Energy and Social Policy

Energy and Social Policy

The Poverty of Power: Energy and the Economic Crisis, by Barry Commoner. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 314 pp.

Barry Commoner’s book is not merely a comprehensive statement of the environmentalist outlook on the energy crisis; Commoner integrates his description of the nation’s energy system with a radical analysis of our economic structure. He argues that our country has a plentiful supply of clean energy and that there is enough domestic oil to last until solar energy is available; we need not rely on nuclear power or produce synthetic fuels from coal.

Since energy is not really scarce, he asserts, the cause of our present energy problems lies in the economic system. He locates the basic flaw in the tend...

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