Chelsea Green Publishing

Building & Energy

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  1. Reinventing Fire

    Reinventing Fire

    By Amory Lovins

    Imagine fuel without fear. No climate change. No oil spills, no dead coalminers, no dirty air, no devastated lands, no lost wildlife. No energy poverty. No oil-fed wars, tyrannies, or terrorists. No leaking nuclear wastes or spreading nuclear weapons. Nothing to run out. Nothing to cut off. Nothing to worry about. Just energy abundance, benign and affordable, for all, forever.

    That richer, fairer, cooler, safer world is possible, practical, even profitable-because saving and replacing fossil fuels now works better and costs no more than buying and burning them. Reinventing Fire shows how business-motivated by profit, supported by civil society, sped by smart policy-can get the US completely off oil and coal by 2050, and later beyond natural gas as well.

    Authored by a world leader on energy and innovation, the book maps a robust path for integrating real, here-and-now, comprehensive energy solutions in four industries-transportation, buildings, electricity, and manufacturing-melding radically efficient energy use with reliable, secure, renewable energy supplies.Popular in tone and rooted in applied hope, Reinventing Fire shows how smart businesses are creating a potent, global, market-driven, and explosively growing movement to defossilize fuels. It points readers to trillions in savings over the next 40 years, and trillions more in new business opportunities.Whether you care most about national security, or jobs and competitive advantage, or climate and environment, this major contribution by world leaders in energy innovation offers startling innovations will support your values, inspire your support, and transform your sense of possibility.Pragmatic citizens today are more interested in outcomes than motives. Reinventing Fire answers this trans-ideological call. Whether you care most about national security, or jobs and competitive advantage, or climate and environment, its startling innovations will support your values, inspire your support, and transform your sense of possibility.

    Hardcover $34.95

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  2. Passive Solar Architecture

    Passive Solar Architecture

    By David Bainbridge and Ken Haggard

    New buildings can be designed to be solar oriented, naturally heated and cooled, naturally lit and ventilated, and made with renewable, sustainable materials—no matter the location or climate.

    In this comprehensive overview of passive solar design, two of America’s solar pioneers give homeowners, architects, designers, and builders the keys to successfully harnessing the sun and maximizing climate resources for heating, cooling, ventilation, and daylighting.

    Bainbridge and Haggard draw upon examples from their own experiences, as well as those of others, of more than three decades to offer both overarching principles as well as the details and formulas needed to successfully design a more comfortable, healthy, and secure place in which to live, laugh, dance, and be comfortable. Even if the power goes off.

    Passive Solar Architecture also discusses “greener” and more-sustainable building materials and how to use them, and explores the historical roots of green design that have made possible buildings that produce more energy and other resources than they use.

    Hardcover $85.00

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  3. Emergency Sandbag Shelter and Eco-Village

    Emergency Sandbag Shelter and Eco-Village

    By Nader Khalili

    Emergency Sandbag Shelter is a must-have manual for every home, as an emergency guide. Now for the first time this book is made available to people around the world by its inventor, award-winning architect Nader Khalili (1932-2008), whose specialty was skyscrapers and who dedicated his life to teaching others how to build shelter for humanity. This book, with over 700 photos and illustrations, shows how to use sandbags and barbed wire, the materials of war, for peaceful purposes as the new invention known as Superadobe or earth-bag, which can shelter millions of people around the globe as a temporary as well as permanent housing solution. This affordable, self-help, sustainable, and disaster resistant structural system is a spin off from Khalili's presentation to NASA for habitat on the moon and Mars, which successfully passed rigorous tests for strict California earthquake building codes. This book along with a small library of films and kits can guide anyone to learn and teach how to build a home or community.

    Paperback $34.95

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  4. Living Homes

    Living Homes

    By Thomas J. Elpel

    The house of your Dreams does not have to be expensive. The key is all in the planning. How much a house costs, how it looks, how comfortable it is, how energy-efficient it is--all these things occur on paper before you pick up even one tool. A little extra time in the planning process can save you tens of thousands of dollars in construction and maintenance. That is time well spent!

