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Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World Paperback – 25 Oct 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Clairview Books; New edition edition (25 Oct. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1902636635
  • ISBN-13: 978-1902636634
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.4 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,389,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

RICHARD HEINBERG has been writing about energy resources issues and the dynamics of cultural change for many years. A member of the core faculty at New College of California, he is an award-winning author of three previous books, including The Party's Over, Oil War and the Fate of Industrial Societies (2003). His Museletter was nominated for the Utne Reader's 'Best Alternative Newsletter' award in 1993. He lives in Santa Rosa, CA.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
When Mike Bowlin, Chairman of ARCO, said in 1999 that "We've embarked on the beginning of the last days of the age of oil," he was voicing a truth that many others in the petroleum industry knew but dared not utter. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By HLT on 2 Jun. 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The main problem with this sort of book is that you won't buy it unless you're already concerned (and presumably at least somewhat familiar) with the issues. Having spent quite a bit of time on the various "peak oil" websites, I found my view confirmed rather than challenged. There's lots of interesting ideas and informative stuff here (I loved the little story about the disintegrating raft!) but the people who need to read it probably aren't going to. Maybe the best approach is to buy it, read it, and then pass it on.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By PSJ on 28 Mar. 2005
Format: Paperback
Without a doubt 'Peak Oil' is coming and it is going to hit everyone in a way we can't quite comprehend yet. Even if it is not yet spoken about as widely as global warming, it will have a much more tangible effect, sooner, and will make sustainable living all but compulsory.
Richard Heinberg, in this excellent follow up, lays out different ways we can approach 'Powerdown'. As someone who has been trying to tackle the question of how we conduct the energy/culture transition, this is invaluable reading and is highly recommended to everyone, especially those who are aware of the problem.
I run a campaign called PowerSwitch.org.uk, raising awareness and discussion of oil depletion and I would say this book is perfect reading to get you into thinking about solutions for yourself and society. It may be a little simplistic for some but for me it was the right material and at the right level. A must read! I only wish every poltician read this too.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Jan. 2005
Format: Paperback
I read Heinberg's other book on oil depletion, The Party's Over, which was great. But this is even better, as it goes further and offers clear and sensible ideas and solutions to the forthcoming crisis.
Why do the media and most of the population have their head in the sand over this issue? Please read this book, and pass it on to your friends, family... and enemies. As a society we need to know about oil depletion, its implications, and what we can do to prepare for the future. This is the best exposition I have found on the subject - urgent, but also calm and controlled. Thanks Richard!
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61 of 66 people found the following review helpful By J. E. Robinson on 22 Aug. 2005
Format: Paperback
I like the idea of this book, I like the title, and I like the first 25% or so. The rest is not good, since this book simply dies after page 54, and so overall it is a bust. Starting with lofty and worthwhile goals, it degenerates into a diatribe against Bush, then goes on to dance around the issues. The author has inserted all this Bush stuff, but then avoids answering his own questions about "powerdown". Somehow, the author got off track while writing the book. The book has gained some fame, and in retrospect I suspect largely for the author's earlier works. I am disappointed to have to give this book just 3 stars, about what it really merits.
The opening sections are strong. He presents clear, logical, and entertaining arguments about our use of oil, the decline in discoveries, increasing demand in the US and China, etc. He presents graphs of new oil discoveries versus time, etc. All clear, but not new. Almost every thinking person knows that hydrocarbon reserves are finite and demand is increasing exponentially. Demand is on a collision course with supply. Our oil-coal-gas economy cannot be sustained, and even if we had infinite supplies, it would pollute the planet, and most know that CO2 leveles are rising every year. We knew this before we picked up the book. In any case, that is okay, it sets a foundation for a possible discussion that might follow. If they author had stayed the course and written the whole book as he did in this part, we would have a beautiful 5 star effort. Someone else picking up the book, and just reading this part, might conclude that it is a great 5 star book; it is not great; it is not even good; keep reading, he loses focus.
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