Our Energy Future A review of The Citizen Powered Energy Handbook: Community Solutions to a Global Crisis by Greg Pahl
Last spring, when gasoline prices soared over $3 a gallon, Americans suddenly woke up to the fact that cheap energy was not their birthright. Almost overnight, SUVs became a glut in the market and alternative energy, from solar to wind, turned cool again. When prices dropped just before the November election (an oil company nod to an oil-friendly administration?) many people went back to sleep again. But the rumble about approaching peak oil is not dying down.
The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook: Community Solutions to a Global Crisis by Greg Pahl (Chelsea Green, $21.95) offers a thorough overview of oil alternatives, including chapters on solar, wind, water power, biomass, biofuels and geothermal. Pahl, also the author of The Complete Guide to Renewable Energy Options, is an amiable narrator, explaining how we got into this mess and offering examples from his own experience (he installed both solar panels and a wind tower). We”ll likely need a smorgasbord of all these energy options to survive peak oil, so this book is an indispensable community tool. —Jim Motavalli