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In their provocative and original book, the authors argue that energy can become a tool for environmental protection, that energy and environment are not by definition in conflict with each other and that by pooling energy production and environmental protection ideas energy can be part of a solution rather than the problem. This book is firmly grounded in reality (given the demands of China, India and other developing economies) and makes specific proposals: a radical rethinking on energy investment strategies; ...
In their provocative and original book, the authors argue that energy can become a tool for environmental protection, that energy and environment are not by definition in conflict with each other and that by pooling energy production and environmental protection ideas energy can be part of a solution rather than the problem. This book is firmly grounded in reality (given the demands of China, India and other developing economies) and makes specific proposals: a radical rethinking on energy investment strategies; massive incentives to develop alternative fuel technologies; a ground-breaking public awareness strategy to redirect consumers and policy-makers to embrace fundamental (though essentially painless) change in consumption patterns. The solutions that Howell and Nakhle offer are unapologetically offer short term. This is because they view the problems of climate security as short term. But their solutions have long term consequences. Their important and novel approach makes this book essential reading for an understanding of today's bewildering environmental debates.
* The Grand Alliance
• The Price of the Past
• Keeping the Lights on and Some More Inconvenient Truths
• Swimming in Oil
• The Pipes of War
• The Other Future
• Less is More: Which Turnings to Take
• It CAN be Done: The Way Out of the Labyrinth
Posted December 4, 2008
David Howell, a Secretary of State for Energy under Thatcher, and Carole Nakhle, Energy Research Fellow at the University of Surrey, have produced a useful survey of Britain¿s energy crisis. <BR/> <BR/>They sensibly write of recent US-British policy towards the Middle East, ¿What is crystal clear is that the Washingtonian belief in overwhelming force as the means of spreading democracy and `Western values¿, and thus stabilizing the world¿s dangerous regions ¿ thereby ensuring reliable energy supplies ¿ is a deeply flawed strategy. The outcome is the opposite.¿ And, ¿The UK, by its compliance with US strategies, has placed its foreign policy in limbo and severely weakened its capacity to influence events ¿ and to ensure energy security. It needs urgently to build ties with new friends ¿ countries which are now setting the global agenda.¿<BR/><BR/>The authors show that we could reduce plane and car travel by investing in a better rail network. For example, by introducing the magnetic levitation system, as on the Tokyo-Osaka line, we could travel from London to Edinburgh at 280-300 mph.<BR/><BR/>They observe that we need new North Sea gas pipelines and new gas storage facilities, noting that the Thatcher government turned down British Gas¿s proposal to build a pipeline to bring gas from Norway¿s fields. We also need better oil refineries: the USA recovers 90% of the crude oil it gets, Britain only 75%. They call for `a modern domestic coal industry¿ - ironic, coming from a member of the government that did its damndest to destroy our coal industry, with its 1,000 years of reserves. <BR/><BR/>They point out that about 25 gigawatts (GW) of Britain¿s total power generation capacity of 75 GW will close by 2020. The government says that wind power will provide 35 GW (which would need 15,000 wind turbine generators). However, wind power is intermittent and variable and therefore unreliable. (When a 30 mph wind drops to 10 mph, the power output falls by 96%.) The government¿s policy of depending on wind is not designed to meet Britain¿s energy needs, but to obey the EU directive to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.<BR/><BR/>To fill the energy gap, we need both nuclear power and clean coal technology with carbon capture and storage. Nuclear energy is a viable, low-carbon alternative that is not intermittent and is far cheaper than renewable energy. The authors admit that successive governments have allowed the rundown of our nuclear capacity. In 1980 the Thatcher government announced plans to build eleven nuclear power stations, but built only one, Sizewell B.<BR/><BR/>So we need to build a new generation of nuclear power-stations. This would create thousands of jobs for decades and reskill our workforce. However, as the authors acknowledge, the market cannot deliver this. The government would have to take the lead, and would have to ignore the EU and its rules against state aid to industry.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.