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The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies Paperback – June 1, 2005
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The world is about to run out of cheap oil and change dramatically. Within the next few years, global production will peak. Thereafter, even if industrial societies begin to switch to alternative energy sources, they will have less net energy each year to do all the work essential to the survival of complex societies. We are entering a new era, as different from the industrial era as the latter was from medieval times.
In The Party's Over, Richard Heinberg places this momentous transition in historical context, showing how industrialism arose from the harnessing of fossil fuels, how competition to control access to oil shaped the geopolitics of the 20th century, and how contention for dwindling energy resources in the 21st century will lead to resource wars in the Middle East, Central Asia, and South America. He describes the likely impacts of oil depletion, and all of the energy alternatives. Predicting chaos unless the U.S.-the world's foremost oil consumer-is willing to join with other countries to implement a global program of resource conservation and sharing, he also recommends a "managed collapse" that might make way for a slower-paced, low-energy, sustainable society in the future.
More readable than other accounts of this issue, with fuller discussion of the context, social implications, and recommendations for personal, community, national, and global action, Heinberg's updated book is a riveting wake-up call for humankind as the oil era winds down, and a critical tool for understanding and influencing current U.S. foreign policy.
Listen to an interview with Richard Heinberg from WRPI.(2004-11-30)
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.
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More About the Author
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
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
This fact has enormous (world altering) ramifications, as Heinberg demonstrates in his well-researched book. Foreign policy, domestic policy, ecology, wildlife conservation, and the entire American "way of life" are at issue. The information offered in this book is certainly known by government officials and undoubtedly has a direct influence, a primary influence, on the War on Terrorism, the War on Iraq, the U.S. Stock Market, and, increasingly on public debate in the U.S.
The fact that the U.S. Government, under administrations of either party, have not provided knowledge of the issues discussed in this book speaks poorly of the future of American democracy, and the absolute, dire need for American to educate themselves by reading this book and others like it.
To his credit, Heinberg explores opposing and alternate views of the data that support his conclusions. Rather than deny or ignore the alternate views, Heinberg explains them and persuades the reader by virtue of superior argumentation. This adds to his credibility, while diminishing the credibility of the doubters of his arguments.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have now read this book several times and have enjoyed it every time, though the information in it is now becoming somewhat dated -- especially with the advent of the Canadian... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Matthew McCleary
Very solid grounding in the issues facing modern western civilisation and its dependence on cheap oil. Read morePublished 16 months ago by David Branson
Heinberg in this early book discussed the predicament that industrial societies would have to face as the supply of oil declined.He presented sound prescience of this issue. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Denis Frith
In addition to climate change, loss of biodiversity, pollution, population increase & consumption, loss of community, debt crises, decline in education - peak oil should be a major... Read morePublished on December 29, 2013 by James R Newlin
It totally reinforced my view that the mathematics, and the laws of physics, do not suggest a happy ending for our society which has become hopelessly dysfunctional on a diet of... Read morePublished on December 15, 2013 by G ORCHARD
Great Book, a refreshing aproach to geopolotics, commodity economics and hidden causes for war monggering countrys. revised edition reffers to oil data.Published on April 22, 2013 by Bernardo Gomez
Well, how to describe something that is so drastic in predictions as to make one quiver? Heinberg spells out a future for humans that is not very optimistic but sadly, is more... Read morePublished on April 20, 2013 by Laura Lea Evans
This book is simply revolutionary. Great insight into the problems we face with energy in our society. Read morePublished on February 20, 2013 by Robert Webster