This book brings together leading scholars on the politics of energy, examining the natural resources and developing technologies that are essential to its production and the various public and private factors affecting its use, along with the ecological consequences of both. Section One examines the looming challenges posed by continuing dependence upon oil as a primary energy source, including "peak oil" scenarios and the social and political consequences of resource extraction upon the developing world. Section Two considers proposals to dramatically increase nuclear power production as a means to reduce carbon emissions, with both the risks and potential of this "nuclear option" carefully weighed. Although many tout renewable energy sources for their environmental benefits, Section Three calls attention to several potential problems with large-scale renewable energy development and the dilemmas that they have caused for would-be supporters of such efforts. Finally, Section Four weighs the prospects for developing sustainable energy systems on the ground, including conservation measures that reduce energy demand and system-wide energy policy efforts. Together, these essays demonstrate the importance of sound energy policy along with the numerous obstacles to developing and implementing it.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Environmental Politics.
Table of Contents
1. The politics of energy: an introduction Steve Vanderheiden
2. Poor little rich countries: another look at the ‘resource curse’Sudhir Chella Rajan
3. Energy and human ecology: a critical security approach Shane Mulligan
4. Confronting risks: regulatory responsibility and nuclear energy Steve Vanderheiden
5. Déjà vu all over again: climate change and the prospects for a nuclear power renaissance Robert Duffy
6. ‘Hasta la vista, baby!’ The Solar Grand Plan, environmentalism, and social constructions of the Mojave Desert Christian Hunold and Steven Leitner
7. A middle range theory of energy politics: the struggle for energy efficient appliances Rachael Shwom
8. Regional policy integration to support full renewable power deployment for Europe by 2050 Anthony Patt, Nadejda Komendantova, Antonella Battaglini, and Johan Lilliestam
9. Climate deadlocks: the environmental politics of energy systems Karena Shaw
Steve Vanderheiden is Associate Professor of political science and environmental studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA.
"This eminently readable text will provide an informed academic reader with a motley collection of critical issues facing specialists on global energy and environment. It illustrates the constant tensions and politicking that occur behind the scenes of any energy development, and deserves a spot on any energy or development expert’s shelf." – Joel Krupa, Environmental Development