Advertisement

Conservation

  • Diana Schumacher
Chapter

Abstract

Conservation was practised throughout history until the second half of the twentieth century. Most civilisations reclaimed, recycled and re-used materials. Old ships’ timbers were preserved to build houses and barns; rags were used in the paper industry; organic wastes were spread on the land as fertiliser. As industrialisation progressed with cheap and abundant energy and materials, conservationist habits were gradually abandoned in favour of manufacture using virgin raw materials. These were often imported relatively cheaply and avoided the more expensive labour costs incurred by reclaiming and sorting used materials before recycling. Increasingly too, as both social and industrial structures developed towards specialisation, they became more energy-intensive and the overall use of energy became more profligate and more prone to promoting wasteful practices. Also, after the 1950s accelerating changes in new product design and concepts such as built-in obsolescence to guarantee continuous markets for replacements were introduced to stimulate demand and increase production. The increasing throughput of materials, in turn, led to higher overall energy consumption, the creation of additional waste and further pressure on reserves. Before the 1973 oil crisis some people were becoming alarmed by these runaway trends in energy consumption and waste. Some of the ‘prophets of doom’ as they were then labelled, came from within the oil companies themselves but, on the whole, up to the 1970s such critics were associated with the antipollution or anti-industry movements.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Meadows, D. H., Meadows, D. L., Randers, J. and Behrens III, W. W., The Limits to Growth, Universe Books, New York, 1972Google Scholar
  2. Barny, G. O., The Global 2000 Report to the President of the United States, Pergamon, Oxford, 1980Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    El-Hinnawi, E. E., Environmental Impacts of Production and Use of Energy, Tycooly International, Dublin, 1981Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Energy Policy — a Consultative Document Cmnd 7101, HMSO, London, February 1978, pp. 20, 21Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    An Interdepartmental Report by Officials Energy Paper 33, HMSO, London, 1979Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hansard 29 October 1979, Col. 960Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Taylor, Dr V., The Easy Path Energy Plan, Union of Concerned Scientists, U.S.A., 1979Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mr David Howell, Secretary of State for Energy, in address to Parliamentary Liaison Group for Alternative Energy Strategies, 16 June 1980Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    ASHRAE Standard, Energy Conservation: Existing Building — Commercial, 100–31, August 1979, ASHRAE, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Leach, G. et al., A Low Energy Strategy for the United Kingdom, IIED Report, Science Reviews, IIED, London, 1979Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    House of Commons Select Committee on Energy, Energy Conservation in Buildings, RC401–1, HMSO, London, 1982Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Environmental Data Services (ENDS), Report No. 38, ENDS, London, November 1979, p. 20Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Weighell, Sidney, former General Secretary N.U.R., letter to The Guardian, 27 December 1979Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Chapman, P., Fuels Paradise, Penguin, London, 1975, p. 6Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Schumacher, Dr E. F., Toward 2024 AD, UOP Inc., Feltham, Middlesex, 1975, p. 48Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Figuring Out Rubbish Industry Committee for Packaging and the Environment, London, April 1981Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Thomas, C., Material Gains, Earth Resources Research, London, 1979Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    For the sections on Aluminium and Tinplate, Glass and Power, frequent reference has been madeto: Recycling Industry Committee for Packaging and the Environment, London, April 1981, and supporting papersGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Waste Management Advisory Council, Study of Returnable and Non-Returnable Containers, HMSO, London, 1981Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Orchard, W. R. H., Combined Heat, Energy and Power, ‘The Southwark Scene’, paper presented to Polytechnic of the South Bank, Energy Costs and Conservation Course, December 1981Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    W. S. Atkins and Partners, CHP/DH Feasibility Programme: Stage 1, Summary Report and Recommendations for the Department of Energy, Epsom, July 1982Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Combined Heat and Power in the London Borough of Southwark London Borough of Southwark Housing Department, 1981Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Marsh, J., paper presented to South Bank Polytechnic, London, December 1981Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    House of Commons Select Committee on Energy, Combined Heat and Power, HC 314–1 and HC 314–2, HMSO, London, 1983Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ryle, Professor Sir Martin, ‘The Energy Problem’, Resurgence Magazine, May/ June 1980, p. 6Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lovins, A. B., Soft Energy Paths, Penguin, London, 1977Google Scholar

Further Reading

  1. Gabor, D., Colombo, U., King, A. and Galli, R., Beyond the Age of Waste, 2nd edn, Club of Rome Report, Pergamon, Oxford, 1981Google Scholar
  2. English, Bohm and Clinard, Proceedings of the International Energy Symposium III, Harper and Row, New York, 1982Google Scholar
  3. Kent, D., Dictionary of Applied Energy Conservation, Kogan Page, London, 1982Google Scholar
  4. McGuigan, D. and McGuigan, A., Heat pumps. An efficient heating and cooling alternative, Garden Way Publishing, Carlotte, Vermont, 1981Google Scholar
  5. Orchard, W. H. R. and Sherratt, C. A. F. C., Combined Heat and Power — Whole City Heating — Planning Tomorrow’s Energy Economy, George Godwin, London, 1980Google Scholar
  6. Dryden, I. G. C. (ed.), The Efficient Use of Energy, 2nd edn, Butterworths, London, in collaboration with the Institute of Energy Action on behalf of the U.K. Department of Energy, 1982Google Scholar
  7. Armor, M., Heat Pumps and Houses, Prism Press, Dorchester, Dorset, 1981Google Scholar
  8. Payne, G. A., The Energy Managers Handbook, 2nd edn, Westbury House, Guildford, 1980Google Scholar
  9. Department of Energy, Combined Heat and Power Group, District Heating Combined with Electricity Generation in the U.K. Energy Paper 20, HMSO, London,1977Google Scholar
  10. Department of Energy, Combined Heat and Power Group, Heat Loads in British Cities, Energy Paper 34, HMSO, London, 1979; Combined Heat and Electricity Power Generation in the U.K., Energy Paper 35, HMSO, London, 1979Google Scholar
  11. Atkins, W. S., Greater London Heat Density Survey, Department of Energy, London, 1978Google Scholar
  12. Pearce, D. et al., Decision Making for Energy Futures, Social Science Research Council, Macmillan, London, 1979Google Scholar
  13. Lucas, N. J. D. (ed.), Local Energy Centres, Applied Science Publishers, London, 1978Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Diana Schumacher 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diana Schumacher

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations