Image: front cover Buy Print Book Now
  •  CDN $16.95 
  •  USD $16.95 


Buy Ebook Now
  •  CDN $16.95     CDN $11.00
  •  USD $16.95     USD $11.00

Paperback – 288 pages
6 Inches × 9 Inches (w × h)

Weight: 465 Grams
BISAC: POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy
Publisher: New Society Publishers
ISBN: 9780865715103
Pub. Date: 2004-09-01

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.

view author profile

Powerdown

Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World

by Richard Heinberg



If the US continues with current policies, the next decades will be marked by war, economic collapse, and environmental catastrophe. Resource depletion and population pressures are about to catch up with us, and no one is prepared. The political élites, especially in the US, are incapable of dealing with the situation, and have in mind a punishing game of "Last One Standing."

The alternative is "Powerdown," a strategy that will require tremendous effort and economic sacrifice in order to reduce per-capita resource usage in wealthy countries, develop alternative energy sources, distribute resources more equitably, and reduce the human population humanely but systematically over time. While civil society organizations push for a mild version of this, the vast majority of the world's people are in the dark, not understanding the challenges ahead, nor the options realistically available.

Powerdown speaks frankly to these dilemmas. Avoiding cynicism and despair, it begins with an overview of the likely impacts of oil and natural gas depletion and then outlines four options for industrial societies during the next decades:

  • Last One Standing: the path of competition for remaining resources;
  • Powerdown: the path of cooperation, conservation, and sharing;
  • Waiting for a Magic Elixir: wishful thinking, false hopes, and denial;
  • Building Lifeboats: the path of community solidarity and preservation.

Finally, the book explores how three important groups within global society - the power élites, the opposition to the élites (the antiwar and anti-globalization movements, et al: the "Other Superpower"), and ordinary people - are likely to respond to these four options. Timely, accessible and eloquent, Powerdown is crucial reading for our times.

Listen to an interview with Richard Heinberg from WRPI.

 

You might also enjoy

The Party's Over

The Party's Over

Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies

The world is about to run out of cheap oil and change dramatically. Within the next few years, global production will peak. Thereafter, even if …

view title info
Decline and Fall

Decline and Fall

The End of Empire and the Future of Democracy in 21st Century America

"Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world."

 

Although he was writing nearly a century ago, Yeats could just as …

view title info
Crossing the Rubicon

Crossing the Rubicon

The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil

The attacks of September 11, 2001 were accomplished through an amazing orchestration of logistics and personnel. Crossing the Rubicon discovers and …

view title info
The Power of Community

The Power of Community

How Cuba Survived Peak Oil

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, Cuba's economy went into a tailspin. With imports of oil cut by more than half and food imports cut by 80 …

view title info
The Long Descent

The Long Descent

A User's Guide to the End of the Industrial Age

Americans are expressing deep concern about US dependence on petroleum, rising energy prices and the threat of climate change. Unlike the energy …

view title info

New Society Publishers have decided to sell their ebooks without copy protection or DRM (Digital Rights Management) so that customers can enjoy full use of their ebook purchase. In return we expect our customers to respect this decision.

By clicking in the box below, you agree that you will:

  • NOT make illegal or unauthorized copies of our ebooks.
  • ONLY make copies of our ebooks for backup purposes.
  • NOT sell or give copies of our ebooks to family, friends, associates, etc., or upload to any file-sharing sites.
I agree to the above terms and conditions
Our ebooks are available in PDF or EPUB format.
Please choose the correct format for your device.
Buy PDF Version Buy EPUB Version