suggests, then we need to shift our focus from suspect alternative energies to improving social and political fundamentals: walkable communities, improved consumption, enlightened governance, and, most notably, womens rights. The dozens of first steps he offers are surprisingly straightforward. For instance, he introduces a simple sticker that promises a greater impact than all of the nations solar cells. He uncovers why carbon taxes wont solve our energy challenges (and presents two taxes that could). Finally, he explores how future environmentalists will focus on similarly fresh alternatives that are affordable, clean, and can actually improve our well-being.