How will humanity continue to meet its energy needs without destroying the conditions necessary to sustain human life on earth? The search for an answer to this question depends as much on the past as on the present; and as much on the physical sciences as on the social sciences. This book offers a truly trans-disciplinary and trans-cultural look at the problem of energy production and consumption in modern times. Discussing issues of history, politics, science, risk, lifestyle and representation, contributors demonstrate that experiences through time can provide insights into the kinds of solutions that have succeeded, as well as reasons why other solutions have failed. They also show what different countries and cultures might learn from each other, emphasizing how discoveries in one discipline have inspired new approaches in another discipline. Among many other important conclusions, the book suggests that energy transitions do not occur simply because of the exhaustion of old energy sources, and any solutions to the incipient energy crisis of the 21st century will depend on people's perceptions of science, environment and risk, informed and shaped in turn by the media.
’This truly trans-disciplinary and international volume debates a crucial issue all societies face: how to provide the energy supply needed to create economic wealth. Putting energy in its historical, political, economic and sociological context, the book provides fascinating insights into the cultural underpinnings of power.’ Jens Beckert, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Germany
Contents: Introduction, Brendan Dooley. Part 1 Energy and History: Energy transitions in historical perspective, Martin Melosi; Hydraulic energy, society and economic growth, Salvatore Ciriacono; Work and environment in Mediterranean Europe, Guiliana Biagioli. Part 2 Energy and Politics: Energy and sustainable development, JÃ¼rgen-Friedrich Hake and Regina Eich; On the creation and distribution of energy rents, Bernard Beaudreau; Liberalization of electricity markets in selected European countries, Paul Welfens and Martin Keim. Part 3 Energy and Science: Science and education, Petra Lietz and Dieter Kotte; Tomorrow's scientists: where will we find them?, Linda Miller. Part 4 Energy and Lifestyle: Obstacles to the use of renewable energy sources in Bulgaria, Antoaneta Yotova; Present situation and future challenges of the Estonian energy sector, Olev Liik; Energy efficiency and lifestyle, AndrÃ¡s ZÃ¶ld. Part 5 Energy and Risk: Social uncertainty and global risks, Michalis Lianos; Energy technologies and integrated risks, Natasa Markovska, Nada Pop-Jordanova and Jordan Pop-Jordanov. Part 6 Energy and Opinion: Measuring and explaining environmental behaviour: the case of Spain, Juan DÃez-NicolÃ¡s; Afterword, Brendan Dooley; Index.