Aron's Reviews > Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World

Powerdown by Richard Heinberg
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's review
Jan 19, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: climate-change-and-energy
Read from April 29 to May 15, 2010 — I own a copy , read count: 1

Powerdown was good, but it had a lot to live up to after The Party's Over. After finishing this book I felt slightly more informed, but really very little different than before I'd read it. I did come away with a solid list of references and books to add to my to-read list, but that's not a great argument for recommending this particular book. On a side note, Heinberg's super-liberal political viewpoint is much more apparent in this work, and while I tend to agree with him, I think that that aspect of the book will impede some people from listening to his message.

This essentially takes up where The Party's Over left off with a brief summary of that former work. Heinberg then lays out what he calls the "four principal options" available to industrial societies for dealing with the imminent resource depletion scenario.
1)Last One Standing: competition for the remaining resources (read: strategic wars)
2)Powerdown: international effort towards reducing both per-capita resource usage and total population
3)Waiting for a Magic Elixir: wishful thinking without action
4)Building Lifeboats: small groups attempt to preserve "cultural achievements" while society collapses around them

He posits that the current economic and political systems will have societies tending toward a combination of options 1 and 3, while our only real hope is to strive for option 2. Since that's basically not going to happen (unless a lot of other things change first), he argues that it may be beneficial to begin pursuing the fourth option.

I enjoyed this enough to continue reading his books, but I'd probably only recommend this one to people who really liked The Party's Over.
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04/29/2010 page 36
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Jdtaylor22 (new)

Jdtaylor22 Looks like someone's prepping for the apocalypse.

Aron THE WORLD WILL END IN 2012!!!11zomg. actually this is the follow-up book to one I just finished reading and really enjoyed (The Party's Over). whenever I find a standout author, I tend to try and check out their other works. but yea...the title does make it sound a bit apocalyptic.

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