on November 5, 2011
I bought this book hoping to learn where the critical shortages are and what solutions there might be to these problems. You would think that this is what this book would be about but surprisingly it is not. All I got from this was a lot of extremely flawed philosophical tripe filled with all sorts of assumptions that don't play out in the real world. The author asserts, with little or no evidence, that scientific progress will soon come to a halt because all the great discoveries have been already made. I don't know what world he is living in but this ridiculous claim is reminiscent of the statement by the head of the U.S. Patents Office in the 1860s that said office should be shut down because scientific and technical progress have reached it's zenith and there will soon be nothing left to be patent. His gloom and doom predictions of resource exhaustion remind me of the Club of Rome's prediction that we would have run out of copper which was proven totally wrong with the unforeseen development of fiber optics. He claims that all technological fixes are doomed to failure with the confidence of a wizard behind a crystal ball and claims that most all such progress is one step forward and two steps back. His "solution" is a full retreat from industrial civilization which is something that no one in his or her right mind could ever conceive of happening. How this could be done without mass disease and starvation is anyone's guess. How human beings would suddenly give up on their dreams of a better life and head for the wilderess is equally specious. Even the very assumption that such an abandonment of our advanced society and a return to the primitive existence would be a solution to our ecological crisis rather than an actual exasorbation of the problem is something that is not addressed. The fact of the matter that a such primativist claptrap falls flat in the face of reality. It is exactly in the most primative parts of the world that the population explosion is out of control and that ecosystem destruction is at it's worst.
Peak everything is a real problem which can and must be solved. No doubt such solutions require a new paradym but the advocacy of going back to nature en mass is nothing but a cop out.
on December 5, 2012
Bummer about how fracking has utterly destroyed the peak oil theory, yeah?
I strongly suggest buying this book for your grandchildren to review fifty years from now. They will barely be able to contain their laughter at the absurd conclusions drawn in the book, but that's the point of buying it for them: you will teach them a valuable lesson about the folly of pseudointellectualism.
Years ago when I was a student at a prestigious university on the Charles River in Boston, I remember going through a stack of ancient Scientific Americans in the library. Around the turn of the 20th century there was a serious article lamenting the fact that, at current rates of growth, the streets of Manhattan would be under eight feet of horse manure by 1950.
So I guess some things never change.
on July 5, 2008
I am writing this review in the hopes that someday Mr. Richard Heinberg sees this review and mails me a check for the price of this book. Now this very smart man is just writing goofy stuff to sell a book and make a buck. It's clear Mr. Heinberg hates Republicans, hates Conservatives, hates corporations, hates profits (unless they are his profits), hates Nixon, Reagan, BushI and BushII, and he takes a swipe at Christian fundamentalist and the old Confederacy on page 169. In other works he makes it clear he hates rich people and admires the Cuban Miracle. The Cuban Miracle? Cuba went into a mini-peak oil with the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the Soviets cut off their oil. What did to Cubans do? They got up and got together and grew vegatables. Wow! They decided growing vegatables was better than starving to death! Wow! What a miracle! Mr. Heinberg, The Renick family in America from 1719 to 1940 produced almost all of their food. It's no miracle! On page 170, the author states "by electing Nixon, Reagan, and Bush and supporting the Vietnam war." Wait a minute Mr. Heinberg, I was there in the 1960's. You left out President Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. They got us involved in the Vietnam War. The most Americans sent to Vietnam at it's peak of around 530,000 Americans was during the administration of a Democrat, Lyndon B. Johnson. You know this, your are just being dishonest. Richard honey, Vietnam is over and Mr. Nixon is dead, get over it! Take off your bellbottom pants, remove your peace neckles and turn off your lava lamp and move on! I don't mind you and Dr. Frank calling President Bush "an untreated alcoholic with paranoid and megalomaniac tendencies." Maybe he is, but what I am concerned about is that you are one-sided and not objective and unfair. The author has expressed his approval of Mr. Carter and Mr. Al Gore. I liked Mr. Carter. When I first moved to North Yemen in 1980, I remember during Mr. Carter's Administration inflation was so bad that I was getting 16% return on my CD's. Mr. Carter was right about energy, but he appeared to many to be weak, a little effminate and Iran laughed at him. He got nothing done other than screwing oil companies out of their profits which I am sure made you very happy. page 171, "dedicated neo-fascists" Who are you calling names? I understand you are a liberal Jew (God Bless the Jewish People), but your views are the product of your comfortable safe life in California and Canada. Neo-fascists are not out to get you honey, relax. There are no Nazis hidding under your bed. "turning America into a Disneyland Reich." Disneyland Reich? Do you really believe this goofy stuff? As for Mr. Gore, you never mention all the money he and his father received from the coal industry, or the Millions Mr. Clinton has received from the UAE. I don't need Mr. Gore lecturing me about climate change when he's living in a 12,000 square house, jetting around the world and making millions. Page 171, "the mysterious collapse of the twin towers." Richard honey, wasn't nothing mysterious about it. Saudis flew two large commercial airplanes into them. And for your own sake, I wish you would stop saying "stolen election." If you believe this, you should not admit it because if you do believe it you did nothing about it. What did you do? Nothing but whine. Before the constitution, before the bill of rights, before declaration of independence, Renick's got their guns and took a stand. They didn't whine. It was guns, violence and blood that got our freedoms, not paper and ideas. They were men that risk their lives. And before you get too smug and snooty about Christian conservatives in the South, be informed that it was Christian conservatives like my ancestors in the south who grab their guns and helped fight a revolution to form the United States and give you the liberity to whine today. The Parrots of Telegraph Hill? I am very happy for Mr. Mark Bittner that after wasting half his live he found something of interest and learned to study parrots. I am also happy for Mr. Bittner that he got a girlfriend and I am sure he's a nice man. However, this is a useless chapter that helps no one. If there is anyone who's living in a cage it's you. Your cage is the 1960's and the safety of your campus world. You seem to be a sappy romantic. You are also too sappy about the lives of the North American Indian. Many tribes lived hard and violent lives. I am truly glad that we don't live in an age of "Peak Art Supplies." You would take away art supplies from Monet and Van Gogh and share them with people that have an IQ of 75 to 80 that have no tallent. Who did James Titus Renick vote for in 1821? Or 1829? Or 1850? What party did he belong? It doesn't matter. Democrats and Republicans are the same thing, just packaged differently. All of your blaming and name calling won't make any difference. What's sad to me is that you screwed me out of the price of this book and you cheated yourself. As brilliant as you are, you are starting to waste your tallent. Richard, humanity is not going to move back into the woods and become Art Nouveau loving hippies in touch with nature. Ain't gonna happen! Move on! Regards, Keith Renick, Peachtree City, Ga.