Greg Pahl - Books for Sustainable Living

Press Releases and Media Alerts

The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook: Community Solutions to a Global Crisis

by Greg Pahl
Foreword by Richard Heinberg

PRESS RELEASE

December 15, 2006

For Immediate Release:
For more information contact Constance Creed
802-295-6300 or ccreed@chelseagreen.com
www.chelsegreen.com

Groundbreaking book provides local solutions for energy crisis

We've gotten the message and the message is clear. Over the past year, a host of scientific articles and the widely viewed movie by Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth, have presented compelling arguments for moving beyond our present fossil-fuel economy. The Long Emergency, The End of Oil, and Out of Gas are just a few titles from a slew of recent books.

By the end of this decade, if not sooner, our nation will have reached the time of "Peak Oil"—that pivotal moment in history when world oil production and reserves begin their inevitable and inexorable decline. Wars fought over dwindling resources, severe weather and climate change due to global greenhouse has emissions—the predictions are sobering and often seem beyond our control as a human race, much less as individuals. Very little planning has so far been done by our government or industry to ease our transition away from fossil fuels, and towards a more renewable, and sustainable, energy future.

Now comes the solution. Energy expert Greg Pahl's newest book, The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook brings hope and optimism, to each of us, as we face the energy challenge in our own homes neighborhoods, and communities. Many of the renewable energy systems and technologies we will need to wean ourselves from fossil fuels already exist and are waiting on the shelf to be rediscovered, if only we have the will, the courage, and the wisdom to use them.

Pahl provides readers with a clear-eyed view of the current "energy landscape. "He helps regular people make sense of all of the energy options that are on the table and shows what works and what doesn't, which future technologies can be part of the solution and which ones are probably sci-fi fantasies.

Pahl then focuses on key renewable energy strategies that can be adopted for individual or community use. Many of these cooperative initiatives have been common in Europe for years, and are beginning to gain a foothold in the United States. Each chapter explores a different renewable energy category (solar, wind power, water power, biomass, liquid biofuels, and geothermal), reviews their advantages as well as disadvantages, and provides numerous examples of successful local initiatives from various countries.

Written to inspire, with a decidedly pragmatic but encouraging tone, this book emphasizes the need for immediate local action to provide power for essential community needs. It also details the many advantages of Community Supported Energy (CSE), as well as the barriers that still need to be overcome. Although local initiatives will not eliminate the challenges ahead, they may ease the pain somewhat as society makes the necessary shift to a more sustainable future.

The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook is an eloquent and timely appeal for community and regional action. Looking beyond a simplistic "magic bullet" solution to our looming energy crisis, the book argues for a broad array of solutions to our energy needs that are available now—solutions that will also strengthen our community and national security and break the monopolistic control of large, distant utilities and energy consortiums.

The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook: Community Solutions to a Global Crisis 1-933392-12-6 | March 2007 | $21.95 | paperback | 6x9 | 376 pages

Additional online press kit materials at Chelsea Green Publishing.

Biodiesel: Growing a New Energy Economy

by Greg Pahl

PRESS RELEASE

November 15, 2004

For Immediate Release:
For more information contact Alice Blackmer
802-295-6300 or blackmer@chelseagreen.com
www.chelsegreen.com

New book combats rising fuel prices, political instability, and environmental degradation with biodiesel.

As eyebrows raise across the country at the increasing prices of oil, propane, and natural gas, Chelsea Green author Greg Pahl has an idea on how to grow a new energy economy. This January Pahl introduces Biodiesel, a vital examination of the political, economic, and environmental possibilities of homegrown fuel.

Last month the US government cast a grim forecast for heating prices this winter, and Smart Money reported average residential natural gas prices are expected to be 11% higher than a year ago. Meanwhile, heating oil prices are up 29% and propane is averaging 17% higher than last winter. At the same time, we are repeatedly reminded that our increasing reliance on unstable fuel markets is the greatest threat to our national security.

