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The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook: Community Solutions to a Global Crisisby Greg Pahl
Synopses & Reviews
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Al Gore's summer blockbuster An Inconvenient Truth, and crude oil prices soaring to all-time highs, more people than ever know the truth about our oil addiction. Global warming is here. M. King Hubbert's oil peak is fast approaching (or may already have arrived). The secret's out: fossil fuel reserves are dwindling and popular interest has created the need for accessible, realistic solutions.
The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook, a clear-eyed view of the critical situation we face, offers ways out. Greg Pahl examines energy technologies currently available and homes in on renewable energy strategies that can be adopted by individuals and communities. Such cooperative initiatives have been common in Europe for years and are beginning to gain a foothold in the US. Each chapter focuses on a different renewable energy category — solar, wind, water, biomass, liquid biofuels, and geothermal — then reviews their advantages and disadvantages and desccribes numerous examples of successful, proven local initiatives.
The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook is an eloquent appeal for community and regional action to initiate an array of solutions to energy needs until now controlled by large, distant utilities and consortiums. It is time to take back control of the energy and environmental challenges ahead; this book will help people do just that. It is a handbook for anyone ready to take the first steps towards a more sustainable future.
"Solar roof panels, backyard wind turbines and biofuel stills: in this how-to vision of a future without hydrocarbon fuels, small really is beautiful. Faced with the paired (and frightfully imminent) dangers of global warming and the point at which half the total recoverable oil on Earth has been extracted and production begins to decline, Pahl champions a spectrum of alternative energy sources. Separate chapters on water, geothermal and biomass (firewood and plant matter) energies in addition to solar, wind and biofuel (the distillate of corn, soy and other crops) sources are both practical and inspirational. First comes technical information; then Pahl reports on community and cooperative alternative-energy successes. In Asheville, N.C., 24 clustered townhouses use solar panels for heat and hot water. Toronto powers 250 homes with a cooperative-owned lakeshore wind turbine. Micro-hydro projects (100 kilowatts or less) power small businesses and homes in Nepal, Pakistan and off-the-grid American communities. A short-run train in Sweden — a nation committed to achieving an oil-free economy by 2020 — runs on biogas generated by fermenting cow guts; it gets about two-and-a-half miles per cow — proof, as this readable book illustrates, that ingenuity and small-bore efforts are one way to deal with an energy crisis." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Greg Pahl's Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook is a lucid, easy-to-read guide to what citizens of the planet can do about our energy dilemmas." Dan Berman, author of Who Owns the Sun?
"The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook should be in the hands of every community activist across North America. It promises to be the catalyst that finally moves community ownership to the forefront of renewable energy development." Paul Gipe, author of Wind Power: Renewable Energy for Home, Farm, and Business
"If you have read enough already about our problems and are motivated to get to work, this book is for you. It goes far beyond being a primer on renewable energy technologies. By placing renewable energy into a broad social context, it will help citizens work cooperatively with governments and businesses to create community-scaled solutions. I wish Id had this book years ago." Dr. Jason Bradford, Willits Economic LocaLization
"As the world passes through Peak Oil and society begins to Powerdown and Relocalize, this book will be of tremendous assistance to citizens and communities. Greg Pahl succinctly outlines why we need to use much less energy and then gives options and examples of how renewable energy can be produced locally. This handbook should be on the work-desk of anyone planning for a Post Carbon world." Julian Darley, founder and director Post Carbon Institute
"As oil reserves dwindle and global warming accelerates, a rapid switch to renewable energy is imperative. The question is whether it will lead us into a solar-powered corporate dictatorship, or a decentralized mix of autonomous and geographically appropriate energy sources. Greg Pahls Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook provides an inspiring vision and a wonderfully specific blueprint for beginning to save both the planet and our other greatest natural resourceour own shredded sense of community." Ross Gelbspan, author of Boiling Point and The Heat Is On
Book News Annotation:
Environmental journalist Pahl (U. of Vermont) offers readers a timely crash course in five renewable energy technologies--solar, wind, water, biomass and biofuels, and geothermal--aiming to inspire individual and community action through abundant examples of energy independence projects around the world. The introductory chapter explores peak oil and other energy problems in the U.S., as well as government initiatives (and the lack thereof) that address them. The author then discusses the potential, the history, and (briefly) the technology of each renewable alternative, followed by case studies. Language is appropriate for a general audience, but community/urban planners and homeowners may find this book especially useful. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Every day, more people finally get it. Global warming is for real and getting worse faster than previously expected. M. King Hubbert's oil peak looms, and cheap petroleum is a thing of the past. We face an energy crisis. This book tells you what you need to do to meet the challenge.
National Tour, Radio Satellite Tour, Off-the-Book-Page Coverage, On-line Advertising, Consumer Mail Campaign, Green Living Organization Outreach. $20,000 promotional budget.
Every day, more people finally “get it.” Global warming is for real and getting worse faster than previously expected. M. King Hubbert’s oil peak looms, and cheap petroleum is a thing of the past. We face an energy crisis. This book tells you what you need to do to meet the challenge. The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook provides a clear-eyed view of the current energy situation and points toward a sustainable path forward. Greg Pahl examines renewable energy technologies currently available and homes in on strategies that can be adopted by individuals and, especially, communities. Such cooperative initiatives have been common in Europe for years and are beginning to gain a foothold in the U.S. because these medium-scale projects successfully bring people together to create collective energy security for a neighborhood, town, or region while strengthening the local economy. Each chapter focuses on a different renewable energy sector—solar, wind, water, biomass, liquid biofuels, and geothermal—then reviews their advantages and disadvantages and describes numerous examples of proven local initiatives. The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook is an eloquent appeal and a practical handbook for community and regional action to deal head-on with environmental challenges and to take responsibility for energy supplies now controlled by large, distant utilities and consortiums. This is the book for anyone ready to take meaningful steps toward a more sustainable future.
About the Author
Greg Pahl, author of Biodiesel: Growing a New Energy Economy and Natural Home Heating: The Complete Guide to Renewable Energy Options, has been following renewable energy issues for more than 25 years. He is a founding member of the Vermont Biofuels Association. Greg lives in Weybridge, VT.
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