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Terra Nova: The New World After Oil, Cars, and Suburbs

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  66 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Many experts agree that energy is the defining issue of this century. Economic recessions, foreign wars, and foreclosures are only a few of the results of America’s dependence on oil. In Terra Nova, ecologist Eric Sanderson elucidates the interconnections between oil and money, cars and transportation, and suburbs and land use. He then charts a path toward renewed economic ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by Harry N. Abrams (first published April 1st 2013)
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Nov 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: environment
Finally a conservationist who not only sees and understands the big picture, but has a well thought response and plan of action for addressing the ultimate causes that endanger wildlife and natural habitats. Sanderson has written a thoroughly researched treatise on the history and causes of the current life suffocating triumvirate of oil, cars and suburbs in America, and how Americans can go about undoing the damage to the land and social fabric of the nation. As befits a scientist well versed i ...more
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
This author has some great audacious ideas. I still don’t know if they would be possible or not. I was initially intimidated because the subject could be quite dull and very unpleasant. And the book is literally heavy – the paper is 70 lb. Vellum, which must be unusual for a book. But the author has a way of making unpleasantness palatable. He injects himself into the book, and comes off sounding no better than the rest of us, and then proceeds to go though the history of oil and the upcoming la ...more
Michelle Terrell
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very detailed about how our presence on this planet has affected this planet. I definitely had to take some extended breaks.
Oct 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
There's not much I can say about this book and the author's optimism about changing the American Lifestyle that other reviewers haven't noted, but it is a consciousness raising book for all of us who don't live in the consciousness aware, smaller, hipper cities such as Boulder, CO and Davis, CA where the hippies and elite rule. Places like Aspen, CO where the local transportation is already the bomb from Aspen to Glenwood Springs and there are the arts and the Aspen Institute and a beautiful pla ...more
Fenix Rose
Wow what a great book.
Not only does it delve into the history of oil and how its use changed and framed society,
and the science involved, but it gives ideas on how we can move beyond that dependence.
One thing majorly lacking in our current economic model is nature.
The cost and value of all that nature brings and is expected to take by how our society runs.
They calculate the physical cost to a company of extracting a natural resource, shipping it, selling it to those who make things with it, but
Tony Smyth
Aug 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Although this book has great graphics and is well written I found it disappointing. The subtitle is "the New world after oil, cars and suburbs". If you have already done any investigation into this area you won't learn much new from more than half the book. While his argument living in the suburbs will be unsustainable as oil runs out is fine, as is his advocacy of more much renewable energy and use of streetcars/trams, the author makes it sound like this will be a fairly easy transition.

Now se
Jackson Cutsor
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recent
This book makes good points about increasing urban population density and how society can reap benefits from doing so. The problem with his ideas in my opinion is that it requires significant political upheaval to do so. Not saying it can't be done, but with the current system in place along with corporate interests, every attempt will be met with retaliation. I also don't agree with his energy storage solution. It works in small realms of geographic areas and come with a plethora of technical p ...more
Joe Sherman
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's nice to read a book that confirms and reinforces some of your long-held beliefs. Oil, cars and suburbs have dominated American life for the last 100 years. The consequences will be somewhere on a continuum from painful to disastrous to catastrophic.

Sanderson is an optimist. He foresees a painful transition. He outlines a transformation to a livable post-oil world. His vision might work if everyone agreed with him and wanted to do what he suggests. Unfortunately we have a large part of our
Aug 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a good book, full of many interesting ideas of how we can transform the US into a post-oil economy and society. Very well thought out. But, will we have the will to make these changes? Will Big Oil derail these efforts? I am not optimistic....
Aug 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: x2013, nonfiction, gaia
Innovative solutions to peak oil and climate change involving "gate duties" (taxes on natural resources, waste and use of the environment), increased density and transit. ...more
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