Sunday, September 7, 2008

And the winner in a copy of "On Empty" is..

Thank you for all the participants in our giveaway of the book 'On Empty (Out of Time)' by Bill Roth we reviewed last Monday.

We got many interesting comments on the debate about nuclear energy as an altenrative to the current sources of energy. This debate is far from being over, but I sure hope that policymakers will take a look at the book prior to discussing this issue. In any case, just to put things in perspective, as Bill himself mentioned in his comment, nuclear is one of seven technology paths discussed in the book.

And the winner in our giveaway is Johan Jansson, who wrote the following:

The last few days all news media are reporting about the newly discovered leak in the nuclear waste facility in Saxony, Germany: "The Asse-II mine was closed in 1964 and converted to an "experimental" nuclear facility in 1967. Now it officially holds up to 130,000 metal drums of low- and mid-level radioactive waste. But the report said highly radioactive plutonium had also been dumped in the mine, along with a number of nuclear fuel rods. Radioactivity readings there are at eight times the "safe" level, some barrels have tipped over and rusted through, and the worry is that saltwater leaking from the mine is not just radioactive but might contaminate public water supplies. The mine has been known to leak brine since 1988. Some experts fear it may collapse altogether by 2014." From Spiegel.

It is a scary world indeed. "We" are putting enormous responsibility in the hands of few, when we use nuclear power. Our over infatuation with tech fixes is scaring me the most. The only way forward is conservation. In order for this to work, understanding of human behavior is much, much more important than the next hot tech innovation. Sadly, most research money goes to the tech fixes and not to understanding consumer behavior and how it can be changed without much welfare loss.

Bill says in a comment that including the true cost will overcome some of the problems. However, economics is a subjective area more than for example nuclear research. One economist will find one cost to include, and another will not. How will we arrive at a true cost estimate for anything? I would argue that it is impossible. Thus, this cost-focus is only a very small part the solution. Perhaps the arguments for this are better explained in the book which I haven't read... yet.

Congratulations Johan! As mentioned, Eco-Libris will plant a tree for this book (as we do with every copy printed of this book) and we'll send Johan with the book our "One tree planted for this book" sticker.

And don't forget to keep following our giveaways. We have many more green books to review and give away so stay tuned (we'll have one tomorrow!).

Raz @ Eco-Libris