The Urbane Ecologist


  • If you want to know more about how people from different disciplines connect ideas about energy, landscapes, urban environments, and people, to think about the “urban metabolism“, then a good paper to read is “Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Urban Metabolism” by Vanesa Castan Broto, Adriana Allen, and Elizabeth Rapoport (published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology, 2012).
  • What is the “carbon bubble“?–It’s the idea/expectation that climate change policy will make fossil fuel reserves inaccessible, and therefore worthless. This means that fossil fuel reserves–which underpin things like pensions–are hugely overvalued. This interactive map by the Guardiancountries most exposed to the carbon bubble. The introductory video explains the “carbon bubble” idea.
  • For a review of urban energy systems which examines topics such as urbanization, energy accounting methods, urban energy use trends, sustainable urban systems, policy instruments, transportation systems, and air pollution trends, check out Ch. 18 (“Urban Energy Systems”) of the 2014 Global Energy Assessment.
  • I know nothing about renewable energy and I want to know more about it–what the different types are and how they work. — “Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation“, special report by the IPCC published in 2011
  • I want to know more about the relationship between energy and poverty, and how the world’s poor experience energy problems. — “The Poor People’s Energy Outlook 2014“, published by Practical Action.
  • One of the first–and shortest–books connecting Western demand for energy and “Third World” food shortage is The Wealth of Some Nations by Malcolm Caldwell. Although it was published in 1977, it is still relevant.
  • For a review of data and models on energy and material flows in the world’s megacities, and for an interesting discussion on using biological metabolism and ecosystem succession as conceptual frameworks for examining urban ecological problems, see Rowland et al.’s paper, “Energy and Material Flow through the Urban Ecosystem” (published in the Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, 2000–watch that year, because specific data on the megacities is likely outdated by now!).

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