Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines

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9780865715981: Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines
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The twentieth century saw unprecedented growth in population, energy consumption, and food production. As the population shifted from rural to urban, the impact of humans on the environment increased dramatically.

The twenty-first century ushered in an era of declines, in a number of crucial parameters:

  • Global oil, natural gas, and coal extraction
  • Yearly grain harvests
  • Climate stability
  • Population
  • Economic growth
  • Fresh water
  • Minerals and ores, such as copper and platinum

To adapt to this profoundly different world, we must begin now to make radical changes to our attitudes, behaviors, and expectations.

Peak Everything addresses many of the cultural, psychological, and practical changes we will have to make as nature rapidly dictates our new limits. This latest book from Richard Heinberg, author of three of the most important books on Peak Oil, touches on the most important aspects of the human condition at this unique moment in time.

A combination of wry commentary and sober forecasting on subjects as diverse as farming and industrial design, this book tells how we might make the transition from the Age of Excess to the Era of Modesty with grace and satisfaction, while preserving the best of our collective achievements. A must-read for individuals, business leaders, and policymakers who are serious about effecting real change.

Richard Heinberg is a journalist, lecturer, and the author of seven books, including The Party’s Over, Powerdown, and The Oil Depletion Protocol. He is one of the world’s foremost Peak Oil educators.

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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.

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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