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"Incumbency Conspiracy": please get a grip, Mr Leggett,
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This review is from: The Energy of Nations: Risk Blindness and the Road to Renaissance (Paperback)
Jeremy Leggett has written an important book, it is a great read and holds an important message, but it could have been so much better. It is fascinating and utterly encouraging to see him describe possible ways forward in order to mitigate the upcoming energy crisis. Although he has a clear interest in painting a positive picture of the solar industry (after all he owns a solar company), this very clearly is one of the best ways for ward in replacing hydrocarbons in due course. This is where Mr. Leggett is at his best.
It is a pity though that he undermines his own credibility by using quite vitriolic language when it comes to people and institutions who do not subscribe to his views. Not everyone who sees some future in conventional oil and gas is part of a worldwide conspiracy of the "Incumbency" (this being Mr. Leggett's favorite term for the people he sees as his opponents, which he uses over and over again). Not everyone who does not immediately agree that every single hurricane in the world is immediate proof of the weather becoming more extreme is a "denier" (or paid for by oil companies). And equating the current push in global O&G exploration with Hitler's invasion of Poland is simply vicious.
It is trash talk such as this which seriously undermines Mr. Leggett's credibility and makes the reader wonder in how far the facts that he presents are really facts or merely his opinions, simply leaving out or even demonizing everything that does not fit with his views, all these things supposedly being directed by the invisible hand of the "Incumbency Conspiracy".
That is a shame: this book could have been so much better.
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Initial post: 4 Feb 2014 12:57:28 GMT
A. Simpson says:
I think this is a little harsh. Firstly, Jeremy Leggett had a very lucrative career as a oil academic and consultant - and his very risky decision to start a solar company when he did was driven by his concern about climate change. I had a well paid IT management position, and due to my concern for climate change I completed an MSc in renewable Energy, and have taken a 50% pay-cut to develop community renewables projects. Therefore neither of us supports solar due to this 'vested interest', it was a risky values based decision led by the science of climate change. As well as the latest IPCC report, have you read "Six degrees" by Mark Lynas?
I equally forgive some of the language, as anyone who has a detailed understanding about climate change science (and not the media's version) appreciates just how much is at stake here, and how frustrating and deeply upsetting it is to see these enormous powerful companies who equally have access to mainstream science simply do not care, and are not ploughing vast amounts of their resources into renewables, and perhaps CCS research.
For anyone interested, I strongly recommend this free, short online course by Exeter University, running for 8 weeks and requiring 2-3 hours per week....
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