Hubbert’s Peak, Eneropa, and the Visualization of Renewable Energy

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The contributors to Reactivating Elements examine chemicals as they mix with soil, air, water, and fire to shape Earth's troubled ecologies today. They invoke the elements with all their ambivalences as chemical categories, material substances, social forms, forces and energies, cosmological entities, and epistemic objects. Engaging with the nonlinear historical significance of elemental thought across fields—chemistry, the biosciences, engineering, physics, science and technology studies, the environmental humanities, ecocriticism, and cultural studies—the contributors examine the relationship between chemistry and ecology, probe the logics that render wind as energy, excavate affective histories of ubiquitous substances such as plastics and radioactive elements, and chart the damage wrought by petrochemical industrialization. Throughout, the volume illuminates how elements become entangled with power and control, coloniality, racism, and extractive productivism while exploring alternative paths to environmental destruction. In so doing, it rethinks the relationship between the elements and the elemental, human and more-than-human worlds, today’s damaged ecosystems and other ecologies to come. Contributors. Patrick Bresnihan, Tim Choy, Joseph Dumit, Cori Hayden, Stefan Helmreich, Joseph Masco, Michelle Murphy, Natasha Myers, Dimitris Papadopoulos, María Puig de la Bellacasa, Astrid Schrader, Isabelle Stengers
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Oil is a curse, it is often said, that condemns the countries producing it to an existence defined by war, corruption and enormous inequality. Carbon Democracy tells a more complex story, arguing that no nation escapes the political consequences of our collective dependence on oil. It shapes the body politic both in regions such as the Middle East, which rely upon revenues from oil production, and in the places that have the greatest demand for energy. Timothy Mitchell begins with the history of coal power to tell a radical new story about the rise of democracy. Coal was a source of energy so open to disruption that oligarchies in the West became vulnerable for the first time to mass demands for democracy. In the mid-twentieth century, however, the development of cheap and abundant energy from oil, most notably from the Middle East, offered a means to reduce this vulnerability to democratic pressures. The abundance of oil made it possible for the first time in history to reorganize political life around the management of something now called "the economy" and the promise of its infinite growth. The politics of the West became dependent on an undemocratic Middle East. In the twenty-first century, the oil-based forms of modern democratic politics have become unsustainable. Foreign intervention and military rule are faltering in the Middle East, while governments everywhere appear incapable of addressing the crises that threaten to end the age of carbon democracy-- the disappearance of cheap energy and the carbon-fuelled collapse of the ecological order. -- Book jacket.
Winner of the 2006 Alice Davis Hitchcock Award! The word 'nature' comes from natura, Latin for birth - as do the words nation, native and innate. But nature and nation share more than a common root, they share a common history where one term has been used to define the other. In the United States, the relationship between nation and nature has been central to its colonial and post-colonial history, from the idea of the noble savage to the myth of the frontier. Narrated, painted and filmed, American landscapes have been central to the construction of a national identity. Architecture and Nature presents an in-depth study of how changing ideas of what nature is and what it means for the country have been represented in buildings and landscapes over the past century.
This article uses Fairfield Osborn's Our Plundered Planet and William Vogt's Road to Survival to examine the environmental history of two crucial developments in twentieth-century US history: the emergence of a new political economic order in the 1930s and America's emergence as a global superpower during and immediately after World War II. Revisiting the origins of Osborn and Vogt's bestsellers adds an international dimension to our understanding of the transition from the early conservation movement to the postwar environmental movement. It also helps us see how many of the big stories of the mid-twentieth century—the Depression, World War II, the Cold War, and the postwar economy—had environmental components. During the 1930s and 1940s, two schools for understanding modernity emerged that would engage in a contentious dance for the remainder of the century: a school of consumption-driven growth most associated with John Maynard Keynes and a new brand of conservation focused on carrying capacity and limits most associated with Aldo Leopold. For the most part, Keynes's ideas of interconnected economies and Leopold's ideas of interconnected nature moved on parallel trajectories. Osborn's Our Plundered Planet and Vogt's Road to Survival struck a chord in 1948, however, because they brought together the two arenas. A consumption-driven world order, they warned, would yield not peace and prosperity, but more war. Linking national security with environmental issues, Osborn and Vogt focused attention on their new approach to an old issue—natural resource depletion—and exposed a growing divide among conservationists.
This article provides an overview of the analysis of technological zones. A technological zone can be understood as a space within which differences between technical practices, procedures and forms have been reduced, or common standards have been established. Such technological zones take broadly one of three forms: (1) metrological zones associated with the development of common forms of measurement; (2) infrastructural zones associated with the creation of common connection standards; and (3) zones of qualification which come into being when objects and practices are assessed according to common standards and criteria. The article argues that technological zones can have more or less clear borders, but such borders increasingly do not correspond to the borders of nation-states. Through a discussion of the global oil industry, some of the ways in which the formation of technological zones has become critical to contemporary economic and political life are examined.
This attempt to trace the history of US energy policy since World War II underscores the confusion and diffusion that have characterized American efforts to deal with energy questions. Despite the numerous presidential committees, commissions, and task forces, as well as the many special offices and agencies established during the postwar years, surprisingly little useful policy has been formulated. This failure has been especially costly during a four-decade era that has seen a drastic shift from abundant energy to acute shortage, from falling prices for producers to steep price rises for consumers, and from energy self-sufficiency to increasing dependency on foreign sources. It is a failure that has left Americans all the more unprepared to deal with the necessary and difficult transition from oil to a substitute form of energy. By exploring past approaches to energy policy, the authors hope to promote public understanding of an important subject and to help policymakers cope with increasingly complex energy problems. A separate abstract was prepared for each of the eleven chapters and the appendix.
Son 8 los capítulos que conforman esta obra sobre autoconstrucción y diseño ecológico: Qué es una casa autónoma; el poder del sol; Aprovechamiento del viento; bombas de calentamiento; Reciclaje de desperdicios; El problema del agua; Celdas de energía; Almacenamiento de energía; Un diseño de una casa autosuficiente.
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