Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism

By Ozzie Zehner | Go to book overview

10. Women’s Rights

Although the world is full of suffering, it is full
also of the overcoming of it.—Helen Keller

Women’s rights, while a noble virtue in itself, might not seem the likely extension of an argument concerning kilowatts and carbon dioxide. But in fact, one could argue that this unexpected key has greater potential for reducing greenhouse gases, preventing resource conflicts, shrinking energy consumption, and improving human well-being than all of the solar cells, wind turbines, and hybrid cars that we could possibly churn out of our manufacturing plants. But is this right? Could empowering girls and women to control their livelihoods and bodies against the legislative, cultural, and economic barriers that still stand in front of them actually be a worthy environmental undertaking? We’ll come back to a rather contentious answer later in this chapter. But to begin, let’s take a look at why this question is itself so controversial.

A subterranean rift is emerging between environmental advocates and women’s rights advocates. And though it hasn’t even touched the

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Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations viii
  • Figures ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction- Unraveling the Spectacle xv
  • Part I - Seductive Futures 1
  • 1- Solar Cells and Other Fairy Tales 3
  • 2- Wind Power’s Flurry of Limitations 31
  • 3- Biofuels and the Politics of Big Corn 61
  • 4- The Nuclear-Military-Industrial Risk Complex 81
  • 5- The Hydrogen Zombie 105
  • 6- Conjuring Clean Coal 121
  • 7- Hydropower, Hybrids, and Other Hydras 133
  • Part II - From Here to There 147
  • 8- The Alternative-Energy Fetish 149
  • 9- The First Step 171
  • Part III - The Future of Environmentalism 185
  • 10- Women’s Rights 187
  • 11- Improving Consumption 223
  • 12- The Architecture of Community 263
  • 13- Efficiency Culture 301
  • 14- Asking Questions 331
  • Epilogue- A Grander Narrative? 343
  • Resources for Future Environmentalists 349
  • Notes 355
  • Index 415
  • In the Our Sustainable Future Series 438
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