Concerns over climate change and energy depletion are increasing exponentially. Mainstream solutions still assume a panacea that will cure our climate ills without requiring any serious modification to our way of life.
Plan C explores the risks inherent in trying to continue our energy-intensive lifestyle. Using dirtier fossil fuels (Plan A) or switching to renewable energy sources (Plan B) allows people to remain complacent in the face of a potential global catastrophe. Dramatic lifestyle change is the only way to begin to create a sustainable, equitable world. The converging crises of Peak Oil, Climate Change and increasing inequity are presented in a clear, concise manner, as are the twin solutions of community (where cooperation replaces competition) and curtailment (deliberately reducing consumption of consumer goods).
Plan C shows how each person's individual choices can dramatically reduce CO2 emissions. It offers specific strategies in the areas of food, transportation and housing. One chapter analyzes the decimation of the Cuban economy when the USSR stopped oil exports in 1990 and provides an inspiring vision for a low energy way of living.
Plan C is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in living a lower-energy, saner and sustainable lifestyle.
Written for the layman, this is the fully revised and updated guide for individuals and businesses interested in generating their own electricity using the sun. Practical and accessible, it provides a basic understanding of electricity, wiring, and solar energy, and guides the reader through site assessment and determining the type of system needed, providing a solid understanding of grid-tied and off-grid systems, along with important guidelines on installation.
Power from the Sun — 2nd Edition discusses types of photovoltaics (PVs) and photovoltaic systems, and includes comprehensive information on recent changes and improvements in PV modules, charge controllers, inverters, batteries, generators, and net metering policies. It offers an excellent overview of the many options available, allowing the reader to make the best choices for their individual situation during the design, installation, and operation of a solar electric system.
This is the definitive guide for homeowners, business owners, installers, architects, and just about anyone interested in lowering energy bills while achieving greater energy independence.
After covering the environment and energy beat for more than a decade, columnist Amanda Little decided that the only way to fully understand America’s energy crisis was to travel into the heart of it. So she embarked on a daring, cross-country power trip to the most extreme and exciting frontiers of our energy landscape.
In Power Trip, we accompany her to a deep-sea oil rig, the cornfields of Kansas, the catacombs of the Pentagon, the Talladega Superspeedway, and inside New York City’s electrical grid. We visit laboratories creating the innovations that will carry us into a clean-energy future. Little also travels back through history to investigate how America developed its unrivaled appetite for fossil fuels. In vivid, fast-paced prose, she illustrates how the same American ingenuity that got us into this mess can get us out of it too.
In Powering the Future, Nobel laureate Robert B. Laughlin transports us two centuries into the future, when we've ceased to use carbon from the ground-either because humans have banned carbon burning or because fuel has simply run out. Boldly, Laughlin predicts no earth-shattering transformations will have taken place. Six generations from now, there will still be soccer moms, shopping malls, and business trips. Firesides will still be snug and warm.
How will we do it? Not by discovering a magic bullet to slay our energy problems, but through a slew of fascinating technologies, drawing on wind, water and fire. Powering the Future is an objective yet optimistic tour through alternative fuel sources, set in a world where we've burned every last drop of petroleum and every last shovelful of coal.
Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, 2nd Edition: Guiding Principles to Welcome Rain into Your Life and Landscape is the first book in a three-volume guide that teaches you how to conceptualize, design, and implement sustainable water-harvesting systems for your home, landscape, and community. This revised and expanded second edition increases potential for on-site harvests with more integrated tools and strategies for solar design, a primer on your water/energy/carbon connections, descriptions of water/erosion flow patterns and their water-harvesting response, and updated illustrations to show you how to do it all. The stories of people who are successfully welcoming rain into their life and landscape will inspire you to do the same!
