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Toward partial redirection of energy policy for responsible development
Mayumi, Kozo; Giampietro, Mario
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Unitat d'Història Econòmica
This paper addresses the surprising lack of quality control on the analysis and selection on energy policies observable in the last decades. As an example, we discuss the delusional idea that it is possible to replace fossil energy with large scale ethanol production from agricultural crops. But if large scale ethanol production is not practical in energetic terms, why huge amount of money has been invested in it and is it still being invested? In order to answer this question we introduce two concepts useful to frame, in general terms, the predicament of quality control in science: (i) the concept of “granfalloons” proposed by K. Vonnegut (1963) flagging the danger of the formation of “crusades to save the world” void of real meaning. These granfalloons are often used by powerful lobbies to distort policy decisions; and (ii) the concept of Post-Normal science by S. Funtowicz and J. Ravetz (1990) indicating a standard predicament faced by science when producing information for governance. When mixing together uncertainty, multiple-scale and legitimate but contrasting views it becomes impossible to deal with complex issue using the conventional scientific approach based on reductionism. We finally discuss the implications of a different approach to the assessment of alternative energy sources by introducing the concept of Promethean technology.
620 - Assaig de materials. Materials comercials. Economia de l'energia
Política energètica
Desenvolupament sostenible
Fonts d'energia renovables
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17 p.
Document de treball
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Unitat d'Història Econòmica
Documents de treball (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Unitat d'Història Econòmica);2014_01

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