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
This book was originally published as a special issue of
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