RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 729341510 LA English T1 The conundrum : how scientific innovation, increased efficiency, and good intentions can make our energy and climate problems worse A1 Owen, David,, PB Riverhead Books PP New York YR 2012 SN 9781594485619 1594485615 AB This is a mind-changing manifesto about the environment, efficiency, and the real path to sustainability. Hybrid cars, fast trains, compact florescent lightbulbs, solar panels, carbon offsets: everything you've been told about being 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 greenly and efficiently. But the author argues that our best intentions are still at cross-purposes to our true goal: living sustainably while 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, one discovered in the late nineteenth century by a twenty-nine-year-old English economist named William Jevons. Efforts to improve efficiency 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. The author's narrative, filled with information and anecdotes, takes you through the history of energy and the quest for efficiency. He introduces the reader to some of the smartest people working on solving our energy problems. He details the arguments of efficiency's proponents and its antagonists, and in the process overturns most traditional wisdom about being green. We are not waiting for some geniuses to invent our way out of the energy and economic crisis we are in. We already have the technology and knowledge we need to live sustainably. But will we do it? That is the conundrum.