Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Director: Karena Albers
Genres: Television, Documentary
Design E2 examines the economies of being environmentally conscious in green building design. Includes all six series episodes: The Green Apple, Green for All, The Green Machine, Gray to Green, China from Green to Red and ... more »
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Some episodes are better than others but overall a good seri
Matthew Nikkel | Colorado | 04/24/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First off let me say that I'm an engineer who works in the oil and gas industry, so I'm naturally skeptical of a lot of the optimism that surrounds alternative energy sources. That said, I also consider myself fairly progressive and I recognize that there are a lot of challenges for supplying our energy needs that petroleum based fuels cannot provide. As a result, I feel like I approached this series with an open mind, but at the same time an analytical one. Overall, I think it's a a pretty good series. However some episodes are better than others, so I'll outline my reactions to each one below.
Harvesting the Wind: This episode was my least favorite. It reeks of starry eyed optimism. About 3/4 of the way through the episode they mention that wind energy isn't actually economical and the only way they make money is through federal tax cuts (their words, not mine), a rather crucial point, in my opinion, that gets all of 15 seconds attention in a 20 minute episode.
Energy for a Developing World: My favorite of all of the episodes. They do a great job of showing how alternative sources of energy can be excellent solutions for areas with poor infrastructure, and can improve peoples' lives at the same time.
Paving the Way: Pretty much all about electric vehicles. Overall a good episode, although I wish they had given more attention to public transportation as well as recognized that electric vehicles pull power from carbon emitting sources as well, most notably coal.
Growing Energy: Given all the rhetoric surrounding ethanol, I didn't expect much from this episode, but I was pleasantly surprised. They recognize corn based ethanol as the boondoggle that it is and gave rightful attention to successes in Brazil and the potential of cellulosic ethanol. The only complaint I had with this episode is that they mention that ethanol is carbon neutral, which is misleading because it assumes that the fields growing ethanol crops would be barren if they were not being used for ethanol.
State of Reserve: All about California's energy policies. I had kind of a neutral reaction to this episode and don't really have much to say about it.
Coal & Nuclear: Problem or Solution?: This episode focuses on emerging technologies for coal and nuclear power, such as carbon sequestration and pebble bed reactors. Overall I think it did a good job of weighing the pros and cons of both.
If there's one complaint that I had with the entire series it would be that they hardly ever seriously analyze the issue of cost, which is the biggest issue holding back practically every one of these technologies. Aside from that, I think it's a good series and definitely does a good job of educating people on these issues. It strives to be as objective as possible, and does a good job of portraying both the positives and the negatives of most of these energy sources without falling into the rhetoric and hyperbole that surrounds a lot of them."
Solutions for unfolding catastrophes.
Preston C. Enright | Denver, CO United States | 02/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"E2 is a critically important look at some of the solutions available to us for a wide range of problems posed by a society based on fossil fuels (climate change, peak oil, oil spills, devastation caused by mining, air pollution, etc.). Beautifully filmed, with a perfect soundtrack, this is an inspiring response to the despair so many are feeling due to the environmental destruction that is going on all around us.
The E2 DVD contains 6 half hour episodes on topics such as windpower, evolving car design, biofuels and microloans for the poor to develop small solar projects. There's also an episode on better approaches to coal and nuclear power, but I'd prefer those technologies get mothballed and that instead we focus on solar, wind, tidal, conservation, increased efficiency, green building, better urban design and so forth. The second installment of E2 e2: Design Season 2 covers another series of innovations that are taking place.
Congratulations to PBS for producing this wonderful DVD.
I hope many Amazon customers will get hold of it and share it with others.
I'd also recommend:
A Crude Awakening - The Oil Crash
Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil
Worldchanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Century
Interesting but incomplete
Peter Lorenzi | Maryland, USA | 04/27/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The world needs to know more about the limits of carbon-based energy, and its indirect costs. Today, the rapidly rising direct cost of petroleum generally pushes the ongoing global warming (or climate change) debate off the table. The good news is that the price of oil is now so high that people are forced to consider conservation and alternatives through the traditional price mechanism rather than through Sting, Joseph Kennedy, Al Gore's hypocritical chiding. Those high prices are a clear signal that, regardless of your political or environmental bent, we just can't afford business as usual with oil.
The bad news is that the government is not likely to be of help here. Carbon taxes on clearly dysfunctional consumption are unpopular an regressive and subsidies to nascent industries such as wind, ethanol, and other hybrid energies are not likely to produce what we really need. Again, the market will work.
The stories are current; the production values are high but the right questions are not always asked nor are the broadest array of solutions and critics considered. Interviewing a journalist for the market-oriented magazine/newspaper, The Economist," does not do enough to provide balance or insight. CAFE standards are an inferior, meddling solution. Subsidies for ethanol have grossly distorted food prices and shifted the energy problem from calories of heat t calories of food to consume. The viewer is left more with dismay and pessimism than with hope for the future.
Less hand wringing and more examples of solutions would be appreciated, but that does not detract from the basic value of the series' message."