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The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers; 2nd edition (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865715297
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865715295
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'If societies a century from now have managed to learn how to live peacefully, modestly, and sustainably, it may be at least partly because the advice in this timely book was heeded.' - Thom Hartmann, author of The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight 'The Party's Over is the book we need to reorient ourselves for a realistic future.' - Chellis Glendinning, Ph.D., author of When Technology Wounds --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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.


More About the Author

Richard Heinberg is the author of eleven books including:

Snake Oil: How Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future (2013)
The End of Growth: Adapting to our New Economic Reality (2011)
Blackout: Coal, Climate, and the Last Energy Crisis (2009)
Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines (2007)
The Oil Depletion Protocol: A Plan to Avert Oil Wars, Terrorism and Economic Collapse (2006)
Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World (2004)
The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies (2003)

He is Senior Fellow-in-Residence of the Institute and is widely regarded as one of the world's foremost Peak Oil educators. He has authored scores of essays and articles that have appeared in such journals as Nature, The Ecologist, The American Prospect, Public Policy Research, Quarterly Review, Z Magazine, Resurgence, The Futurist, European Business Review, Earth Island Journal, Yes!, Pacific Ecologist, and The Sun; and on web sites such as Alternet.org, EnergyBulletin.net, TheOilDrum.com, ProjectCensored.com, and Counterpunch.com.

He has appeared in many film and television documentaries, including Leonardo DiCaprio's 11th Hour, and is a recipient of the M. King Hubbert Award for Excellence in Energy Education.

More information about Richard can be found on his website: richardheinberg.com

Customer Reviews

So, ignore the critics who criticize this book because of political slants, etc.
New Mexican Reader
I just ordered a bunch of extra copies to give to friends, and when I run out I'll order more - everyone should read this book.
Ben Walters
I hope that a lot of people read this book and start to look at and think about the world differently.
B. King

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

385 of 405 people found the following review helpful By Mark Bennett on March 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
Proponents of the "Peak Oil" theory argue that global oil production will "peak" (meaning that one half of all known reserves will have been recovered) at some point between 2000 and 2010, and afterwards production will irrevocably decline, never to rise again. However, the demand for oil will continue to rise and the spread between falling supply and rising demand will rapidly grow, as no adequate alternative energy source will be available to cover the shortfall. Doomsday will then be at hand. The price of petroleum, and petroleum-related products (i.e., just about everything) will skyrocket; transportation, communications, agriculture, indeed, every major industry in the world, will sputter to a standstill; the world economy will stagger and collapse; civil authority will dissolve; and the noisy, messy experiment that was industrial civilization will expire in a world-wide bloodbath, or "die-off," that will reduce the human population by 90 percent, or more, and will leave the planet devastated, ruined, and, quite possibly, dead.
It would be easy to dismiss this apocalyptic vision as alarmist nonsense if only the "Peak Oil" proponents weren't so bloody convincing. By and large, they are a sensible, reasonable-sounding group of Cassandras, who dispense their grim forecasts as soberly as the subject allows. Virtually all of them rely upon the pioneering work M. King Hubbert, a research geophysicist who, in the mid-1950s, created a model to estimate the productive life of energy reserves. In 1956 Hubbert used his model to predict that oil production in the continental United States would peak sometime between 1966 and 1972. U.S.
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137 of 147 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Spoering on July 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
This volume begins with a discussion of what energy is and how it has been used to develop our industrial way of life. Brief histories of wood, coal, and oil use are also included. Much of this book centers around the amounts of oil, coal, and natural gas remaining to be harnessed in the future, with several experts giving their predictions for the peak production of the world production of oil, not far away by most accounts. The United States had it's oil production peak in 1970 (predicted in 1956 by M. King Hubbert) and has been in decline since, with a slight temporary increase in the 1980's due to Alaskan oil.
As Richard Heinberg emphasizes continually in this book, the decline in world oil production seems imminent, along with the ensuing decline in national industrial economies which rely on oil, the United States being by far the biggest example. Per capita energy use by Americans is five times the world average, Heinberg writes, and he makes it abundantly clear that this waste and extravagance cannot continue much longer, and no number of Iraqi type excursions will make a difference. Heinberg writes that this decline of energy availability and use can be achieved peacefully with individual countries cooperating with each other, or violently with nations squabbling over the remaining oil. However, one thing stands out very clearly now, back in the 1970's during the initial problems with energy shortages due to the Arab oil embargo, it should have been a wake-up call to our leaders to develop sustainable energy sources then, it was not done, our short-sighted leaders failed us.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By The Spinozanator VINE VOICE on May 23, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
...to get a little tilling done before someone steals and eats her.

I chose this book for my second read on this subject because it has the highest ratings (on subject) on Amazon. Heinberg has done a thorough job of discussing every aspect of the coming problems to society due to a lack of petroleum - most of which I had never considered. Literature about this are from the point of view of either the politician, the economist, or the geologist. He takes the view of the geologist and the future does not look good.

I hold a more positive view: that human ingenuity will prevail - but I could easily be wrong. In any case, this is a worthwhile read for anyone. Of particular interest is the chapter that deals with alternate energy sources. The next time you read about an alternate energy source in the news, you'll remember the real pro's and con's from an expert.

Quick synopsis of 41 page alternative fuel chapter from "Party's Over:"

Natural Gas: Cannot be shipped from overseas easily like oil - is more difficult to extract economically every year - is being depleted like oil. In view of the precarious status of North American gas supplies, any attempt to shift to NG as an intermediate fuel would waste time and capital in the enlargement of an infrastructure that will soon be obsolete.

Coal: Shortage not so much a problem, however, its EROEI (Energy Return On Energy Invested) and pollution are a problem. As the richer seams are exhausted, it may cease to be a useful energy source within only 2-3 decades.

Nuclear: Electricity from existing nuclear plants is inexpensive, but only if direct costs are considered.
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