Can we all agree that the current energy economy is fundamentally toxic to nature and people? Can we agree that there is no more important task than building a new energy economy, one that supports flourishing human and natural communities? Can we agree that the future energy economy should be powered by renewable sources, not fossil fuels?
One would think that every reasonable person (I’m looking at you, members of Congress) would agree with these propositions. Virtually every energy and climate change activist would immediately say yes. But move past truisms and get into specifics of just how to advance toward this energy future, and consensus breaks down. Remaking the energy economy cannot be accomplished overnight and thus there will be disagreements over strategies and tactics among activists.
In every social change movement, there is friction between incremental reformers and advocates for radical change. Internecine squabbling is inevitable. So perhaps it shouldn't have been surprising that some “green power” activists have gotten riled up -- in a negative way -- by our new book ENERGY: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth, centerpiece of Post Carbon Institute’s Energy Reality Campaign. But it has been a little discouraging.
To be fair, overall reaction to the book and just-launched campaign has been overwhelmingly positive. But a small percentage of the folks who read through ENERGY, which depicts all facets of energy production and transport, get bent out of shape by a handful of the book’s roughly 200 photos. Some NGOs we expected to be natural allies have declined to distribute free copies to their activist lists or to policy makers. Some folks have called us to complain.