From Publishers Weekly
In his latest, "Peak Oil" expert Heinberg (Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies) puts that theory in place alongside corresponding peaks in population, food production, climate stability and fresh water availability to paint a grim future of overlapping and accelerating global crises. For an introduction to Peak Oil, the idea that coming fossil fuel shortages will be sudden and drastic, readers should seek Heinberg's earlier works; this volume assumes familiarity and addresses the challenges a post-carbon world poses for a global community "as reliant on hydrocarbons as it is on water, sunlight, and soil." The worst-case scenario, "global economic meltdown" and a new round of resource wars, can only be avoided "by proactively reducing our reliance on oil, gas, and coal ahead of depletion and scarcity." This involves a vast, worldwide change to fossil fuel-free production that prizes handcrafted buildings and objects, durable and simple design, ease of reparability and material conservation. Although Heinberg attempts to inject some optimism, the intersection of peak oil and climate change-not to mention overpopulation, water scarcity, a clueless ruling class and a citizenry largely unaware of the problem's magnitude-is not a hopeful vantage point, and readers may not want to tackle this downer without other works on deck to provide plans for action.
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About the Author
Richard Heinberg is widely acknowledged as one of the world's foremost Peak Oil educators. A journalist, educator, editor, lecturer, and a Core Faculty member of New College of California where he teaches a program on "Culture, Ecology and Sustainable Community," he is the author of six previous books including The Party's Over and Powerdown.