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 84694 671 4. “No Local – Why Small-Scale Alternatives Won’t Change the World” by Greg Sharzer as published by Zero Books in 2012. This is a small book by a relatively unknown author. Its cover and title attempts to ape Naomi Klein’s “No Logo” but there is no comparison. At first glance the concept was very attractive to us: a critique of re-localisation. Yes, it is a critique but one by a devout Marxist. As such it is tortuous reading. It is like studying the work of an 18th Century Catholic theologian who argued that Buddhism was the work of the devil because Buddhists didn’t care how many angels could be stood on the head of a pin. The critique only makes sense if you are a Marxist.
ISBN 978 1 900322 50 8. “Future Scenarios – How communities can adapt to peak oil and climate change” by David Holmgren was published by Green Books in 2009. Although only three or four years old this book already looks dated somehow. It is a contemporary of Rob Hopkins’ original “Transition Handbook” and Shaun Chamberlin’s “Transition Timeline“. There was a brief flurry if such publications a few years back – but, no more. Their apparent visions of imminent energy collapse proved empty. What we got instead was financial collapse. Still, there is nothing obsolete in this publishing genre. It took as a while to catch up with this publication. So, let’s take a brief walk down memory lane to remember how it all began… Continue reading