With so much at stake in the fuels industry, Biodiesel offers an increasingly appealing alternative, and smart consumers are asking questions: Where does this new fuel technology come from? Are there standards for production and quality? What would be involved in switching over to a biodiesel fuel blend? And where is biodiesel heading? Biodiesel: Growing a New Energy Economy answers these questions and more.

Greg Pahl, a full-time freelance journalist and author of Natural Home Heating, has been covering energy and the environment for over twenty years. Pahl has carefully researched the history of biofuels and stands well prepared to asses their future. In Biodiesel, he looks critically at the fuel-producing potential of a variety of feedstocks, including exotic palm oil, local (North American) canola oil, used cooking oil, and algae. Pahl shows how biodiesel production could provide for more than 20% of our diesel fuel needs, and carefully outlines ways we can dramatically reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

As the politics of energy are called into question, visionary entrepreneurs in the biofuels industry may very well become society's great hope—heroes to today's energy insecurity the way astronauts were to the Cold War's space race. When Rudolf Diesel invented his engine in the late nineteenth century, he envisioned a device that could run anywhere on a wide range of local fuels. A century later, Greg Pahl recalls that vision and shows us it is possible with biodiesel.

Biodiesel: Growing a New Energy Economy 1-931498-65-2 | February 2005 | $18.00 | paperback | 6x9 | 296 pages

Additional online press kit materials at Chelsea Green Publishing.

Natural Home Heating: The Complete Guide to Renewable Energy Options

by Greg Pahl

PRESS RELEASE

September 1, 2003

For Immediate Release:
For more information contact Alice Blackmer
802-295-6300 or blackmer@chelseagreen.com
www.chelsegreen.com

New book shows homeowners how to protect their homes from blackouts, grid failure, high oil prices by presenting a wide range of renewable home heating strategies.

With oil prices on the rise and turmoil in the Middle East, it's easy to see how our current dependence on fossil fuels leaves us in a very precarious position. We rely so heavily on non-renewable resources like coal, oil, and natural gas, that a shift in politics or the environment could spell disaster for our high-consumption way of life.

Consider: 5.5 billion gallon of #2 fuel oil will be used in the Northeast this winter. That's 80% of the total used in the US. 95% of American homes are heated with fossil fuels or electricity, and heating costs could double or even triple in the event of a severe fuel crisis. It's time to reevaluate the way we heat the buildings we live in, and Greg Pahl, an authority on alternative energy for more than 20 years, has come to the rescue with a comprehensive guide to renewable energy options. Natural Home Heating: The Complete Guide to Renewable Energy Options, will be published this October by Chelsea Green of White River Junction, Vermont.

A valuable resource for those seeking to build a new energy-efficient home, or for those retrofitting an existing heating system, Pahl explains the ins and outs of all renewable home-heating options. He describes active and passive systems for harvesting energy from the oldest renewable resource—the sun, as well as guidelines for using wood stoves and masonry heaters, biomass products like corn and pellets, and geothermal heat pumps. While there are a few books on the market that discuss individual strategies (woodstoves, masonry heaters, etc.), there are none that discuss all of the options available—solar, wood, pellets, corn, biodiesel, geothermal—making this title unique and timely.

Pahl's extensive knowledge and research will assist homeowners in selecting the home heating system that best fits their needs, highlighting the costs, advantages, disadvantages, and technological developments of each option. The mission of Natural Home Heating is to give readers "the information that you need to make intelligent, informed decisions about your renewable home heating options" while minimizing environmental and financial impact.

"The use of fossil fuels and electricity accounts for about 95 percent of home heating in the United States," Pahl says. "And when you consider that fossil fuels and nuclear energy combined account for 91 percent of electrical generation in this country, you begin to understand just how unsustainable our nation's heating practices are. Frankly, I was shocked by these statistics."

Finally, there is a book that makes it easy to end dependence on unreliable fossil fuels, all while saving money and helping the earth.

Additional online press kit materials at Chelsea Green Publishing.