Ozzie Zehner

Author of Green Illusions

Tag: academia

Green Illusions a Top-20 Pick for 2012

Green Illusions Ozzie Zehner Top-20 Nonfiction 2012 Goodreads

This morning, Goodreads selected Green Illusions as a Top-20 Nonfiction pick for 2012, the first time a book from an academic press has made the annual list. Many thanks for your support!

Green Illusions is an environmental book that pioneers a critique of clean energy.  But it doesn’t stop there. Green Illusions also delivers three dozen first steps around the themes of environmental justice, overpopulation, rebound effects, energy economics, degrowth, taxes, bicycling, livable neighborhoods, and energy conservation.

Though we generally believe we can solve environmental problems with more energy—more solar cells, wind turbines, and biofuels—alternative technologies come with their own side effects and limitations. How, for instance, do solar cells cause harm? Why can’t engineers solve wind power’s biggest obstacle? Why won’t contraception solve the problem of overpopulation, lying at the heart of our concerns about energy, and what will?

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Why Do Academics Overlook Overpopulation?

Ozzie Zehner Academic Papers Mentioning Overpopulation vs Energy Production Strategies 3

I’ve recently been studying how much research funding and attention goes into topics such as overpopulation and consumerism in comparison to energy production technologies.

As I describe in Green Illusions, there are reasons to critique the presumption that alternative energy technologies will lessen environmental impacts of humans on the planet. Meanwhile, research on consumption and population issues pales in comparison. At least by the numbers.

On one of the largest academic social networks, Academia.edu, 2,934 academics list “renewable energy” as a research interest. Just 221 list “consumerism.” A scant 4 list “overpopulation” as a focus of their research. Academia.edu represents just a subset of the academy. However, these raw publication and interest metrics bring up some important questions.

Has academia rolled over to become an outlet for energy firms to plug into? To what degree is academic research relevant to the big-picture problems that humanity is facing? Please let me know what you think below:

Read about this 2012 Goodreads Top-20 Nonfiction book:

Green Illusions