In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Introduction 1. National Highway and Safety Administration, Fatality Analysis Reporting System Encyclopedia (Washington dc: National Highway and Safety Administration , 2011). 2. Daniel J. Benjamin et al., “Do People Seek to Maximize Happiness? Evidence from New Surveys,” Journal of Economic Literature (forthcoming). 3. My review of media and political speech during the rise in oil prices between 2003 and 2008 in the United States shows that media coverage of alternative -energy technologies quadrupled while articles on low-tech methods of energy conservation increased just 25 percent. This is further supported by my study of the language used by politicians and the media to describe solutions during this period as well as by historical accounts of the 1970s opec embargo and accounts of the rise of nuclear power after World War II (see chapter 8). 1. Solar Cells and Other Fairy Tales 1. This short rendering leaves out much of the complexity the researchers uncovered, but see Monica Notes  Notes to pages 5–9 Leggett and Marie Finlay, “Science, Story, and Image: A New Approach to Crossing the Communication Barrier Posed by Scientific Jargon,” Public Understanding of Science 10, no. 2 (2001). 2. Barack Obama, interview by Eric Schmidt, November 14, 2008, Google Headquarters, Mountain View ca; Thomas Markvart, Solar Electricity, 2nd ed. (New York: Wiley, 2000), 3–4; Greenpeace, Global Warming Story Tour 2008, Greenpeace,; bp, Learn More About Solar, 3. These are drawn from two ongoing author studies of popular science articles published in the New York Times and the three most widely circulated popular science magazines in the United States: Popular Science , Discover, and wired. 4. Markvart, Solar Electricity, 1–3. 5. There are other ways to capture the sun’s energy besides solar cells. Solar thermal plants use mirrors to heat steam or molten salt, which is used to drive turbines, much like a traditional coal-fired power plant. Buildings can be designed to absorb light through their windows to heat concrete slabs or other thermal masses, which in turn radiate their heat during the night; such building techniques are labeled as passive solar. 6. Lester Brown, Plan B 3.0 (New York: W. W. Norton, 2008), 252. 7. Bjorn Lomborg, The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World (Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press,2001), 159. 8. The world uses about 140,000 terawatt-hours per year. International Energy Agency, Renewables Information 2007 (Geneva: oecd  /  iea, 2007). Faiman et al. calculate that a large solar collector system can produce two thousand kilowatt-hours per year for every kilowatt of installed capacity, which in turn costs $630 per kilowatt for manufacturing , $850 per kilowatt for solar collector fabrication and installation, $285 for storage batteries, and 0.5 cents per kilowatt-hour for maintenance . Faiman et al. indicate that the actual costs of large systems could turn out to be several times these amounts: D. Faiman, D. Raviv, and R. Rosenstreich, “Using Solar Energy to Arrest the Increasing Rate of Fossil-Fuel Consumption: The Southwestern States of the USA as Case Studies,” Energy Policy 35, no. 1 (2007): 570. 9. Author’s calculation using government data from: Ryan Wiser et al.,  Notes to pages 9–13 Letting the Sun Shine on Solar Costs: An Empirical Investigation of Photovoltaic Cost Trends in California (Golden co: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (nrel), 2006); Glen Harris and Shannon Moynahan , The California Solar Initiative—Triumph or Train Wreck? A Year to Date Review of the California Public Utility Commissions’ California Solar Initiative (SunCentric, 2007). 10. Author’s calculation using: (1) an average of 35.5 grams of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour of photovoltaic energy produced, based on estimations from Vasilis M. Fthenakis and Hyung C. Kim, “Greenhouse -Gas Emissions from Solar Electric and Nuclear Power: A LifeCycle Study,” Energy Policy 35, no. 4 (2007): 2549–57; and (2) given that the world uses about 140,000 terawatt-hours per year (see International Energy Agency, Renewables Information 2007); and (3) assuming a thirty-year life span for the arrays. 11. Stephanie Rosenbloom, “Giant Retailers Look to Sun for Energy Savings ,” New York Times, August 10, 2008. 12. Bernie Fischlowitz-Roberts, Solar Cell Sales Booming, Earth Policy Institute, January 1, 2002, 13. Janet L. Sawin, “Another Sunny Year for Solar Power,” in Energy and Climate (Washington dc: Worldwatch Institute, 2008). 14. “Clean Technology in the Downturn: Gathering Clouds,” Economist, November 6, 2008; Dirk Lammers, “Good Week, Bad Week for Solar Industry...


Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.