Earthworks are one of the easiest, least expensive, and most effective ways of passively harvesting and conserving multiple sources of water in the soil. Associated vegetation then pumps the harvested water back out in the form of beauty, food, shelter, wildlife habitat, and passive heating and cooling, while controlling erosion, increasing soil fertility, reducing downstream flooding, and improving water and air quality. Building on the information presented in the first volume of this series, this book shows you how to select, place, size, construct, and plant your chosen water-harvesting earthworks. It presents detailed how-to information and variations of a diverse array of earthworks, including chapters on mulch, vegetation, and greywater recycling, so you can customize the techniques to the unique requirements of your site. Real life stories and examples permeate the book, including:
What book would you want if you were stranded on a desert island? Widely regarded as the bible of off-grid living, the Solar Living Sourcebook might be your best choice. With more than 600,000 copies in print worldwide, it is the most comprehensive resource available for anyone interested in lessening their environmental footprint and increasing their energy independence.
This 14th edition of the sourcebook is the ultimate guide to renewable energy, sustainable living, natural and green building, off-grid living and alternative transportation, written by experts with decades of experience and a passion for sharing their knowledge. This fully revised and updated edition includes brand new sections on permaculture and urban homesteading, and completely rewritten chapters on solar technology, sustainable transportation and relocalization. It also boasts greatly expanded material on:
You’ll also find maps, wiring diagrams, formulas, charts, electrical code, solar sizing worksheets and much more.
Whether you're a layperson or a professional, novice or longtime aficionado, the Sourcebook puts the latest research and information at your fingertips … everything you need to know to make sustainable living a reality.
Jeremy Shere's natural curiosity and serious research come together in an entertaining and informative guide to where renewable energy has been, where it is today, and where it's heading.
Waterpower is the largest source of renewable energy in the world today, and microhydro is a mature, proven technology that can provide clean, inexpensive, renewable energy with little or no impact on the environment.
Serious Microhydro brings you dozens of firsthand stories of energy independence covering a complete range of systems, from household pressure sites to higher pressure installations capable of powering a farm, business or small neighborhood. Topics include:
With all the variables involved in microhydro, there is no "typical" system. These case studies represent the most comprehensive collection of knowledge and experience available on tailoring an installation to meet the needs of a site and its owner/operators. If you are considering building a system, you are bound to find a wealth of creative solutions appropriate to your own circumstances.
Serious Microhydro shows how scores of people are achieving a high standard of living from local energy sources with a minimal ecological footprint. It has particular appeal to home owners, teachers, renewable energy professionals, activists and decision makers who want to understand the technology from a "hands on" perspective.
The Winter 2015 edition of The Best of Mother Earth News includes more than 25 articles that cover a range of topics from food and cooking to organic gardening, from beekeeping to renewable energy. With more than 100 pages, this is the ultimate self-sufficient guide for any modern homesteader.
If you’re interested in homesteading, livestock, natural health, gardening, DIY projects, renewable energy, or cooking, you don’t want to miss this issue! Mother Earth News has compiled more than 45 articles into The Best of Mother Earth News, 2018 to help guide you through whatever project you’re currently tackling or that you plan to take on in the future. From learning how to grow an aquaponics aquaculture to building a beehive and keeping bees to making homegrown olive oil, this issue is here for you.
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On May 4, 2007, an EF5 tornado destroyed the town of Greensburg in south central Kansas. In the desperate days immediately after the catastrophe, town leaders-including the ex-cop mayor, the city manager, and an environmentalist from Colorado - launched a program to rebuild Greensburg green. Just like the name of the town. Before the tornado, Greensburg was slowly dying, a village about to be buried in the Great Plains. Now it is a mecca for eco-tourists. Author Robert Fraga taught math for 20 years in Egypt, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia. Later he taught at Ripon College in Wisconsin and Baker University in Kansas. His two books on mathematics are entitled Calculus Problems for a New Century and War Stories from Applied Math. He and his wife Jean Grant, parents of two grown children, live in Lawrence, Kan., and the Dordogne region of France.
