Party's Over : Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies, Paperback Book

Party's Over : Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies Paperback

3 out of 5 (1 rating)


Without oil, what would you do? How would you travel? How would you eat? What would everyday life be like? The world is about to change dramatically and permanently as a result of oil depletion.

Within the next few years, the global production of oil will peak.

Thereafter, even with a switch to alternative energy sources, industrial societies will have less energy available to do all the things essential to their survival.

We are entering a new era as different from the industrial one as the latter was from mediaeval times. "The Party's Over" deals head-on with the imminent decline of cheap oil.

It shows how oil and war have been closely related for the past century, and how competition to control oil supplies is likely to lead to new resource wars in the Middle East, Central Asia, and South America. Tracing the crucial role of fossil fuels in the rise of industrialism, Heinberg discusses the degree to which energy alternatives can compensate for oil, and recommends: a managed transition to a slower-paced, low-energy, sustainable society in the future; a global programme of resource conservation and sharing implemented by the US - the world's foremost oil consumer and the most mightily armed nation in world history - in concert with other countries; and realistic ways for families, communities, nations, and the world to prepare for the coming crisis.

A riveting wake-up call that does for oil depletion, what Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" did for the issue of chemical pollution - i.e. raising to consciousness a previously ignored global problem of immense proportions - "The Party's Over" is essential reading for all those concerned with the future of modern life as we know it.


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This was the first book I read on the topic of peak oil, so it was an eye-opening experience. It makes the case for peak oil to a general audience without too much technical detail and describes the likely consequences. He may be too dismissive of alternative power sources, notably solar thermal technologies, which M.K. Hubbert thought were viable in principle even in the 1960's, but at this point we are a long way from making that a reality.

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