    Living Homes takes you through the planning process to design an energy and resource efficient home that won't break the bank. Then, from the footings on up to the roof, author Thomas J. Elpel guides you through the nuts and bolts of construction for slipform stone masonry, tilt-up stone walls, log home construction, building with strawbales, making your own terra tile floors, windows and doors, solar water systems, masonry heaters, framing, plumbing, greywater, septic systems, swamp filters, concrete-fly ash countertops, painting and more.

    Living Homes was completely re-organized and revised for the new sixth edition, based on five additional years of building experience with low-cost, high efficiency construction methods. Get the latest ideas on how to build a high-performance house that will stand the test of time! The sixth edition includes fifteen pages of new material covering the latest stone masonry tips, plus revised and expanded tips and techniques throughout the book.

    Paperback $30.00

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  5. Roundwood Timber Framing

    Roundwood Timber Framing

    By Ben Law

    This definitive manual marks the birth of a new vernacular for the 21st century. Over 400 color photographs and step-by-step instructions guide you through the building of anything from a garden shed to your own woodland house. This practical how to book will unquestionably be a benchmark for sustainable building using renewable local resources and evolving traditional skills to create durable, ecological, and beautiful buildings.

    Hardcover $39.95

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  6. A Solar Buyer's Guide for the Home and Office

    A Solar Buyer's Guide for the Home and Office

    By Stephen Hren and Rebekah Hren

    Solar power, once a fringe effort limited to DIY enthusiasts, is now fast becoming mainstream. Many home and business owners are curious about solar electric and solar thermal systems, and wonder how to go about getting a clean energy generation system of their own. The vast majority will hire a professional installer to do the job. But what should they be asking of these installers? What system makes the most sense for their home or office: solar electric, solar hot water, solar heating, or some combination of these?

    A Solar Buyer's Guide for the Home and Office explains the options so that property owners can make the right choices both for their energy needs and their financial security. Understanding how solar power systems work will enable readers to be informed customers when dealing with professional installers-the book also provides advice on how to select a qualified installer and understand the expanding variety of tax credits and other incentives that are popping up around the country.

    The market for solar systems has been growing at an exponential rate and strong tax credits ensure continued growth even in a sluggish economy. Many of those who would like to catch this undeniable wave of the future are held back by widespread confusion. A Solar Buyer's Guide for the Home and Office clears the air, allowing property owners to move forward with confidence to make their homes and offices more comfortable, environmentally sound, and secure against wild swings in energy prices.

    Paperback $14.95

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    eBook $14.95

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  7. Masonry Heaters

    Masonry Heaters

    By Ken Matesz

    Masonry Heaters is a complete guide to designing and living with one of the oldest, and yet one of the newest, heating devices. A masonry heater’s design, placement in the home, and luxurious radiant heat redefine the hearth for the modern era, turning it into a piece of the sun right inside the home. Like the feeling one gets from the sun on a spring day, the environment around a masonry heater feels fresh. The radiant heat feels better on the skin. It warms the home both gently and efficiently. In fact, the value of a masonry heater lies in its durability, quality, serviceability, dependability, and health-supporting features. And it is an investment in self-sufficiency and freedom from fossil fuels.

    The book discusses different masonry heater designs, including variations extant in Europe, and explains the growth of their popularity in the United States beginning in the late 1970s. For the reader who may be familiar only with open fireplaces and metal woodstoves, Masonry Heaters will bring a new understanding and appreciation of massive heat storage and gentle-but-persistent radiant heat. Masonry heaters offer a unique comfort that is superior to that from convection heat from forced-air systems, and more personal than that offered by “radiant” floors. As Matesz demonstrates, the heat from the sun or from a masonry heater is genuine heat instead of just insulation against the loss of heat.

    Those who are looking to build, add onto, or remodel a house will find comprehensive and practical advice for designing and installing a masonry heater, including detailed discussion of materials, code considerations, and many photos and illustrations. While this is not a do-it-yourself guide for building a masonry heater, it provides facts every heater builder should know. Professional contractors will find this a useful tool to consult, and homeowners considering a new method of home heating will find all they need to know about masonry heaters within these pages.

    Paperback $39.95

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    eBook $39.95

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  8. Adobe Homes for All Climates

    Adobe Homes for All Climates

    By Lisa Schroder and Vince Ogletree

    The lay-up of adobe bricks is an easy, forgiving way to achieve a solid masonry-wall system. Contrary to stereotypes, adobe is perfectly adaptable for use in cold, wet climates as well as hot and dry ones, and for areas prone to earthquakes. With its efficient use of energy, natural resources for construction, and minimal effort for long-term maintenance, it’s clear that the humble adobe brick is an ideal option for constructing eco-friendly structures throughout the world.

    The book is ideal both for first-time do-it-yourselfers and for experienced adobe builders seeking to improve their craft. Drawing on the experience of more than fifty major adobe projects since 1993, Adobe Homes for All Climates describes Adobe Building Systems’ patented reinforcement and scaffolding systems, showing readers how to construct adobe homes more easily and safely, and with superior strength, durability, structural integrity, and aesthetic appeal, as compared to earthen homes of the past.

    All aspects of adobe construction are covered, including making and laying adobe bricks, installing lintels and arches, conduits and pipes, doors and windows, top plates and bondbeams, ideal wall dimensions, adobe finishes, and other adobe construction components, such as the inexpensive use of scaffolding. These methods will produce a premium product that will meet and often exceed inspection standards.

    Equipped with this manual, you will be able to obtain a building permit, make adobe bricks swiftly, and confidently lay them up. You will be able to beautifully finish your adobe walls with earth plasters creating stunning colors and outstanding light effects and create a beautiful, energy-efficient home that will last for generations to come.

    Paperback $34.95

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  9. Confronting Collapse (Book & DVD Bundle)

    Confronting Collapse (Book & DVD Bundle)

    By Michael C. Ruppert

    Confronting Collapse by Michael C. Ruppert with Collapse directed by Chris Smith

    The world is running short of energy—especially cheap, easy-to-find  oil. Shortages, along with resulting price increases, threaten  industrialized civilization, the global economy, and our entire way of  life.

    In Confronting Collapse, author Michael C. Ruppert, a former  LAPD narcotics officer turned investigative journalist, details the  intricate connections between money and energy, including the ways in  which oil shortages and price spikes triggered the economic crash that  began in September 2008. Given the 96 percent correlation between  economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions and the unlikelihood of  economic growth without a spike in energy use, Ruppert argues that we  are not, in fact, on the verge of economic recovery, but on the verge of  complete collapse.

    Ruppert’s truth is not merely inconvenient. It is utterly  devastating.

    But there is still hope. Ruppert outlines a 25-point plan of action,  including the creation of a second strategic petroleum reserve for the  use of state and local governments, the immediate implementation of a  national Feed-in Tariff mandating that electric utilities pay 3 percent  above market rates for all surplus electricity generated from renewable  sources, a thorough assessment of soil conditions nationwide, and an  emergency action plan for soil restoration and sustainable agriculture.

    In the documentary, Collapse, director Chris Smith filmed Ruppert sitting alone in a room that looks like a bunker and chain smoking as he tells of the dangers facing our society.

    "Ruppert recounts his career  as a radical thinker and spells out the crises he sees ahead. He draws  upon the same news reports and data available to any Internet user, but  he applies a unique interpretation. He is especially passionate about  the issue of peak oil, the concern raised by scientists since the  seventies that the world will eventually run out of fossil fuel. While  other experts debate this issue in measured tones, Ruppert doesn't hold  back at sounding an alarm, portraying an apocalyptic future. Listening  to his rapid flow of opinions, the viewer is likely to question some of  the rhetoric as paranoid or deluded, and to sway back and forth on what  to make of the extremism. Smith lets viewers form their own judgments." Thom Powers, Toronto International Film Festival

