Energy Metropolis: An Environmental History of Houston and the Gulf Coast / Edition 3

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Houston's meteoric rise from a bayou trading post to the world's leading oil supplier owes much to its geography, geology, and climate. Rich reserves of oil and natural gas and access to international shipping fueled the city's exponential growth. This expansion came at a price, however. Hazardous pollution levels, frequent flooding, deforestation, hurricanes, the energy demands of an air-conditioned lifestyle, automobile traffic, population growth, and urban sprawl all escalated the need for massive infrastructure improvements and environmental safeguards. As experts examine Houston's growth, what emerges is a profound analysis of the environmental impact of large-scale energy production and unchecked expansion.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A fine compendium of scholarship well focused on a city that not only is interesting in itself as a fast-growing monolith but also provides us with cautionary tales easily applied to other urban areas.”
Technology and Culture

Energy Metropolis helps us realize that our blinkered rush for energy development has costs that are not at some distance, but are closer to home, next door, right in our backyard. It is sobering to grasp how significantly our daily lives—from our commutes to the patterns of our cities to the hazards we endure during both work and play—are comprised by our endless need for more and more energy.”
Economic Geography

"Melosi and Pratt's work is well-written and thoroughly researched. Any scholar interested in business history, urban studies, and environmental history would find this book a valuable resource."
Texas Books Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822943358
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
  • Publication date: 6/11/2007
  • Series: Pittsburgh Hist Urban Environ
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin V. Melosi is Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen University Professor of History and director of the Center for Public History at the University of Houston. He is the author or editor of fourteen books, including Garbage in the Cities: Refuse, Reform and the Environment, and Effluent America: Cities, Industry, Energy, and the Environment.

Joseph A. Pratt is Cullen Professor of History and Business at the University of Houston. He is the coeditor of Offshore Pioneers: A History of Brown & Root Marine, and From Texas to the East: A Strategic History of Texas, among other books.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vii
Introduction     1
Energy and Environment     17
A Mixed Blessing: Energy, Economic Growth, and Houston's Environment   Joseph A. Pratt     21
The Houston Ship Channel and the Changing Landscape of Industrial Pollution   Hugh S. Gorman     52
"Bad Science": The Politics of Ozone Air Pollution in Houston   Robert Fisher     69
"The Air-Conditioning Capital of the World": Houston and Climate Control   Robert S. Thompson     88
Growth of the Metropolitan Region     105
Houston's Public Sinks: Sanitary Services from Local Concerns to Regional Challenges   Martin V. Melosi     109
Superhighway Deluxe: Houston's Gulf Freeway   Tom Watson McKinney     148
Urban Sprawl and the Piney Woods: Deforestation in the San Jacinto Watershed   Diane C. Bates     173
A Tale of Two Texas Cities: Houston, the Industrial Metropolis, and Galveston, the Island Getaway   William C. Barnett     185
Environmental Activism at the Grassroots     205
Dumping on Houston's Black Neighborhoods   Robert D. Bullard     207
The Gunfighters of Northwood Manor: How History Debunks Myths of the Environmental Justice Movement   Elizabeth D. Blum     224
"To Combine Many and Varied Forces": The Hope of Houston's Environmental Activism, 1923-1999   Teresa Tomkins-Walsh     241
Voices of Discord: The Effects of a Grassroots Environmental Movement at the Brio Superfund Site   Kimberly A. Youngblood     260
Notes     275
List of Contributors     329
Index     333
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