By Barry Commoner
Within the final ten years, the United States—the strongest and technically complicated society in human history—has been faced via a sequence of ominous, likely intractable crises. First there has been the hazard to the environmental survival; then there has been the plain scarcity of power: and now there's the unforeseen decline of the financial system. those are typically considered as separate afflictions, each one to be solved in its personal phrases: environmental degradation by means of toxins controls; the strength predicament through discovering new resources of strength and new methods of preserving it; the industrial situation via manipulating costs, taxes, and rates of interest.
But every one attempt to resolve one quandary turns out to conflict with the answer of the others—pollution regulate reduces power provides; power conservation jobs. necessarily, proponents of 1 answer develop into rivals of the others. coverage stagnates and remedial motion is paralyzed, including to the confusion and gloom that beset the country."
So opens Barry Commoner's The Poverty of energy, the booklet during which America's nice biologist and environmentalist addresses himself to the principal query of our day. He concludes that "what confronts us isn't really a sequence of separate crises, yet a unmarried easy deficit—a fault that lies deep within the layout of recent society. This ebook is an attempt to unearth that fault, to track its relation to the separate crises, and to think about what might be performed to right it at its root.
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Additional info for Poverty of Power: Energy and the Economic Crisis
Innovations must reach the consumer. Both the highly dispersed rural market and a highly dense urban market at the BOP represent an opportunity to innovate in methods of distribution. Designing methods for accessing the poor at low cost is critical. 12. Paradoxically, the feature and function evolution in BOP markets can be very rapid. Product developers must focus on the broad architecture of the system—the platform—so that new features can be easily incorporated. BOP markets allow (and force) us to challenge existing paradigms.
2 Source: Reprinted with permission from Harvard Business Review. ” From “Serving the World’s Poor Profitably” by C. K. Prahalad and Allen Hammond, September 2002. Copyright ©2002 by the Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation, all rights reserved. 12 The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid focused on the difference between the local moneylender rates and the rates that a commercial bank would charge. The bank can make a reasonable profit after adjusting for risk (10 percent over its traditional, top-of-the-pyramid customers).
For example, the supply of electricity can be quite erratic and blackouts and brownouts are very common. Advanced technology solutions, such as a regional network of PCs, must coexist with poor and indifferent electrical and telecom Products and Services for the BOP 25 infrastructures. Hybrid solutions that integrate backup power sources with PCs are a must, as are customer interfaces. For example, India boasts more than 15 official languages and 500 dialects, and 30 percent of the total population is illiterate.