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Paperback – 208 pages
6 Inches × 9 Inches (w × h)

Weight: 290 Grams
BISAC: BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Environmental Economics
Publisher: New Society Publishers
ISBN: 9780865716568
Pub. Date: 2009-04-01

About the Author

Richard Heinberg

Richard Heinberg is the author of nine books and is widely regarded as one of the world's most effective communicators of the urgent need to transition away from fossil fuels. With a wry, unflinching approach based on facts and realism, he exposes the tenuousness of our current way of life and offers a vision for a truly sustainable future.

Senior Fellow-in-Residence at Post Carbon Institute in California, Heinberg is best known as a leading educator on Peak Oil and its impacts. His expertise, publications and teachings also cover other critical issues including the current economic crisis, food and agriculture, community resilience, and global climate change.

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Blackout

Coal, Climate and the Last Energy Crisis

by Richard Heinberg



Coal fuels about 50 percent of US electricity production and provides a quarter of the country's total energy. China and India's ferocious economic growth is based almost entirely on coal-generated electricity.

Coal currently looks like a solution to many of our fast-growing energy problems. However, while coal advocates are urging full steam ahead, increasing reliance on the dirtiest of all fossil fuels has crucial implications for the global climate, energy policy, the world economy, and geopolitics.

Drawbacks to a coal-based energy strategy include:

  • Scarcity – new studies suggest that the peak of world coal production may actually be less than two decades away.
  • Cost – the quality of produced coal is declining, while the expense of transport is rising, leading to spiraling costs and increasing shortages.
  • Climate impacts - our ability to deal with the historic challenge of climate change will hinge on reducing our coal consumption in future years.

Blackout goes to the heart of the tough energy questions that will dominate every sphere of public policy throughout the first half of this century, and is a must-read for planners, educators, and anyone concerned about energy consumption, peak oil and climate change.

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