Summary: If America is to transform its current energy system into a viable renewable energy system, strong, steady support is needed from the government, throughout social, economic, and scientific spheres.
Topic: Renewable Electricity Policy
Category: Academic Research
What is it? An academic article by an International Studies professor from the University of Denver, published in Issues in Science & Technology
Title: A Full-Court Press for Renewable Energy
Author: Frank N. Laird
Publication Information: Issues in Science & Technology, Winter 2009
Accessed: February 5, 2009 at 3:30 PM
1. Thomas P. Hughes, historian
2. Barry Bozeman and Daniel Sarewitz, policy analysts
3. Richard Nelson, author of “National Innovation Systems”
4. Gregory F. Nemet and Daniel M. Kammen authors of an article published in Energy Policy
These sources are not explicitly cited in the article, but they are included in a list of books recommended for reading after the initial article. These quasi-sources are difficult to analyze, for this article is basically stating the opinion of the author.
Audience and Agenda: Issues in Science & Technology is published by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the University of Texas at Dallas. Issues in Science & Technology a magazine in which authorities on specific subjects, with a “stake in public policy,” can express their innovative ideas and suggestions with the general public. Issues purpose is to “improve the effectiveness of public and private policy in making a better world and to raise the level of debate and mutual respect among all those who appreciate the critical contributions of science and technology.” The audience targeted is specifically people interested in learning about current public policy ideas.
Usefulness: This source is only mildly useful. It would have been more useful, had the author backed up his ideas with more support from other sources. As it stands, the article is more of an opinion piece. This document was created as a academic article intended to inform the general public. As mentioned above, this article is trying to reach an audience of individuals concerned with public policy topics. This article is arguing that a four-pronged strategy would be best suited to dealing with the issue of making America more reliant on renewable energy. The four-tiered approach would address improving technology, markets, the workforce, and energy decision-making. The author further states that the government must be a driving force in the renewable energy surge. This article is leaving out many potential sources, as it includes only a handful.