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Plan C: Community Survival Strategies for Peak Oil and Climate Change Paperback – June 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers (June 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865716072
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865716070
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,279,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Pat Murphy is the executive director of The Community Solution (aka Community Service, Inc.). He co-wrote and co-produced the award-winning documentary The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil, has initiated four major U.S. conferences on solutions to peak oil, and has given numerous presentations and workshops on the subject.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Randall Wallace on August 5, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this book just came out and there are no customer reviews yet, so i thought i'd add more info for potential purchasers. my field is peak oil and this was the 69th book i've read on the subject; i believe it to be the best book yet written on peak oil and "where do we go from here". as americans, what are our real options now (that gasoline is more than $22 per gallon if you remove u.s. subsidies and the era of cheap energy is leaving us for good, never to return)?

the best book of the last century on this subject was, hands down, william r. catton's 1982 masterpiece, "overshoot: the ecological basis of revolutionary change" which, with joseph tainter's 1990 "the collapse of complex societies", gave the reader a taste of where the united states is heading. fossil fuels allowed the world's population to surpass one billion and now that we have used up one half of the world's supply of oil (around 2005) the rest will be harder and more expensive to get -so either everyone starts having one child families or nature will force a die-off this century (as the rest of us compete or cooperate for the remaining fossil fuels).

plan c is about cooperating instead of competing for the remaining supply of fossil fuels and each of us curtailing our energy usage (he shows you why a whopping 90% reduction is needed) on behalf of our children and future grandchildren. in 20 years, most of implied threat of peak oil will be obvious to the average american citizen because our leaders cannot keep it a secret for much longer, present high gas prices are just the tip of the iceberg; it's the end of our "non-negotiable way of life", the end of the growth economy, and the return of the community and localization (supporting the local economy, staying near home, work and our food source).
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Martin P. Cohen on September 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
There are two aspects to this book. One is a sober economic analysis and a practical way of dealing with diminishing energy sources. If, as the authors claim, alternative energy sources will not make up for dwindling use of fossil fuels (Plan B), then it makes sense that we can no longer live in spawling surburbs and commute large distances to work. We will have to spend more time living, working and playing near home and will have to relinquish some of our more costly consumer goods.

The other aspect of the book is a critique of our current consumption oriented society. I should say that emotionally I am totally in agreement with what the authors say, but some may feel otherwise. The book says that there is something wrong with a stressful competitive society where people do not know their neighbors and spend inordinate amounts of time fiddling with electronic devices of one sort or another. Although the book stops short of explicitly saying it, one gets the feeling that to the authors the coming economic crunch is something of a blessing in disguise, returning us to communal living where people spend time with and look out for the interests of their neighbors.

In the final chapter, the authors contrast current society to the communally centered societies of the past. This strikes a responsive chord in me, but I am concerned that there may be a bit of fantasizing going on. There was and still is a tendency for small communities to distrust outsiders and people who do not conform to narrow community standards. There tends to be a loss of privacy, with everyone into the business of everyone else. Before the Industrial Revolution, wealth was based on land and in much of the world there was a sharp division between wealthy landlords and impoverished peasants.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By William C. Barnes Jr. on November 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book should probably be titled, "A REALLY Inconvenient Truth." Most Americans won't be too excited to hear that to avoid the worst impacts of climate change we must reduce our overall consumption of all resources in the 80-90% range. The author does an excellent job detailing how we got here, where we're likely to go if we stay on our current track, and how we can choose a different path leading to a better future. However, this shift will require great courage and leadership and will involve the dreaded S-word (Sacrifice). Look what happened the last time a leader uttered that word (James Carter).

In addition, it is clear that current efforts to "green" our economy won't make much of a difference, although they may make us feel better in the mean time. Green comsumption is only incrementally better than traditional consumption, and what we need is FAR LESS consumption. Of course, this doesn't fit into our generally accepted thinking of "growth is good" and anything else is socialism or worse. The neo-liberal economic model is at the heart of our problem, and painting the toenails of the beast and changing it's tee shirt won't make much of a difference in the end.

Our problem is much like that of the alcoholic - total denial that anything's wrong. Change happens one of two ways by either intervention or hitting rock bottom. We may cause irreparable harm if we pull the rip cord 10 feet before hitting ground but we may still have time but we're approaching ground quickly!

Nothing short of a complete transformation of our economic system, our mindset, our consumption patterns and overall population will make a significant impact. It's a pretty simple formula...
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