Big-Box Swindle was named one of the top ten business books of the year by Booklist and described by Bill McKibben as “the ultimate account of the single most important economic trend in our country.”… Read More
Originally published in 1982, we’re making this book available as a free download since many of its discussions are as relevant today as they were 25 years ago. The first half discusses the century-long struggle by cities to gain autonomy and authority from state governments and create their own planning and service delivery capacities. The second part describes the first urban-based localization movements and the successes and challenges. As a standalone document, we’ve also included the new foreword and the book’s last chapter, The Ecological City given the current revived debate about the subject.… Read More
The California energy crisis is not simply about a lack of electricity it is about who owns the production and distribution of that electricity. As state after state agrees to deregulation, the utility industry is approaching a concentration not seen since the Power Trust of the 1930s. Seeing the Light urges us to change the rules now and create a future that includes affordable, locally-owned electricity. The book chronicles hopeful new developments and reminds us that the best way to prevent another crisis is to build a better system.… Read More
This book by David Morris (first published in 1983) was the first how-to book published after Congress ended the 100-year-old monopoly by utilities on the generation of power. The book examines the technical and economic aspects of four small scale power technologies (photovoltaics, wind power, hydropower and onsite cogeneration) and offers advice on how to negotiate a contract for sale of on-site power to local utilities.… Read More
The first half of this book discusses the century-long struggle by cities to gain autonomy and authority from state governments and create their own planning and service delivery capacities. The second part describes the first urban-based localization movements. Given the relevance of the book to current localist efforts, we’ve written a new foreword that traces the local energy initiatives after the 75 percent plunge in oil prices after 1982 and the coming to power of a new administration hostile to renewable energy.… Read More
"From the hills of Seattle to the flatlands of Davis, from the industrial city of Hartford to the universty town of Madison, cities are beginning to redefine their role in our society," begins this important essay. For Morris the new role should should include inducing the widest distribution of productive capacity. New technologies make possible a more self-conscious and organic city. Local self-reliance becomes a strategy that embraces economic, environmental, and political goals. Morris argues that we have had far too much government and far too little governance. Government is bureaucratic. Governance is democratic. Communities can design their future. The new city-state emerge. … Read More
Thiswas the first study to track the flow of energy-related dollars through an urban economy and the impact on this flow from an aggressive energy efficiency and solar energy initiative. The study concluded that 85 cents of every energy dollar left the city, a far higher leakage than from any other household expenditure. The study also estimated the rooftop space available in DC for solar and the economic impact of energy efficiency.… Read More
The 1974 oil price shock led to a need for basic energy education. This energy primer explained the different forms of energy and explained how to convert different energy units (e.g. Btus, kWhs, gallons, therms). Tables provided the annual energy useage of various household electrical appliances and the efficiencies of various forms of transportation. The report ended with an energy quiz, with both questions and answers (a typical question, "How many miles per gallon does an average bicyclist get?"). This 1974 booklet is by David Morris and Gil Friend.