Transforming Power

Overview

In 1934, Lewis Mumford critiqued the industrial energy system as a key source of authoritarian economic and political tendencies in modern life. Recent debate continues to engage issues of energy authoritarianism, focusing on the contest between energy-driven globalization (the spread of energy deregulation and the simultaneous consolidation of the oil, coal, and gas industries) and the so-called "sustainable energy" strategy that celebrates the local and community scale characteristics of renewable energy. ...

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Overview

In 1934, Lewis Mumford critiqued the industrial energy system as a key source of authoritarian economic and political tendencies in modern life. Recent debate continues to engage issues of energy authoritarianism, focusing on the contest between energy-driven globalization (the spread of energy deregulation and the simultaneous consolidation of the oil, coal, and gas industries) and the so-called "sustainable energy" strategy that celebrates the local and community scale characteristics of renewable energy. Including theoretical inquiries and case studies by distinguished writers, Transforming Power is divided into three parts: Energy, Environment, and Society; The Politics of Conventional Energy; and The Politics of Sustainable Energy. It interrogates current contemporary energy assumptions, exploring the reflexive relationship between energy, environment, and society, and examining energy as a social project. Some of these have promised a prosperous future founded upon technological advances that further modernize the modern energy system, such as "inherently safe" nuclear power, environmentally friendly coal gasification, and the advent of a wealthier, cleaner world powered by fuel cells; and the "green technologies," said by advocates to prefigure a revival of human scale development, local self-determination, and a commitment to ecological balance. >br This volume offers a timely engagement of the social issues surrounding energy conflicts and contradictions. It will be of interest to policymakers, energy and environmental experts, sociologists, and historians of technology. John Byrne is director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP) and Distinguished Professor of Public Policy at the University of Delaware. Noah Toly is a research associate and Ph.D. candidate in the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Delaware. Leigh Glover is policy fellow and assistant professor in the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Delaware.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412805148
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/15/2007
  • Series: Energy and Environmental Policy
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

John Byrne is distinguished professor of energy and climate policy and director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP) at the University of Delaware. He is also chairman of the board of the Foundation for Renewable Energy and Environment. He has contributed since 1992 to Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and shares the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with the panel’s authors. He is editor of Transaction’s book series Energy and Environmental Policy.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Modern Energy and Modern Society vii
1 Energy as a Social Project: Recovering a Discourse 1
Energy and Poverty
2 Energy, Economy, and Poverty: The Past and Present Debate 35
3 Unraveling Relationships in the Energy-Poverty-Gender Nexus 61
Energy and Security
4 Protecting Overseas Oil Supplies: The Globalization of the "Carter Doctrine" 93
5 Nuclear Power in an Age of Global Terrorism: Implications for Energy and National Security 113
Energy and Globalization
6 The Political Economy of Electricity Liberalization 155
7 The World Bank's Support for Large Dams: A Case of Institutional Amnesia? 191
Energy and Environment
8 Can Geosequestration Save the Coal Industry? 221
9 From Love-ins to Logos: Charting the Demise of Renewable Energy as a Social Movement 247
Contributors 269
Index 273
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