FEAST OR FAMINE? by Franklyn M. Branley


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In the first three quarters of this book Branley compares American and Swedish energy use to show that ours, which is far higher per capita, could be cut by better insulation, district heating, more efficient transportation, etc. He also projects an energy-saving future characterized by cluster housing (with schools in the clusters), smaller cars that get better mileage, and so on. ""Without changing the standard of living,"" he concludes, ""energy consumption in the United States could be cut by 30%."" This in itself is an idea older children should get used to, even though Branley doesn't relate his visions to realities. Perhaps they are meant to seem unrealistic, for all this merely leads into an argument for nuclear energy, which he calls ""the cheapest by far."" (This is managed by calculating only the cost of the fuel.) Branley treats nuclear waste disposal as a problem neatly solved and he considers Three Mile Island evidence that even a major accident won't injure ""a single person."" He attributes opposition to nuclear power to popular confusion with the atom bomb and to the ""ridiculous"" notion that nuclear-generated electricity would be ""contaminated""--ideas we've heard only from others like Branley who would discredit anti-nukers. In any case resistance will give way to rapid progress, says Branley, because people don't want to adjust to less energy. So much for cluster housing.

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 1981
Publisher: T. Y. Crowell