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Publisher's Summary

Hybrid cars, fast trains, compact florescent lightbulbs, solar panels, carbon offsets: Everything you've been told about being green is wrong. The quest for a breakthrough battery or a 100-mpg car is a dangerous fantasy. We are consumers, and we like to consume greenly and efficiently. But David Owen argues that our best intentions are still at cross-purposes to our true goal: living sustainably while caring for our environment and the future of the planet. Efficiency, once considered the holy grail of our environmental problems, turns out to be part of the problem - we have little trouble turning increases in efficiency into increases in consumption.

David Owen's elegant narrative, filled with fascinating information and anecdotes, takes you through the history of energy and the quest for efficiency. Owen introduces the listener to some of the smartest people working on solving our energy problems. He details the arguments of efficiency's proponents and its antagonists - and in the process overturns most traditional wisdom about being green.

This is a book that will change how you look at the world. Scientific geniuses will not invent our way out of the energy and economic crisis we're in. We already have the technology and knowledge we need to live sustainably. But will we do it? That is the conundrum.

©2011 David Owen (P)2012 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"After Green Metropolis, a revelatory exposition of why urban life is 'green', Owen - brisk, funny, elucidating, and blunt - illuminates a wide spectrum of environmental misperceptions in this even more paradox-laden inquiry." (Booklist)

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  • Benjamin
  • NATICK, MA, United States
  • 05-21-12

Interesting Observation from a Journalist

David uses his experiences and observations to investigate and compare the relationship between efficiency and environmental progress, but he fails to adequately back up his assertions. He uses logic rather then data.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Read this book!

This is a book everyone should read! Not easy to hear but really makes you rethink just what it means to conserve energy! If we could all rethink like this we may get somewhere!

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A thorough critique, not a guide for action

What did you love best about The Conundrum?

There are no sacred cows spared.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Conundrum?

The author's own personal confrontation with the conundrum.

Which scene was your favorite?

N/A

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The truth will not set you free.