green illusions the dirty secrets of clean energy and the future of environmentalism

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Green Illusions

Author : Ozzie Zehner
ISBN : 9780803243361
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 47. 97 MB
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We don’t 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 what’s wrong with the way we think and talk about the problem. Though we generally believe we can solve environmental problems with more energy—more solar cells, wind turbines, and biofuels—alternative technologies come with their own side effects and limitations. How, for instance, do solar cells cause harm? Why can’t engineers solve wind power’s biggest obstacle? Why won’t 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, women’s 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 nation’s solar cells. He uncovers why carbon taxes won’t 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. Watch a book trailer.

Big Coal

Author : Jeff Goodell
ISBN : 0547526628
Genre : Science
File Size : 74. 49 MB
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Long dismissed as a relic of a bygone era, coal is back -- with a vengeance. Coal is one of the nation's biggest and most influential industries -- Big Coal provides more than half the electricity consumed by Americans today -- and its dominance is growing, driven by rising oil prices and calls for energy independence. Is coal the solution to America's energy problems? On close examination, the glowing promise of coal quickly turns to ash. Coal mining remains a deadly and environmentally destructive industry. Nearly forty percent of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere each year comes from coal-fired power plants. In the last two decades, air pollution from coal plants has killed more than half a million Americans. In this eye-opening call to action, Goodell explains the costs and consequences of America's addiction to coal and discusses how we can kick the habit.

This Changes Everything

Author : Naomi Klein
ISBN : 9781451697384
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 34. 33 MB
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Explains why the environmental crisis should lead to an abandonment of "free market" ideologies and current political systems, arguing that a massive reduction of greenhouse emissions may offer a best chance for correcting problems.

Dark Ecology

Author : Timothy Morton
ISBN : 9780231541367
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 69. 91 MB
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Timothy Morton argues that ecological awareness in the present Anthropocene era takes the form of a strange loop or Möbius strip, twisted to have only one side. Deckard travels this Oedipal path in Blade Runner (1982) when he learns that he might be the enemy he has been ordered to pursue. Ecological awareness has this form because ecological phenomena have a loop form that is also fundamental to the structure of how things are. The logistics of agricultural society resulted in global warming and hardwired dangerous ideas about life-forms into the human mind. Dark ecology puts us in an uncanny position of radical self-knowledge, illuminating our place in the biosphere and our belonging to a species in a sense that is far less obvious than we like to think. Morton explores the logical foundations of the ecological crisis, which is suffused with the melancholy and negativity of coexistence yet evolving, as we explore its loop form, into something playful, anarchic, and comedic. His work is a skilled fusion of humanities and scientific scholarship, incorporating the findings and theories of philosophy, anthropology, literature, ecology, biology, and physics. Morton hopes to reestablish our ties to nonhuman beings and to help us rediscover the playfulness and joy that can brighten the dark, strange loop we traverse.

The Rational Optimist How Prosperity Evolves

Author : Matt Ridley
ISBN : 9780007374816
Genre : History
File Size : 48. 99 MB
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Shortlisted for the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction 2011. Life is on the up.

Why Nations Fail

Author : Daron Acemoglu
ISBN : 9780307719232
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 76. 87 MB
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Brilliant and engagingly written, Why Nations Fail answers the question that has stumped the experts for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine? Is it culture, the weather, geography? Perhaps ignorance of what the right policies are? Simply, no. None of these factors is either definitive or destiny. Otherwise, how to explain why Botswana has become one of the fastest growing countries in the world, while other African nations, such as Zimbabwe, the Congo, and Sierra Leone, are mired in poverty and violence? Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson conclusively show that it is man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success (or lack of it). Korea, to take just one of their fascinating examples, is a remarkably homogeneous nation, yet the people of North Korea are among the poorest on earth while their brothers and sisters in South Korea are among the richest. The south forged a society that created incentives, rewarded innovation, and allowed everyone to participate in economic opportunities. The economic success thus spurred was sustained because the government became accountable and responsive to citizens and the great mass of people. Sadly, the people of the north have endured decades of famine, political repression, and very different economic institutions—with no end in sight. The differences between the Koreas is due to the politics that created these completely different institutional trajectories. Based on fifteen years of original research Acemoglu and Robinson marshall extraordinary historical evidence from the Roman Empire, the Mayan city-states, medieval Venice, the Soviet Union, Latin America, England, Europe, the United States, and Africa to build a new theory of political economy with great relevance for the big questions of today, including: - China has built an authoritarian growth machine. Will it continue to grow at such high speed and overwhelm the West? - Are America’s best days behind it? Are we moving from a virtuous circle in which efforts by elites to aggrandize power are resisted to a vicious one that enriches and empowers a small minority? - What is the most effective way to help move billions of people from the rut of poverty to prosperity? More philanthropy from the wealthy nations of the West? Or learning the hard-won lessons of Acemoglu and Robinson’s breakthrough ideas on the interplay between inclusive political and economic institutions? Why Nations Fail will change the way you look at—and understand—the world.

Hot Flat And Crowded 2 0

Author : Thomas L. Friedman
ISBN : 1429963689
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 37. 36 MB
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A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year A Washington Post Best Book of the Year A Businessweek Best Business Book of the Year A Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year In this brilliant, essential book, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Thomas L. Friedman speaks to America's urgent need for national renewal and explains how a green revolution can bring about both a sustainable environment and a sustainable America. Friedman explains how global warming, rapidly growing populations, and the expansion of the world's middle class through globalization have produced a dangerously unstable planet--one that is "hot, flat, and crowded." In this Release 2.0 edition, he also shows how the very habits that led us to ravage the natural world led to the meltdown of the financial markets and the Great Recession. The challenge of a sustainable way of life presents the United States with an opportunity not only to rebuild its economy, but to lead the world in radically innovating toward cleaner energy. And it could inspire Americans to something we haven't seen in a long time--nation-building in America--by summoning the intelligence, creativity, and concern for the common good that are our greatest national resources. Hot, Flat, and Crowded is classic Thomas L. Friedman: fearless, incisive, forward-looking, and rich in surprising common sense about the challenge--and the promise--of the future.

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