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Energy and rurality: Socio historical perspectives on changing production and consumption

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Product Description

By Merrilyn Crichton, Catherine Strong

Published: 2011
ISBN: 978-1-921729-41-6
Pages: ii+90


Merrilyn Crichton
School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga NSW

Catherine Strong
School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga NSW

On 30 August 2010, Charles Sturt University's Institute for Land Water and Society presented a workshop that brought together Australian, English, Italian and German social researchers together to discuss the energy and transport challenges face by rural and regional communities. Led by Associate Professor Ian Gray and Dr Helen Masterman-Smith, the workshop held in the rural town of Wagga Wagga in New South Wales, Australia, built an extraordinary picture of rural energy and transport issues historically and in the contemporary world. Issues of electricity production and viable fuel alternatives were contextualised in terms of effective food production, and the history and future of small communities. It was also on this day that the seed that has become this special issue of Rural Society 'Energy and rurality' was planted.

While the diversity of challenges faced by rural and regional communities cannot be effectively incorporated in one edition of one journal, we have been able to gather together research that explores environmental, social and economic implications of alternative energy globally. Given the oil scarcity debates, carbon sequestration arguments, carbon taxing initiatives, new information about the possible dangers of wind farming and the ever present global climate change challenges the planet is facing, it is appropriate that social scientists, biologists, historians, engineers and political scientists act together to engage with these issues. Remarkably, the articles in this edition paint a positive picture of the future, rather than the negative one we have become used to hearing. There are good news stories in Peru, Thailand, China and the Australian bush in which communities are finding their own alternatives to provide affordable energy sources, some of which lead to positive social outcomes such as education and health care previously not known. Alternative energy it seems can play a part in more than just mediating climate change; it may also have the potential to improve social conditions. Of course, many of the methods described are still in their experimental stages but do pose exciting options for the future of rural sociality.

We very much hope you enjoy the articles for the knowledge they offer as well as the possibilities they present and the debate they generate.

Table of Contents

232-234   Editorial: Energy and rurality
Merrilyn Crichton, Catherine Strong
235-243   Peak oil and significant change for rural Australia
Donald Hugh Coventry
244-255   Community-owned renewable energy (CRE): Opportunities for rural Australia
Jarra Hicks, Nicola Ison
256-265   Green-changing: A research-based collaboration with a tree-changed rural community
Toni Darbas, Rachel Williams, Sonia Graham
266-279   The adoption of short-rotation energy cropping as a new land use option in the New South Wales Central West
Alex Patrick Baumber, John Merson, Peter Ampt, Mark Diesendorf
280-293   Progressive contextualisation of energy practices and trajectories: A case study in Thailand
Mattijs Smits
294-307   Wind, sun and water: Complexities of alternative energy development in rural northern Peru
Thomas Love, Anna Garwood
308-320   Climbing without the energy ladder: Limitations of rural energy development for forest conservation
Christine Jane Trac

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