The Conundrum (Google eBook)

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Penguin, Feb 7, 2012 - Science - 272 pages
20 Reviews
The Conundrum is a mind-changing manifesto about the environment, efficiency and the real path to sustainability.

Hybrid cars, fast trains, compact florescent light bulbs, solar panels, carbon offsets: Everything you've been told about living green is wrong. The quest for a breakthrough battery or a 100 mpg car are dangerous fantasies. We are consumers, and we like to consume green and efficiently. But David Owen argues that our best intentions are still at cross purposes to our true goal - living sustainably and caring for our environment and the future of the planet. Efficiency, once considered the holy grail of our environmental problems, turns out to be part of the problem. Efforts to improve efficiency and increase sustainable development only exacerbate the problems they are meant to solve, more than negating the environmental gains. We have little trouble turning increases in efficiency into increases in consumption.

David Owen's The Conundrum is an elegant nonfiction narrative filled with fascinating information and anecdotes takes you through the history of energy and the quest for efficiency. This is a book about the environment that will change how you look at the world. We should not be waiting for some geniuses to invent our way out of the energy and economic crisis we're in. We already have the technology and knowledge we need to live sustainably. But will we do it?

That is the conundrum.


  

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Review: The Conundrum: How Scientific Innovation, Increased Efficiency, and Good Intentions Can Make Our Energy and Climate Problems Worse

User Review  - Converse - Goodreads

Owen makes the case that increasing efficiency is bad for the environment, because increasing efficiency is equivalent to lowering a price. When you lower the price of something, people often either ... Read full review

Review: The Conundrum: How Scientific Innovation, Increased Efficiency, and Good Intentions Can Make Our Energy and Climate Problems Worse

User Review  - Ralph - Goodreads

An interesting little book that was well worthwhile to read. Its whole subject is the Jevons Paradox, which was a theory by a 19th century guy named Jevons that increased efficiency causes energy ... Read full review

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Copyright

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About the author (2012)

David Owen is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of a dozen books. He lives in northwest Connecticut with his wife, the writer Ann Hodgman, and their two children.

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