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The Party's Over
Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies
by Richard Heinberg
New Society Publishers, June 2005, Paperback, $17.95
In The Party's Over, Richard Heinberg places the transition from oil to alternative energy sources in historical context, showing how industrialism arose from the harnessing of fossil fuels, how competition to control access to oil shaped the geopolitics of the 20th century, and how contention for dwindling energy resources in the 21st century will lead to resource wars in the Middle East, Central Asia, and South America. He describes the likely impacts of oil depletion, and all of the energy alternatives. Predicting chaos unless the U.S.—the world's foremost oil consumer—is willing to join with other countries to implement a global program of resource conservation and sharing, Heinberg recommends a "managed collapse" that might make way for a slower-paced, low-energy, sustainable society in the future.
Praise for The Party's Over
"The Party's Over begins with a commanding review of world history, where past and current developments including war, empire, and population growth are interpreted as functions of cheap or increasingly scarce and expensive energy. The discussion of substitutes for fast-depleting fossil fuels, and the formidable impediments to making the transition that would allow industrial civilization to continue, are important to every investor and citizen." — Virginia Deane Abernethy, Ph.D., author of Population Politics
Richard Heinberg, from Santa Rosa, California, has been writing about energy resources issues and the dynamics of cultural change for many years. A member of the core faculty at New College of California, he is an award-winning author of three previous books. His Museletter was nominated for its "Best Alternative Newsletter" award by Utne Reader in 1993.