Decision Making for Energy Futures: A Case Study of the by David Pearce, Lynne Edwards, Geoff Beuret (auth.)

By David Pearce, Lynne Edwards, Geoff Beuret (auth.)

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Extra resources for Decision Making for Energy Futures: A Case Study of the Windscale Inquiry

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SOURCE: Cmnd 7101 (1978) p. 95. e. fuel measured in terms of the units that will be supplied. This is of course different from heat supplied, which will measure energy in terms of its heat content as the energy is supplied to users. The obvious discrepancy will be in the conversion and transmission losses between primary energy and heat 12 Decision Making for Energy Futures supplied. Strictly, demand is best measured in useful energy terms, the amount of energy required for a given activity or job of work to be performed.

Issues only become items on the agenda if they are formally accepted as being deserving, for whatever reason, of public debate and political action. It is important at this stage to distinguish two types of 'agenda'. Taking the example of nuclear power, it has always been a matter of national political concern if only because of its intricate links to military nuclear power. But that political concern has been expressed within government rather than by the public at large, even where the 'public' can be identified with professional 'cause' groups which associate nuclear power with environmental or political risks (radiation, proliferation of nuclear weapons, the centralisation of power and so on: for an analysis of the types of strengths of the concerns see Otway, 1978).

How far this interdependence of wants through time can be relied upon alone is debatable. If it can be relied upon, the fundamental axiom of democracy is not altered. Where the judgement is that the public want is not coincident with the collective choice, then the elected body has the responsibility of interpreting collective choice. This phenomenon whereby the public want is superseded by some 26 Decision Making for Energy Futures central judgement of what the collective interest should be is unlikely to be dominant in energy decisions.

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