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Schumacher on Energy:Speeches and Writing of E. F. Schumacher. [Hardcover]

Geoffrey Kirk

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1 Jan 1900
One of the four sections in Small is Beautiful is concerned with energy supply. Schumacher's thinking on the subject can be followed in this new volume of selections from his speeches and writings. The industrialized nations of the world, and particularly Britain and the rest of Western Europe, are still struggling to recover from the huge price increases which the oil-producing countries started to impose in 1974. Schumacher warned against the folly of becoming dependent for energy supplies on the politically unstable Middle East as long ago as 1958 and on many later occasions. There is no doubt that if governments had followed his advice, there would today have been greater prosperity and harmony among the developed countries. Schumacher wrote and spoke a great deal on energy matters during the twenty years he was Economic Adviser to the National Coal Board. He was one of the first and remains one of the most cogent advocates of the energy needs of the developing countries, concern for whose peoples became the dominating purpose of his life. He spoke against the development of nuclear power, being fearful of health and safety hazards it involved. After he left the General Coal Board to build up the Intermediate Technology Group and to write Small is Beautiful, he continued to comment on energy policy. Beyond the question of energy, however, the book also includes Schumacher's ideas on public ownership, which are considered the most important on the subject since those of the Webbs and G. D. H. Cole. His opinions are particularly valuable since he was directly involved in the management of a nationalized industry during its formative years. This section of the book demonstrates the contribution an intellectual can make to the running of a business. Brought together from about fifty of Schumcaher's articles and speeches, by Geoffrey Kirk, a well-informed colleague for more than twenty years, Schumacher on Energy is distinguished by that originality, lucidity and freshness of thought which have appealed to the millions of reader of Small is Beautiful.

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About the Author

Geoffrey Kirk spent two years in the Bolsover Colliery office before serving in the Royal Navy at Dunkirk and on H.M.S. Coventry, which was sunk off Tobruk. Later he qualified as a diver. After working as a reporter, he went back into the mining industry and has been head of public relations at the Coal Board since 1960.

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