This exceptionally timely volume weighs the costs and benefits of alternative energy sources and their implications for reducing energy consumption.
It is the topic that made Al Gore a media star and a keynote of the Obama administration’s blueprint for change. And it is critical to our planet’s future. Differing opinions on the best course of action abound, creating a confusing landscape for those who seek to understand and act.
As this book makes clear, civilization cannot long continue to ride on an oil slick. Worldwide, many people have come to see dependence on coal, and especially on oil, not only as unsustainable, but as profoundly destabilizing, both environmentally and politically. While ever-increasing demands continue to be placed on "mainstream" energy sources, recurring attempts have been made to generate power in "alternative" ways.
After retracing some of these efforts, this succinct and historically informed volume explores the ongoing debate over alternative energy that gathered strength in the 20th century, showing how that debate mirrors larger attitudes toward energy and consumption. Like other volumes in this series, Alternative Energy is designed to provide material for student reports and debate arguments. It is an outstanding sourcebook for those interested in investigating the problems and prospects of alternative fuels.
Highlights • A succinct format rewards readers' curiosity and enhances comprehension • Narrative chapters make the book easy to use and understand • The text is supported by extensive reference features
Brian C. Black is associate professor in the departments of history and environmental studies at Pennsylvania State University, Altoona, PA. He is the author of the Greenwood's Nature and the Environment in Nineteenth-Century American Life (2006) and Nature and the Environment in Twentieth-Century American Life (2006).
Richard Flarend is associate professor of physics at Pennsylvania State University, Altoona, PA.
Reviews "...this book will work extremely well for lower-level students, especially those writing papers or giving speeches on current topics and those who may not have a technical background. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates, two-year technical program students, and general readers."—Choice
"Alternative Energy joins others in the 'Historical Guides to Controversial issues in America' series, and is designed to provide students with report and debate arguments in a sourcebook covering the problems and promise of alternative fuels. It comes from an associate professor in history and environmental studies and it explores debates over alternative energy that have gathered force in this century."—Midwest Book Review