The Energy Reader / Edition 1

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The Energy Reader presents a series of readings that examine the energy problem from an anthropological perspective and look at energy holistically, including social and cultural components and long term implications for global and social environmental change.  

  • Brings a unique critical approach to the problem of energy and its complexity
  • Presents the topic as both a human and a technological problem, differentiating long-term perspectives from short term fixes
  • Includes coverage of  the politics of energy, the protection of future generations, the avoidance of dangerous waste products, efficiency, resilience, and democratic relevance
  • Features selections drawn from the work of physicists, economists, business experts, engineers, journalists, historians, and entrepreneurs
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Overall, The Energy Reader provides a necessary, timely, and unique collection of materials to drive these critical conversations forward.”  (Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment, 12 June 2013)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405199841
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/24/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 574
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Nader is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, and a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences. Nader's books include Naked Science: Anthropological Inquiry into Boundaries, Power and Knowledge (1996), The Life of the Law (2002), and, with Ugo Mattei, Plunder–When the Rule of Law is Illegal (Blackwell, 2008). Her films To Make the Balance and a later PBS film Little Injustices are widely disseminated.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures.

List of Tables.

Preface (Laura Nader).


Introduction (Laura Nader, Leticia Cesarino, and Chris Hebdon).

Part I: The Energy Problem.

1. Social Power and the Future (Richard Newbold Adams).

2. Energy and the Rise of American Industrial Society (Ian Barbour, Harvey Brooks, Sanford Lakoff, and John Opie).

3. Energy Transitions in Historical Perspective (Martin Melosi).

Energy in Action 1: Contemplating the Abyss: The Role of Environmental Degradation in the Collapse of Human Societies (William Rees).

4. Introduction to the Steady-State Economy (Herman E. Daly).

Energy in Action 2: Net-Zero Energy Home Generating an Energy Surplus.

5. Dimensions of the "People Problem" in Energy Research and "the" Factual Basis of Dispersed Energy Futures (Laura Nader and Norman Milleron).

6. Red Land and Uranium Mining: How the Search for Energy Is Endangering Indian Tribal Lands (Winona La Duke).

Energy in Action 3: How Energy Search Challenges Indian Tribal Life (Mark Stevens).

7. The House that Uranium Built: Perspectives on the Effects of Exposure on Individuals and Community (Margaret Amalia Hiesinger).

8. Uranium Mining and Milling: Navajo Experiences in the American Southwest (Barbara Rose Johnston, Susan E. Dawson, and Gary E. Madsen).

Part II: Mind-Sets – a Critical Perspective.

9. "Introduction," The Idea of Progress: An Inquiry Into Its Origin and Growth (Charles A. Beard).

10. On the Road to Riches (Henry Ford).

11. Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken? (Amory B. Lovins).

12. Barriers to Thinking New About Energy (Laura Nader).

13. The Three-Cornered Constellation: Magic, Science, and Religion Revisited (Laura Nader).

14. Energy as it Relates to the Quality and Style of Life (Laura Nader and Stephen Beckerman).

15. Conclusions – Replacing Myths with Maxims: Rethinking the Relationship Between Energy and American Society (Benjamin K. Sovacool and Marilyn A. Brown).

Part III: The Politics of Energy.

16. "Prologue," The Politics of Energy (Barry Commoner).

17. The Middle East: Geostrategy and Oil (Rashid Khalidi).

18. Winning the Oil Endgame (Amory B. Lovins).

19. "Introduction," Power Struggle: The 100 Year War Over Electricity (Richard Rudolph and Scott Ridley).

20. The Overcharge in the Light Bill (US Senator Lee Metcalf and Vic Reinemer).

21. Human Rights (Jim Garrison and Pyare Shivpuri).

Energy in Action 4: Three Mile Island: 30th Anniversary of the Worst Nuclear Accident in US History.

22. The Politics of Energy: Toward a Bottom-Up Approach (Laura Nader).

Energy in Action 5: A New Gang Comes to Los Angeles: Solar-Panel Installers (Miriam Jordan).

Part IV: Energy Choices.

23. "Introduction," "The Problem of Externalities," and "Coal and Corporate Power," Coal: A Memoir and Critique (Duane Lockard).

Energy in Action 6: Rural Renewal: Small-Town America Looks to Alternative Energy for a Lifeline (Jennifer Vogel).

24. There Was Blood (Caleb Crain).

Energy in Action 7: Capitol Climate Action: Mass Civil Disobedience in DC Against Use of Coal at Capitol Hill Power Plant.

25. Unconventional Crude: Canada's Synthetic-Fuels Boom (Elizabeth Kolbert).

Energy in Action 8: Poop Powers California Cars as Orange County Converts Sewage (Alan Ohnsman).

26. Nuclear Power: Climate Fix or Folly? (Amory B. Lovins, Imran Sheikh, and Alex Markevich).

Energy in Action 9: Power Q&A: S. David Freeman (Dave Gilson).

27. Solar Possibilities (Denis Hayes).

Energy in Action 10: Workers Retrain for Wind-Energy Jobs (Maria Dickerson).

28. Cool Communities: Strategies for Heat Island Mitigation and Smog Reduction (Arthur H. Rosenfeld, Hashem Akbari, Joseph J. Romm, and Melvin Pomerantz).

Energy in Action 11: First Rosebud Wind Turbine Generates Support: An Interview with Intertribal COUP Secretary Robert Gough (Tara Tidwell).

29. Ethanol Production: Energy, Economic, and Environmental Losses (David Pimentel, Tad Patzek, and Gerald Cecil).

Energy in Action 12: Biofuels Do Far More Harm Than Good (George Monbiot).

Part V: Power Shifts.

30. Natural Capitalism (Paul Hawken).

Energy in Action 13: With Energy in Focus, Heat Pumps Win Fans (Liz Galst).

31. An Unstable Concoction of Interests (Tadeusz W. Patzek).

Energy in Action 14: Shell Dumps Wind, Solar and Hydro Power in Favor of Biofuels (Tim Webb).

32. Ticket to Ride (Ben Adler).

Energy in Action 15: Get on the Bus (Laura C. Dean).

33. Selling the Sun (Michael Behar).

Energy in Action 16: Eight Energy Suggestions for Obama, from SunEdison's Founder (Kate Galbraith).

34. The Island in the Wind (Elizabeth Kolbert).

Energy in Action 17: A Cool Idea (Elizabeth Kolbert).

Part VI: Energy Choices in a Democratic Society.

35. The Harder Path – Shifting Gears (Laura Nader).

Energy in Action 18: The Showhouse that Sustainability Built (Barnaby J. Feder).

36. Who Shall Decide? (Laura Nader).


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