Fires, Fuel, and the Fate of 3 Billion The State of the Energy Impoverished

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-10-14
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Inside small homes and huts throughout the developing world, billions of people burn fires in rudimentary stoves to prepare their meals and heat their homes. Besides providing heat, these stoves also release large amounts of dense black soot, which has a staggeringly negative impact on the health, ecosystems, and advancement of the poor in the developing world.

Fires, Fuel, and the Fate of 3 Billion examines the complex nexus of issues at play in the developing world's use of crude cookstoves -- factors such as poverty, energy, environment, and gender inequality. Melding succinct prose, scientific synthesis, and unforgettable images of communities in rural India, this multidisciplinary work aims to prompt new awareness of a wicked problem: how families can depend on, and be plagued by, crude cookstoves.

What is clear in this visual and scientific treatise is the fact this is not simply a problem of rudimentary stoves; it is a symptom of energy insecurity. The images, narratives, and illustrated scientific data make this book an urgent call to better understand and address energy poverty and household air pollution around the globe.

Author Biography

Gautam N. Yadama, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis, and a Faculty Scholar in Washington University's Institute of Public Health. His research transcends disciplinary boundaries to better understand and address complex energy, environment, health, and sustainability problems central to social wellbeing of the poor. In India, Yadama is studying livelihoods and response of communities and households to climate risks in semi-arid regions. In collaboration with Foundation for Ecological Security in India and colleagues in engineering and medicine, he is studying how to sustain clean cookstoves to improve environment and health outcomes in communities.

Mark Katzman has traveled the globe as a distinguished commercial photographer, on assignments from such publications as Time, Newsweek, Audubon, Backpacker, Food and Wine, Forbes, and Fortune, and such international companies as Microsoft, UBS, Boston Scientific, AT&T, Intel, Honda, Novartis, and Nestle-Purina. Named one of the 200 Best Advertising Photographers in the World in 2012 by Luerzer's Archive, Katzman is considered an international expert on the photogravure process. He lives in St. Louis with his wife and three kids.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Kandeh Yumkella

Foreword by Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton


The Energy Impoverished: Seeking a Greater Understanding of a Complex and Wicked Problem

Narrative One: Women, Wood & Burning
Patchwork Lives in the Satkosia Gorge

Narrative Two: Land & Living
The Paradox of Kutch

Narrative Three: Stalled by Tradition
Energy on the Islands of Brahmaputra

Narrative Four: Cause & Effect
Feedback Loops in Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan

Narrative Five: Searching for Agency
Power of People and Communities




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