    Mixed media product $29.95

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  10. The Woodland House

    The Woodland House

    By Ben Law

    Designed as a dual-purpose book, The Woodland House is both a volume for the armchair enthusiast and an inspirational guide for those wishing to build a similar structure. Beautifully illustrated with more than 100 color photos, this step-by-step guide shows how Ben built his home, hewn from his own woodland, for under $45,000. It covers the basics of self-building and gives full details of the evolving design process, the identifying of materials, costs, project management, and the actual building stages, from foundations and frames, through to interior features. Includes a seven-year update detailing the extension of the house, natural insulation trials, and round-wood engineering calculations.

    The building of Ben’s house was filmed for the Grand Design television series and has proved to be the most popular program of the series. He has also been featured on the Discovery Channel and Home & Garden Network’s The World’s Most Extreme Homes.

    Paperback $29.95

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  11. Energy Free

    Energy Free

    By Ann V. Edminster

    Energy Free is designed to equip building professionals and homeowners alike with a toolkit for creating homes that use no more energy than they produce—this means homes that are free from the vagaries of energy-price fluctuations and that help to free society of the high political and environmental costs of fossil fuels.

    Individuals and institutions have been working toward "zero-energy" homes for decades. This volume is the first record of those collective efforts, distilling their experience into a practical and comprehensive how-to guide. The author includes resource information and step-by-step guidance on how to make decisions that will yield an energy-free residential project, whether a single-family home or multifamily building, new or existing, in an urban or a rural setting. The unique needs and opportunities of each context are addressed.

    The principal topics include:

    • Project boundaries (why you have to consider not only your home's behavior, but also your own)
    • Prioritizing strategies (e.g., insulation vs. photovoltaics)
    • Economics (including payback periods and incentives)
    • How to minimize a building's energy needs
    • How to minimize your energy needs
    • How to power the energy needs that remain
    • The critical role of integrated project planning

    Energy Free offers a wide array of resource information, including detailed window and insulation comparisons; assessments of the relative contribution of different building elements; and overall performance. It draws on research and empirical data from myriad sources, including the Department of Energy's Building America program; Sacramento Municipal Utility District's House of the Future; Passiv Haus Institute in Europe and the Passive House Institute of the U.S.; Florida Solar Energy Center; Living Building Challenge; Affordable Comfort, Inc.'s, Thousand Home Challenge; and many pioneering individual home projects across North America.

    Paperback $25.00

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  12. Confronting Collapse

    Confronting Collapse

    By Michael C. Ruppert

    The book that inspired the movie Collapse.

    The world is running short of energy-especially cheap, easy-to-find oil. Shortages, along with resulting price increases, threaten industrialized civilization, the global economy, and our entire way of life.

    In Confronting Collapse, author Michael C. Ruppert, a former LAPD narcotics officer turned investigative journalist, details the intricate connections between money and energy, including the ways in which oil shortages and price spikes triggered the economic crash that began in September 2008. Given the 96 percent correlation between economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions and the unlikelihood of economic growth without a spike in energy use, Ruppert argues that we are not, in fact, on the verge of economic recovery, but on the verge of complete collapse.

    Ruppert's truth is not merely inconvenient. It is utterly devastating.

    But there is still hope. Ruppert outlines a 25-point plan of action, including the creation of a second strategic petroleum reserve for the use of state and local governments, the immediate implementation of a national Feed-in Tariff mandating that electric utilities pay 3 percent above market rates for all surplus electricity generated from renewable sources, a thorough assessment of soil conditions nationwide, and an emergency action plan for soil restoration and sustainable agriculture.

    Paperback $15.00

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    eBook $15.00

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  13. Living above the Store

    Living above the Store

    By Martin Melaver

    The economic crash of late 2008 is just the latest evidence of the truth that many have known for so long: that too much of our modern economy is based on a house of cards. We need businesses that not only factor their impact on people and places into their equations for success but also strive to restore the communities and environments in which they operate. How can this be done?

