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The Efficiency Trap: Finding a Better Way to Achieve a Sustainable Energy Future

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The Efficiency Trap: Finding a Better Way to Achieve a Sustainable Energy Future Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

One of the key tenets of the environmental movement is the need for greater efficiency in our use of dwindling natural resources, especially coal, natural gas, and oil. If our products are designed to be more energy efficient, so the thinking goes, our environmental impacts will be reduced and our fossil fuels will last longer. In this surprising new look at sustainability and conservation, environmentalist Steve Hallett argues that this thinking is fundamentally flawed. In fact, based on the example of coal use throughout the Industrial Revolution, more efficiency leads to more consumption, faster depletion of resources, and ultimately more stress on the planet. This is the efficiency trap.

How do we avoid this trap? Hallett suggests that we focus on protecting natural resources, ecosystems, and social systems by making them more resilient. Knowing that we have reached limits to growth, we should work to decentralize energy-delivery services to give homes and communities some measure of independence. We can also build more sustainable food systems by diversifying the food-production landscape to address the vulnerabilities of the current supply chain.

Efficiency does have its place in specific areas such as recycling and home insulation, but it will not work as a long-term approach to our energy dilemma. Yet recognizing the inevitable limits to our growth and the shortcomings of our current approach to addressing our dwindling resources is a necessary first step toward the establishment of sound environmental policy.

This realistic appraisal of current environmental thinking will challenge environmentalists and industrialists alike.  

Synopsis:

US

About the Author

Steve Hallett (West Lafayette, IN) is the author (with John Wright) of Life without Oil: Why We Must Shift to a New Energy Future, as well as numerous journal articles. He is an associate professor in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology at Purdue University.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781616147259
Author:
Hallett, Steve
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Subject:
Environmental Studies-General
Subject:
Environmental Science
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20130431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
310
Dimensions:
9 x 6.01 x 0.97 in 0.78 lb

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Related Subjects


Science and Mathematics » Energy » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Alternative Energy
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General

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