1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Still the bees knees,
This review is from: Energy Beyond Oil: Could You Cut Your Energy Use by Sixty Per Cent? (Paperback)This book is still the bees knees. Though it was published in 2005, and there have been literally dozens of other books purporting to cover similar territory published since, this remains the text of choice for anyone serious about the resilience of humanity. Without resort to manipulative cults, or spurious middle-class group-think, this book explains the simple physics and its relationship to culture and economics. Once you have grasped the First Law of Thermodynamics ("in any closed system the total amount of energy of all kinds is a constant") the rest follows by disciplined common sense. Mobbs explains how the reliance of global capitalism on artificially cheap energy (courtesy of imperial history), within a paradigm of exponential growth, has set in motion the destructive spiral that has wasted our natural resources and put our planet on an almost irreversible trajectory for catastrophe.
Straightforward explanations with flow diagrams and graphs explain the reliance on oil, WHERE the energy is used/wasted, WHY and WHEN oil extraction has peaked, and HOW this relates to climate change. He proceeds to examine energy policy and energy use before going on to discuss the mooted alternatives such as nuclear ( a dangerous chimera ) so-called "low carbon sources" ( which need to be considered in relationship to the key variable of time as well as the social and economic context) and renewables. In each case he explains the technology (heat pumps, wind , wave and CHP etc) does all the sums and presents the information in a way that anyone who can be bothered to concentrate can understand, constantly reminding us of that intransigent First Law and concluding correctly that there are no technical fixes that can cheat it. In his inspiring final chapter he points out that the solutions are the resilience that comes from living more consciously both rejecting profligacy and waste in our personal lives and, more effectively, rejecting the capitalist machine that is driving us towards mass suicide.
Like The Limits to Growth,The Limits to Growth: A Report for the Club of Rome's Project on the Predicament of Mankind,The Silent SpringSilent Spring (Penguin Modern Classics)and The Clever MoronClever Moron this is a book which will never go out of date and will shine with wisdom and inspiration long after self-regarding so-called environmentalists like Lovelock and Bellamy have reverted to obscurity. It should be on every household bookshelf, in every school and every library.