    In Living Above the Store, Martin Melaver provides a roadmap for creating such a business. It's not only a "how to" but a "why to" that challenges business as usual to change.

    Living Above the Store brings us into the story of Melaver, Inc., a third-generation, 70-year-old family real estate business, as it evolves toward becoming a thought and product leader in sustainable business practices. It is part business management theory and part case study, where sustainable principles meet sustainable practices, always grounded in day-to-day practice.

    Living Above the Store demonstrates how to:

    • Adopt a business model that provides for economic success while contributing to society and the environment
    • Shape a business culture that is restorative to a workforce by helping employees realize their highest potential
    • Leverage an ethos within a business that "ripples outward" to foster restoration of both land and community
    • Embrace a notion of limits to growth
    • Reframe ideas about competition, proprietary knowledge, and business success,

    Living Above the Store is for readers who care about issues of community and sustainability as well as for those who want to learn more about how a socially responsible business can first redefine, and then find, success.

    eBook $27.95

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  14. The Earth-Sheltered House

    The Earth-Sheltered House

    By Malcolm Wells

    The Earth-Sheltered House is a classic in the annals of sustainable building books, written by a legend in the field of environmentally responsible architecture. Malcolm Wells has a fundamentally different way of looking at the design and building process, and his iconoclastic perspective has never been more apparent.

    Wells's work is revolutionary, but readers will find his message to be pure common sense. Earth sheltering offers superior comfort with minimal energy input, and it is adaptable to diverse terrains as well as a variety of architectural aesthetics.



    Paperback $29.95

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  15. Wind Energy Basics

    Wind Energy Basics

    By Paul Gipe

    The availability of clean, renewable power is without question going to be the defining challenge and goal of the 21st century, and wind will lead the way.

    Internationally acclaimed wind energy expert Paul Gipe is as soberly critical of past energy mistakes as he is convincingly optimistic about the future. The overwhelming challenge of transforming our world from one of fossil carbon to one of clean power seems daunting at best—and paralyzingly impractical at worst. Wind Energy Basics offers a solution.

    Wind power can realistically not only replace the lion’s share of oil-, coal-, and naturalgas– fired electrical plants in the U.S., but also can add enough extra power capacity to allow for most of the cars in the nation to run on electricity. Gipe explains why such a startlingly straightforward solution is eminently doable and can be accomplished much sooner than previously thought—and will have the capacity to resuscitate small and regional economies.

    Wind Energy Basics offers a how-to for home-based wind applications, with advice on which wind turbines to choose and which to avoid. He guides wind-energy installers through considerations such as renewable investment strategies and gives cautionary tales of wind applications gone wrong. And for the activist, he suggests methods of prodding federal, state, and provincial governments to promote energy independence.

    Paperback $29.95

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    eBook $29.95

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  16. Climate Change

    Climate Change

    By Jon Clift and Amanda Cuthbert

    You know that the ice caps are melting, the seasons are changing, sea levels are rising, storms are on the increase, but what can you do about it? Plenty!

    This book puts the power back into your hands in the face of the doom and gloom of climate change. You don’t have to wait for someone else to sort it out; rather than worry and feel helpless, you can get up and do something.

    Climate Change: Simple Things You Can Do to Make a Difference is packed with ideas for action, from simple everyday things that cost nothing to bigger projects that involve more time and money. For example:

    Get on your bike • Buy local food • Turn off your TV • Insulate your attic • Recycle and compost • Take the train • Turn down the heat • Install solar panels

    Do your part and protect the planet for today and tomorrow.

    Paperback $7.95

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    eBook $7.95

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  17. The Sauna

    The Sauna

    By Robert L. Roy

    With a history going back at least one thousand years, the sauna is ready for a new generation of enthusiasts seeking health, pleasure, and peace of mind, and Rob Roy is ready to recruit! "If the sauna is just a bath, then Buckingham Palace is just a house." So writes sauna expert and intrepid do-it-yourselfer Roy in this new, updated version of The Sauna.

