Energy, Society, and Environment: Technology for a Sustainable Future

By David Elliott | Go to book overview

14

The global perspective
• Global economic development patterns
• The Industrialisation process
• Post-industrial society
• The potential for leapfrogging

Environmental sustainability is a global issue: pollution does not respect national boundaries. The industrial system that creates it, and makes use of environmental resources, is increasingly organised on an international scale. This chapter explores the way in which industrial development patterns have influenced energy use around the world since the industrial revolution. It argues that new patterns of technological and industrial development may be needed in both the developed and the developing countries if the environmental limits that face the existing industrial system are to be overcome.


World development

Our analysis so far has suggested that, in very general terms, a sustainable future is technically feasible but socially and politically problematic, in that it might be seen as challenging the industrial and economic status quo. Our focus has been mainly on energy use in the developed countries, which historically have created and continue to create the bulk of the world’s pollution. However, the developing world is catching up. Indeed, as Figure 14.1 illustrates, in terms of carbon dioxide production, the developing countries have collectively overtaken the developed world. Unless remedial actions are taken emissions are likely to increase dramatically.

Unless agreements can be negotiated on an international basis there is little hope for long-term environmental sustainability. However, this

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Energy, Society, and Environment: Technology for a Sustainable Future
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Series Editors' Preface ix
  • Figures xii
  • Tables xiii
  • Boxes xiv
  • Author's Preface xv
  • Study Notes xix
  • Acknowledgements xxiv
  • Abbreviations xxvi
  • Part 1 - Environmental Problems 1
  • 1 - Technology and Society 3
  • 2 - Energy and Environment 17
  • 3 - Sustainable Technology 35
  • Part 2 - Sustainable Technology 47
  • 4 - Greening Technology 49
  • 5 - The Nuclear Alternative 65
  • 6 - Renewable Energy 85
  • 7 - Renewables Worldwide 103
  • 8 - Sustainable Energy Strategy 116
  • Part 3 - Problems of Implementation 129
  • 9 - Getting Started: Institutional Obstacles 131
  • 10 - Keeping Going: Deployment Problems 141
  • 11 - Case Study: Public Reactions to Uk Wind Farms 154
  • 12 - Public Acceptance: the Need for Negotiation 167
  • Part 4 - Sustainable Society 177
  • 13 - Sustainable Development 179
  • 14 - The Global Perspective 194
  • 15 - The Sustainable Future 205
  • Further Reading 218
  • 16 - Conclusions: the Way Ahead? 219
  • Glossary 232
  • Appendix I 234
  • Appendix II 236
  • Appendix III 238
  • References 239
  • Index 247
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