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The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies Paperback – 1 Apr 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 274 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers (1 April 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865714827
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865714823
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 14 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,242,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘If societies a century from now have managed to learn how to live 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 out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

RICHARD HEINBERG is a journalist, educator, lecturer, and musician. He has lectured widely, appearing on national radio and television in various countries, and is the author of four previous books, including Cloning the Buddha, The Moral Impact of Biotechnology and A New Covenant with Nature: Notes on the End of Civilisation and the Renewal of Culture. The latter was a recipient of the ‘Books to Live By’ award of Body/Mind/Spirit magazine.

His monthly MuseLetter was nominated in 1994 by Utne Reader for an Alternative Press Award and has been included in Utne’s annual list of Best Alternative Newsletters. Heinberg is a member of the Core Faculty of New College of California, where he teaches courses on ‘Energy and Society’ and ‘Culture, Ecology, and Sustainable Community’. He is also an accomplished violinist. He lives with his wife in a suburban home they have renovated for energy efficiency, where they grow much of their own food. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Never mind the chances of an asteroid impact or sea levels rising in 200 years time, super volcanoes or books of cryptic religious texts. This really is the book you should read. Rooted in hard science and physical facts, we really are about to enter a man made catastrophe. Unless you live in a mud hut, gathering root vegetables and hunting wildebeest you will be affected by the up and coming energy crisis.
What is this impending energy catastrophe? It is the inability of the world to provide enough raw oil, (a finite resource) to sustain the year on year (exponential) growth of our economies and population, (an infinite goal). The crisis will affect what you eat, how you travel, the costs of all raw materials and products made from them, employment, the value of money, perhaps even the value of life itself. It will certainly change the way you live sooner rather than later.
With decent historical analysis of former civilisations which failed due to resource issues and why our civilisations have so far escaped such failures, Richard Heinberg paints a colourful yet familiar picture of our current reliance upon finite resources and oil. With some oil history, evaluation of likely supplies and demands upon it, and a debate on contrary views; a reasoned and balanced argument it formed. But few would find the Heinberg's conclusions difficult to reject, and most will find them hard to swallow.
A review of alternative energy technologies and how we might measure the benefit of any particular fuel might leave you wondering what we can do about the problem. And unlike many publications prophesising doom, it does give some potential answers and perhaps even a little hope.
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Format: Paperback
Great book. Heinberg boils down many complex issues into clear concise explanations. His analysis of the likely knock-on effects of oil depletion on general economic activity and agriculture is chilling.
Heinberg longs for action to adjust our energy needs to be taken now. It is not really clear how much hope he has for this. Surely, the reality is the political system will only react when the trend is clearly in place and causing significant economic pain. In the last section of the book 'Managing the Collapse', Heinberg seems to avoid the fact that history shows people will respond according to narrow self-interests. He could maybe have included more detail on the projected growth in energy needs of Indian & China (who have their eyes on a Western lifestyle with subsequent energy needs) and the likely tensions this is likely to cause with the West.
Of course, the track record of people making predictions with apocalyptic themes is poor. I recall reading how people in the 19th Century expected the World to go dark when whale oil ran out. For all our sakes, I just hope Heinberg (& associated energy forecasters) have missed something in their analysis. If not, we could have our Easter Island.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of the best books on peak oil and the consequences to come that I have read. Heinberg goes into considerable detail not only delineating the rise of industrial societies based on fossil fuel riches (the "treasure found in the basement," is how he phrases it), but on what is going to happen when the oil is gone. A couple of other good books are Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert's Peak (2005) by Kenneth S. Deffeyes and The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century (2005) by James Howard Kunstler. Kunstler in particular is in close agreement with Heinberg. For a different point of view--and an amazingly pollyannaish one in my opinion--see The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, the Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy (2005) by Peter W. Huber and Mark P. Mills.
When the party animals go out at night they think not of the morrow or of the headache to come. This is Heinberg's analogy except the consequences of the binge will be quite a bit worse than a headache. Note well the subtitle: "the Fate of Industrial Societies."
Heinberg hints at some possible political consequences as the oil patch begins to run dry. He notes that young people "will see evidence of the extravagant party their elders have thrown, while for themselves there will be only dregs left over." (p. 209) They may take a sharp turn to the left (as historically happens during times of stress or deprivation), and "in wealthier countries (such as the US) may be branded as traitors to the cause of maintaining their nation's unequal control of global resources." (p. 207) I believe there is already evidence of this as Bush tries to discredit his critics.
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Format: Paperback
A book that stops you in our tracks to think of the consequences of our actions. Very well reasoned and researched to give a rounded view of our future without oil. Quite mind blowing to me that the peak of production could come within a year from now!
I would hope that this could become a standard work for all schools and colleges in the vague hope that the young could get through to our bone headed leaders (political,industrial, community etc etc) who are heading us for an almighty crash. It is too late for the adult population (particularly in the USA)to let go of their gluttony for oil.
If political will cannot be changed popular will must for the sake of our children, grand-children and the whole future of our species.
How we will one day mourn the loss of basic and essential skills that could enable us to survive.
A MUST READ.
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