Energy bills have skyrocketed in North America, and traditional energy sources can be as damaging to the environment as they are to your pocketbook. The Homeowner's Guide to Renewable Energy will show you how to slash your home energy costs while dramatically reducing your carbon footprint.
Completely revised and updated, this new edition describes the most practical and affordable methods for making significant improvements in home energy efficiency and tapping into clean, affordable, renewable energy resources. If implemented, these measures will save the average homeowner tens of thousands of dollars over the coming decades.
Focusing on the latest technological advances in residential renewable energy, this guide examines each alternative energy option available, including:
This well-illustrated and accessible guide is an essential resource for those wanting to enter the renewable energy field. Packed with practical tips and guidelines, it gives readers sufficient knowledge to hire and communicate effectively with contractors. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in saving money and achieving energy independence.
Heating with wood is often considered a natural and economical alternative to electricity or fossil fuels. However, even with a fairly new and efficient woodstove, many cords of wood are required for burning over the course of a single winter, and incomplete combustion can contribute to poor air quality. A rocket mass heater is an earthen masonry heating system which provides clean, safe, and efficient warmth for your home, all while using 70 to 90 percent less fuel than a traditional woodstove.
These unique and beautiful installations provide luxurious comfort year-round. In cold weather a few hours of clean, hot burning can provide 20 or more hours of steady warmth, while the unit's large thermal mass acts as a heat sink, cooling your home on sizzling summer days. Packed with hard-to-find information, The Rocket Mass Heater Builder's Guide includes:
Earthen masonry heating systems are well-suited for natural and conventional builders alike. A super-efficient, woodburning rocket mass heater can help you dramatically reduce your energy costs while enhancing the beauty, value, and comfort of your home.
Whether you're looking to lead a healthier life, protect the environment or save money, The Self-Sufficient Home will show you how to transition from your current lifestyle to a self-sufficient one with hundreds of tips that you can start doing right now. You'll not only improve your day-to-day life with these basic living skills, you will also prepare yourself for any disaster that might arise in your area. Complete with advice and detailed instructions for living more simply, this book teaches you everything you need to know about building a self-sufficient home, such as:
With The Self-Sufficient Home, you'll be able to keep your family healthy, safe, and happy as you rediscover the simple (and secure) pleasures of a self-sufficient lifestyle.
The Sun-Inspired House evolved from the questions about passive solar, passive cooling, energy efficiency and green building that home owners, builders, engineers and architects asked author Debra Rucker Coleman over the last 25 years.
Unusual as they seem, underground buildings are surprisingly common.
Every day, tens of thousands in North America work, shop, dine, study and play in the more than 300 public and commercial structures and 5,000 private homes nestled in the earth.
Underground buildings are safe, attractive, useful and comfortable places to frequent and live. Unlike a common misconception, most are dry and warm, and they are often sun-filled. More than 100 underground buildings are included in this fascinating subterranean tour. These buildings range from the famous to the unnoticed. Some were built for pragmatic reasons, others for aesthetic considerations, and still others, for a combination of both.
There are impressive success stories and discouraging tales of failure. Some underground buildings are incredibly energy-efficient, for example, while others leaked so badly they were abandoned.
A vast spectrum of structures is presented, ranging from stunning examples of hidden opulence to humble subterranean cubbyholes where unassuming people immerse themselves in nature.
Wind power is the fastest-growing source of energy in the world, and by the year 2020 it is projected to supply at least 12 percent of global electrical demand.
Wind Power Basics provides a clear understanding of wind and wind energy systems including turbines, towers, inverters and batteries, site assessment, installation, and maintenance requirements.
Whether you're considering your own small-scale wind energy system or just want a straightforward, detailed introduction to the benefits and challenges of this rapidly emerging technology, Wind Power Basics is the guide for you.
About the author:
Dan Chiras is a respected educator and author who has published more than 25 books on residential renewable energy and green building, including Power From the Wind. He is the director of the Evergreen Institute, where he teaches workshops on small wind energy systems, solar electricity, passive solar design, energy efficiency, and green and natural building.