City University of Hong Kong

A new book with great insights, Fact and Fiction in Global Energy Policy: Fifteen Contentious Questions, published by Dr. Scott Valentine

Global Energy PolicyFact and Fiction in Global Energy Policy:
Fifteen Contentious Questions

© 2016

by Benjamin K. Sovacool, Marilyn A. Brown, and Scott V. Valentine
Johns Hopkins University Press, 392 pages
ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-1421418971

Book Overview

Energy sustainability and climate change are two of the greatest challenges facing humankind. Unraveling these complex and interconnected issues demands careful and objective assessment. Fact and Fiction in Global Energy Policy aims to change the prevailing discourse by examining fifteen core energy questions from a variety of perspectives, demonstrating how, for each of them, no clear-cut answer exists.

Is industry the chief energy villain? Can we sustainably feed and fuel the planet at the same time? Is nuclear energy worth the risk? Should geoengineering be outlawed? Touching on pollution, climate mitigation and adaptation, energy efficiency, government intervention, and energy security, the authors explore interrelated concepts of law, philosophy, ethics, technology, economics, psychology, sociology, and public policy.

This book offers a much-needed critical appraisal of the central energy technology and policy dilemmas of our time and the impact of these on multiple stakeholders.

About the Authors

Benjamin K. Sovacool is the director of the Center for Energy Technologies, a professor of business and social sciences at Aarhus University, and a professor of energy policy at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex. Marilyn A. Brown is an endowed professor of sustainable systems in the School of Public Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She created and leads the Climate and Energy Policy Laboratory. Scott V. Valentine is an associate professor in the School of Energy and Environment and the Department of Public Policy at the City University of Hong Kong.


Written by some of the most highly regarded energy policy experts active today, this deeply researched book displays an impressive command of a wide range of topics and literatures.

  • (John S. Duffield, Georgia State University, author of Fuels Paradise: Seeking Energy Security in Europe, Japan, and the United States)
  • Energy is no less about facts, data, and choices than about frames, beliefs, and attitudes. This unique, wide-ranging, and valuable compilation delves beneath the surface of diverse energy controversies to reveal what is really at issue and at stake.

  • (Amory B. Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute)
  • In this era of polarization and simplistic debates, this book provides a refreshingly candid, nuanced, and balanced treatment of the most difficult energy choices. Insightful, penetrating and even witty, this work is the perfect antidote to your typical energy book.

  • (Michael P. Vandenbergh, Vanderbilt University)
  • Designed as a popular guide to a selection of controversies, this book takes stock of topics that people argue about when they argue about energy.  Its central contribution is to show that green debates are made of black and white and many shades of grey.  It will be useful reading for students, researchers and even practitioners.

  • (Elizabeth Shove, Lancaster University)
  • A balanced and stimulating treatment of fifteen major energy policy questions, especially well designed for enriching student discussion.

  • (Herman E. Daly, University of Maryland, author of Ecological Economics and Sustainable Development)