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If the US continues with current policies, the next decades will be marked by war, economic collapse, and environmental catastrophe. Resource depletion and population pressures are about to catch up with us, and no one is prepared. The political élites, especially in the US, are incapable of dealing with the situation, and have in mind a punishing game of .Last One Standing..
The alternative is .Powerdown,. a strategy that will require tremendous effort and economic sacrifice in order to reduce per-capita resource usage in wealthy countries, develop alternative energy sources, distribute resources more equitably, and reduce the human population humanely but systematically over time. While civil society organizations push for a mild version of this, the vast majority of the world's people are in the dark, not understanding the challenges ahead, nor the options realistically available.
Powerdown speaks frankly to these dilemmas. Avoiding cynicism and despair, it begins with an overview of the likely impacts of oil and natural gas depletion and then outlines four options for industrial societies during the next decades:
Finally, the book explores how three important groups within global society-the power élites, the opposition to the élites (the antiwar and anti-globalization movements, et al: the .Other Superpower.), and ordinary people-are likely to respond to these four options. Timely, accessible and eloquent, Powerdown is crucial reading for our times.
Listen to an interview with Richard Heinberg from WRPI.(2004-04-20)
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.
The normalcy bias has trapped many people into thinking tomorrow will be the same as today because I am only doing what I have always done. Read morePublished 18 months ago by G ORCHARD
Yes, I'm still going through the material by Heinberg and trying to maintain some hope for our future. Read morePublished on April 20, 2013 by Laura Lea Evans
This is a very well written and informative book. It does a good job informing the reader on our current state in our "Carbon World" and gives good and well researched alternatives... Read morePublished on December 16, 2008 by Rachael Cook
Richard Heinberg really shows his ability to speak to a wide audience range. No only does he write to those needed greatly detailed evidence for his conclusions as he does in the... Read morePublished on October 21, 2008 by David J. Henry
This is another superb contribution on Peak Oil that I had the pleasure of reading by Richard Heinberg. By and large and once again, I would also classify this text as a classic. Read morePublished on July 17, 2008 by John@PeakOilResources.com
Power Down is a powerful analysis of human modern civilization. The key element that boosted technology, medical advancement, world population and globalization is oil. Read morePublished on February 19, 2008 by Anthony Tate.
As with "The Long Emergency" I won't go into too much detail since there are already many excellent reviews of this book. Read morePublished on October 10, 2007 by Zentao
The first 85 pages (of a 186 page book) are dedicated to verbosely enumerating the arguments from his previous book (without effectively arguing his reasoning). Read morePublished on July 15, 2007 by Guido Bartolucci