Changing Energy outlines how humanity came to its current energy economy through three previous energy transitions and now stands poised for a necessary fourth one. Despite the immense benefits conferred by a global energy economy based primarily on coal, oil, gas, and uranium, societies must now rebuild their energy economies to rely as much as possible on renewable energy used efficiently. This imperative to change comes from the risks of climate change plus the dangers of geopolitical tensions, health and environmental effects, and the long-term prospects for ever depleting sources of today’s energy sources. Changing Energy argues that sustainability of the benefits from energy services will come from investments made in the technologies of the fourth transition. Perkins envisions a viable post–fossil fuel energy economy and outlines the barriers that must be resolved to reach it.
John H. Perkins is Professor Emeritus at The Evergreen State College, where he taught environmental and energy studies between 1980 and 2009 plus directed the Graduate Program on the Environment between 1999 and 2005. He is a Senior Fellow with the National Council for Science and the Environment as well as Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also the author of Geopolitics and the Green Revolution: Wheat, Genes, and the Cold War and Insects, Experts, and the Insecticide Crisis: The Quest for New Pest Management Strategies.