Consumer Behavior and Energy Policy: An International Perspective

By Eric Monnier; George Gaskell et al. | Go to book overview
("more for the money"). Thus, they provide information on price/quality ratios ( Joerges 1981). These organizations--apart from their organizational weakness--are part and parcel of industrial, monetarized society and are constrained from dealing radically or effectively with the energy problem, as are many other organizations that are an integral part of industrial society. Again I stress that it is a mistake for policymakers to define and deal with energy problems as if energy were a commodity like other commodities.
5.
In Sweden until the early 1970s energy policy and decision making took place in a context of nonpartisanship. The aim was continued growth and development. But there were conflicts around hydro-power construction plans. In Norway these took violent proportions during the 1970s. Proposals for siting of the first nuclear power plants in Norway also led to mobilized opposition, eventually forcing the politicians to shelve the entire idea ( Andersen and Burns 1986).
6.
In our research in Norway, for instance, we found that peripheral economic interests (fishing, recreational interests, and traditional farming as opposed to industrial farming) found common cause with idealist interests, such as environmental movements and zero-growth advocates, often found among urban youth and occupational groups outside industry in the service sector, including government.
7.
While the focus here is on the limitations of industrial society, it would be interesting to consider some of the ways that the "information technology revolution" and the increasingly service-dominated economy will affect energy used in products in advanced industrialized countries and in possible increases in developing countries as they industrialize further and also export industrial goods to advanced countries. Moreover, a theme that is rarely discussed concretely is how the structural transformation now underway in the economies of the advanced industrial countries will affect the need (and possibilities for) conservation in the distant future.

REFERENCES

Anderson S. and Burns T. R., 1986. Public Decisions and Social Confrontation: Large-Scale Energy Projects in Norway. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.

Baumgartner T. and Burns T. R., 1984. Transitions to Alternative Energy Systems: Entrepreneurs, NewTechnologies, and Social Change

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