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The Energy Glut: Climate Change and the Politics of Fatness


About the Book

World-wide, over a billion adults are overweight and 300 million are officially "obese", more than 3,000 people die every day on the world's roads and global warming and war threaten our survival as a species. The Energy Glut tells the story of energy and how our abuse of fossil fuel energy links all of these public issues as manifestations of the same fundamental planetary malaise.

This exciting new book argues that the pulse of fossil fuel energy released from the ground after the discovery of oil not only started the process of catastrophic climate change, but also propelled the average human weight distribution upwards. The author presents a frightening vision of humans besieged by a food industry that uses sophisticated marketing techniques to sell mountains of energy-dense food to those who are "functionally paralysed", with fewer opportunities to move our bodies than ever before. We see why the accumulation of body fat is a political, not a personal, problem. This insightful new work offers and appraises for the reader a set of personal and political de-carbonising strategies, but to “tread more lightly on our world” we first need to make sense of the systemic processes, and The Energy Glut takes expert first steps in this direction.

What People Have Said About the Book

'Ian Roberts presents a refreshingly novel and objective look at two of the biggest Public Health challenges of this century – obesity and climate change – and the inescapable link between them. No longer is obesity a "lifestyle condition" or a problem of greedy, sloth couch potatoes. It is an inevitable consequence of our globally oil-dependent society. Read on and you should be convinced enough to reclaim your life… and your planet.' - Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, MD, President, Royal College of Physicians 

'In responding to climate change, the light from a constellation of medical professionals has been exemplary and shown clearly the way ahead for all of us. With his book "The Energy Glut – The Politics of Fatness in an Overheating World" Professor Roberts reveals he is a truly bright star in that constellation.' - Aubrey Meyer, Global Commons Institute

'This book is quite something. An eminent Professor of Public Health turns his hand to forensics and pathology, clinically dissecting the fabric of what we so complacently call 'modern civilisation'. The insights derived from this autopsy – about the role of governments, big business and the 'petro-nutritional complex' – are devastating, making 'the energy glut' a 'must-read' for anyone involved in public health, nutrition, the environment, transport and energy policy. You may not agree with all of the conclusions, but you will be hard put to ignore the analysis.' – Jonathan Porritt, Founder Director, Forum for the Future

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