ISBN 978-0-300-18659-8 (hardback). “The Carbon Crunch – how we’re getting Climate Change wrong – and how to fix it” by Dieter Helm was published by Yale University Press in 2012. Dieter Helm is a professor of energy policy at University Oxford and Fellow in Economics at New College Oxford. He is a member of the Economic Advisory Committee to the UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, and Chair of the Natural Capital Committee. In 2011 he was Special Advisor to the European Energy Commissioner. All this and he comes up with a book title that sounds like breakfast cereal, & a book which should be taken as seriously as if it were breakfast cereal. It’s muesli – a mixed bag - you will either hate it, or REALLY hate it. Continue reading
ISBN 978-0-230-34218-7. “The Big Flatline – Oil and the No-Growth Economy” by Jeff Rubin was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012. You remember Jeff don’t you? He wrote the outstanding “How Your World is About to get a Whole Lot Smaller” in 2009. It is a work that we recommend everyone reads. Not only was it a good read but it had a certain gravitas being from a man who had spent his career as the chief economist at CIBC Markets in Canada. Sadly no more. Now he is just an author who “blogs for the Huffington Post”. Nowadays he earns his money by writing about energy economics. And if there is one thing he knows it is the energy markets. So how do you follow up a classic?
ISBN 978-1-4441-7440-3. The “All That Matters” book on “Sustainability” by Chris Goodall was published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2012. This is a small book that fits nicely in your pocket with only 154 pages. The blurb says that “All That Matters” books are written by “the world’s leading experts”. Certainly Chris is that. We are a big fan (we admit it). We will read anything he writes including his excellent blogs. So it is interesting to see how his work has evolved over the years. Those who have followed his work can’t help but notice that THIS book reveals a lot about the current state of Chris’s mind. So, what does he think today about sustainability?
ISBN 978 14088 2483 2. “Merchants of Doubt – How a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming” was written by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway and first published by Bloomsbury in 2010 (this paperback in 2012). If you fast forward to the Conclusion in this book you may be forgiven for thinking you were still reading the last book we reviewed “Debunking Economics” by Steve Keen. For what links the two is how a dogmatic belief in “free market fundamentalism” can cause people to abandon all reason. As if under the influence of some bizarre cult perfectly reasonable people start to deny the very principle of reality: they start fighting scientific rationalism with propaganda.