Also discussed here: Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism(464 pages, Ozzie Zehner, Jun. 2012)
Today we review a challenge to the conventional answer to the mitigation of climate change by a shift to a green economy with renewable energy instead of carbon fuels, growing more trees and driving in electric cars. The author instead points out that each of these “cures”, when accompanied by more use of energy because of growth driven by population growth and new technology, result in more, not less, greenhouse gas emissions. Governmental policy approaches, even when well-intentioned in terms of the environment, make the problem worse. He calls for “degrowth” or a new environmentalism. “On verra”, as they say in French. At least, it causes one to examine more carefully the alternatives offered and whether, finally, to accept the warnings about global consumptive growth, contained in the book on Limits to Growth, published over 40 years ago by the Club of Rome. In a city context, growth equates to sprawl, whether it is done in a seemingly green way (e.g. electric LRT) and the result is a polluted city.
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