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Ebook – 224 pages
BISAC: POLITICAL SCIENCE / Economic Conditions
Publisher: New Society Publishers
ISBN: 9781550925845
Pub. Date: 2015-04-01

About the Author

Richard Heinberg

Richard Heinberg is the author of eleven previous books including The Party's Over, Powerdown, Peak Everything, and The End of Growth. He is a Senior Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute and is widely regarded as one of the world's most effective communicators of the urgent need to transition away from fossil fuels. Heinberg has given hundreds of lectures on our energy future to audiences around the world. He has been published in Nature and other journals, and has been featured in many television and theatrical documentaries.

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Afterburn (PDF)

Society Beyond Fossil Fuels

by Richard Heinberg



Climate change, along with the depletion of oil, coal, and gas dictate that we will inevitably move away from our profound societal reliance on fossil fuels; but just how big a transformation will this be? While many policy-makers assume that renewable energy sources will provide an easy "plug-and-play" solution, author Richard Heinberg suggests instead that we are in for a wild ride; a "civilization reboot" on a scale similar to the agricultural and industrial revolutions.

Afterburn consists of 15 essays exploring various aspects of the 21st century migration away from fossil fuels including:

  • Short-term political and economic factors that impede broad-scale, organized efforts to adapt
  • The origin of longer-term trends (such as consumerism), that have created a way of life that seems "normal" to most Americans, but is actually unprecedented, highly fragile, and unsustainable
  • Potential opportunities and sources of conflict that are likely to emerge.

From the inevitability and desirability of more locally organized economies, to the urgent need to preserve our recent cultural achievements and the futility of pursuing economic growth above all, Afterburn offers cutting-edge perspectives and insights that challenge conventional thinking about our present, our future, and the choices in our hands.

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