John H. Perkins. Changing energy: the transition to a sustainable future

Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2017
  • Richard Smardon
Book Review

John Perkins’ new book Changing Energy is really a sort of political ecology of energy production history plus the challenge of the future energy transition as we progress from carbon-based fuels to more renewable sources. The idea of this energy transition is referred to throughout the book and is similar in some ways to Brown et al.’s 2015 book The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy, which is written more from a renewable energy advocate’s perspective.

The beginning three chapters of Perkins’ book are a historical treatment of energy’s role in economic and political development. These parts focus on the UK and to some extent North America and the role of energy and industrial production systems as well as political power. So here is where the political ecology perspective plays a major role.

The next three chapters, “Primary Fuels and Energy Efficiency,” “Energy Systems,” and “Climate Change,” are a review of the basic science of energy systems plus...


  1. Brown LR, Larson J, Ronney JM, Adams EA (2015) The great transition: shifting from fossil fuels to solar and wind energy. W. W. Norton & Company, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Goldenberg J (2012) Energy: what everyone needs to know. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  3. Perkins J (2017) Changing energy: the transition to a sustainable future. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  4. Stremke S, van den Dobbelsteen A (2013) Sustainable energy landscapes: designing, planning and development. Boca Raton, CRC Press/Taylor & Francis GroupGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© AESS 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental StudiesSUNY ESFSyracuseUSA

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