Review of John Randolph and Gilbert Masters’ Energy for Sustainability

James A. Throgmorton. 2009. Journal of Planning Education and Research 29, 1 (Fall): 119-120.

This article reviews John Randolph and Gilbert M. Masters’ 816-page Energy for Sustainability: Technology, Planning, Policy. The review concludes that Energy for Sustainability is a very impressive piece of work: ambitious in scope, generous in its sharing of the authors’ knowledge and experience, and altogether a great resource. It is likely to be widely used as a basic reference for several years to come. This praise notwithstanding, my overall sense is that Randolph and Masters understand the politics of energy, but they do not help their readers do so. Instead, by imagining ideal readers who believe that mastery of facts will enable the mastery of future history, Randolph and Masters’ extraordinarily informative text condenses energy planning and policy making into a technical exercise in which ordinary humans act as barriers to wisdom.

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