    This completely revised and expanded edition of The Sauna contains everything you ever wanted to know about the famous "Finnish bath." In this inviting book, Roy shares his infectious enthusiasm for the sauna and provides a complete, detailed guide to sauna building, along with resources for equipment and supplies.

    The Sauna is replete with history, tradition, health benefits, instructions for proper use and maintenance, as well as step-by-step instructions for building a variety of cordwood masonry saunas and, new to this edition, conventionally wood-framed saunas. The beautiful color photographs, also new to this edition, will inspire you to create your own sauna haven.

    eBook $30.00

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  18. Mortgage Free!

    Mortgage Free!

    By Robert L. Roy

    mort•gage (mor´-gij)
    n. from Old French morgage, mort gage, literally “death pledge”

    As a wave of foreclosures sweeps the country, many people are giving up hope for owning a home of their own. They have good reason to turn their backs on the banks, but not on their dreams. In this revised edition of Mortgage Free!, Rob Roy offers a series of escape routes from enslavement to financial institutions, underscored by true stories of intrepid homeowners who have put their principles into action.

    From back-to-the-land homesteads to country homes, here is a complete guide to strategies that allow you to own your land and home, free and clear, without the bank. Included is detailed advice about:

    • Clarifying and simplifying your notions of what’s necessary
    • Finding land that you love and can afford
    • Taking control of the house-building process, for the sake of sanity and pleasure
    • Learning to take a long-term perspective on your family’s crucial economic decisions, avoiding debt and modern-day serfdom

    eBook $24.95

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  19. Companies We Keep

    Companies We Keep

    By John Abrams

    Part memoir and part examination of a new business model, the 2005 release of The Company We Keep marked the debut of an important new voice in the literature of American business. Now, in Companies We Keep, the revised and expanded edition of his 2005 work, John Abrams further develops his idea that companies flourish when they become centers of interdependence, or “communities of enterprise.”

    Thoroughly revised with an expanded focus on employee ownership and workplace democracy, Companies We Keep celebrates the idea that when employees share in the rewards as well as the responsibility for the decisions they make, better decisions result. This is an especially timely topic. Most of the baby boomer generation—the owners of millions of American businesses— will retire within the next two decades. In 2001, 50,000 businesses changed hands. In 2005, that number rose to 350,000. Projections call for 750,000 ownership transitions in 2009. Employee ownership—in both the philosophical and the practical sense—is gathering steam as businesses change hands, and Abrams examines some of the many ways this is done.

    Companies We Keep is structured around eight principles—from “Sharing Ownership” and “Cultivating Workplace Democracy” to “Thinking Like Cathedral Builders” and “Committing to the Business of Place”—that Abrams has discovered in the 32 years since he cofounded South Mountain Company on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. Together, these principles reveal communities of enterprise as a potent force of change that can—and will— improve the way Americans do business.

    Paperback $24.95

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    eBook $17.95

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  20. Biodiesel

    Biodiesel

    By Greg Pahl

    For anyone who is trying to keep up with the extremely rapid developments in the biodiesel industry, the second edition of Biodiesel: Growing a New Energy Economy is an invaluable aid. The breathtaking speed with which biodiesel has gained acceptance in the marketplace in the past few years has been exceeded only by the proliferation of biodiesel production facilities around the United States--and the world--only to confront new social and environmental challenges and criticisms.

    The international survey of the biodiesel industry has been expanded from 40 to more than 80 countries, reflecting the spectacular growth of the industry around the world. This section also tracks the dramatic shifts in the fortunes of the industry that have taken place in some of these nations. The detailed chapters that cover the industry in the United States have also been substantially rewritten to keep abreast of its many new developments and explosive domestic growth.

    An expanded section on small-scale, local biodiesel production has been added to better represent this small but growing part of the industry. Another new section has been added to more fully explore the increasingly controversial issues of deforestation and food versus fuel, as well as GMO crops. The second edition concludes with updated views on where the industry is headed in the years to come from some of its key players.

    Paperback $19.95

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    eBook $19.95

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