- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: University of Nebraska Press (1 June 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0803237758
- ISBN-13: 978-0803237759
- Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 3 x 21.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,96,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism (Our Sustainable Future) Paperback – 1 Jun 2012
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"As a nation, we have hard decisions before us. We need to find actual, tangible solutions that will make a real difference. Our path begins with critical thinking and informed choices. This book helps us get started."-Jonathan Hladik, Great Plains Research -- Great Plains Research * Jonathan Hladik * "All Americans should read this book."-K. J. White, Choice -- K. J. White * Choice * "This book is a must read for anyone concerned with sustainable living."-Daniel J. Benor, International Journal of Healing and Caring -- Daniel J. Benor * International Journal of Healing and Caring * "With chapter subtitles like "Step Away From the Pom-Poms" and epigraphs from the likes of Dr. Seuss, Zehner is a delightful apostate in the church of green energy."-Sarah Rothbard, slate.com -- Sarah Rothbard * slate.com * "What set Zehner's work apart from the glut of other environment-related titles are his fresh ideas and superlatively engaging prose."-Carl Hays, Booklist Online -- Carl Hays * Booklist Online * "A bold look at the downside of green technologies and a host of refreshingly simple substitute solutions."-Kirkus * Kirkus *
About the Author
Ozzie Zehner, who has collaborated on numerous projects in industry, government, and academia, is a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Zehner has provided important information that all Americans (really, all people in industrialized countries) should be exposed to. You'll find out why solar cells, wind power, ethanol, and other "green" energy solutions are not as perfect as they are touted in the popular media. You'll probably be shocked to comprehend exactly how deeply ingrained we are in U.S. culture with the need to drive cars, buy as much as possible, and work overtime. Think about it - what do people really want? More vacation time? More time with the people we love, friends and family? More time outdoors in nature? And yet what do we do everyday? We go to work, go to the store, sit in traffic, eat prepackaged food, and watch TV. Do these activities make us happier? Healthier? More able to enjoy every moment? No. Absolutely not. The book includes realistic ways for real people to start small in reversing the unhealthy, damaging habits we have developed in our society over the past few hundred years, as well as larger, more sweeping suggestions for communities and the government to consider.
If you want to read a book that will make you question your current way of life, and start working toward living a better life right now, read this book. If you're paying any attention at all, it will spur you into action. Let's start taking better care of ourselves and our earth, today, right now. Thanks to the author for a candid and striking discussion of topics that have typically been swept under the rug in our American society. This is an excellent book that I will read and refer back to again and again.
1. Increasing energy production sources (by using power from "renewable" wind, solar, geothermal sources etc. or improving fossil fuel technologies) results in a reduction in energy prices, which history has proven time and time again, results in a rebound effect in which consumption rises, consuming whatever short term gains were accomplished.
2. Comparing the environmental impact of renewable energies to fossil fuels is fundamentally flawed because being more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels is a preposterously low bar which to clear. This results in "less bad" technologies being portrayed as "good" because they are slightly better than the previous "bad" options.
3. Looking exclusively at the power generation side of the equation, whether fossil or renewable, is an approach akin to treating a symptom. Environmentalism would be more productive treating the causal side of the equation, which is consumption.
Zehner's Green Illusions first section is quite similar to Robert Bryce's Power Hungry http://www.amazon.com/Power-Hungry-Myths-Energy-Future/dp/1586487892 . Zehner systematically goes down the list of energy technologies, fossil and renewable, and describes the realities of both their energy production potential and their environmental impacts.
The latter half of the book is closer in tone to Robert Laughlin's Powering the Future http://www.amazon.com/Powering-Future-Eventually-Civilization-Tomorrow/dp/0465022197 . Zehner describes real solutions and ideas of what could occur to actual address the world's power problems via practical reductions in consumption through social, political and cultural changes.
Zehner doesn't have all the answers, but he seems to have honed in on the problem, and as they say, before we can agree on the solution, we have to agree on the problem.
I would have appreciated more data in some places, but overall a compelling read with suggestions of some real (if otherwise extremely optimistic) ways to improve our relationship with energy.
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