The Post Carbon Reader - reviews

Gold Medal (Environment/Ecology/Nature), Independent Publisher Book Award
Green Prize for Sustainable Literature Award (Anthology), Santa Monica Public Library

Below are some of the great reviews we've been getting for The Post Carbon Reader. You can also see what university instructors in particular think about it as a classroom textbook on our Academia page. And be sure to check out what people are saying about the Reader on Goodreads!

"The Post Carbon Reader is an invaluable primer, resource and textbook. This is what you need to know, period."

  -- Lester R. Brown, President of Earth Policy Institute, author of Plan B 4.0

The reader for the rest of us

In Planning Magazine

The Post Carbon Reader: Managing the 21st Century's Sustainability Crisis serves as a kind of manifesto for the Post Carbon Institute, the California-based group that warns us to make the transition from fossil fuels before it's too late...

Contributors most likely to be known to planners are William E. Rees of the University of British Columbia, Deborah E. Popper of the City University of New York, and Frank Popper of Rutgers. In "Smart Decline in Post-Carbon Cities," the Poppers discuss the pioneering efforts of Buffalo, Detroit, Youngstown, and a few other cities and compare them to the more gradual acceptance of decline in the very nonurban Great Plains, which the couple has been writing about for years. "The search for adaptive urban shrinkage has only begun," they conclude. As the contributors go, they are still fairly optimistic. In contrast, in his review of the climate situation, popular author Bill McKibben can only say that "it's still possible we can avert the very worst catastrophes."...

This is a reader worth reading and pondering, especially if you can't keep up with all the books on these topics — and who can?

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"The Post Carbon Reader is a unique resource. I've found the cross-disciplinary approach to understanding the many dimensions of addressing peak oil and climate change to be very helpful. There isn’t any fluff, and regardless of your perspective or profession, there are likely several sections you will find of high value. I would highly recommend the Reader to students, planners, engineers, policy makers, elected officials, executives and anyone seeking to broaden and deepen their understanding of the great work now before us. My dog-eared copy is full of notes, underlines and highlights."

  -- George Dondero, Executive Director, Santa Cruz (Calif.) County Regional Transportation Commission

A Primer for the Post-Carbon World

In Greenbiz

The Post Carbon Institute has gathered 29 of the world's leading experts to point the way to a more resilient, just, and sustainable world. The Post Carbon Reader is a comprehensive, in-depth examination of the inter-connected sustainability crises humanity now faces.

Rather than just being a gloom and doom book representative of the genre, each author brings forth solutions and positive trends affected the issue about which they write.

It can be challenging to bear witness to the enormity of the challenges associated with providing food, water, and energy to a growing worldwide population. Sustainability advocates can veer towards pessimism and hopelessness in the face of so much discouraging news.

On the other hand, there are many smart and passionate communicators, policy analysts, futurists and activist remind us that positivity is a renewable resource; the mass transformation we are seeking will come from a positive view of the future, not from fear...

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"This is one of the best readers that I have seen in my 48 years as a university professor. The articles were well-written, up to date, and contained some extremely valuable information. I suggested to the students that they keep the book for future reference, instead of selling it back to the bookstore at the end of the semester.

  -- Al Williams, Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology, University of Nebraska

The Post-Carbon Reader edited by Richard Heinberg and Daniel Lerch

In Ethical Markets

By Hazel Henderson

The Post Carbon Reader definitely merits attention for many reasons. Its focus on surviving and thriving in an energy and resource constrained world organizes its forty authors' contributions concisely and with practicality. I am familiar with many of these authors, already giants in the field and some are friends, including Stephanie Mills, David Orr, Wes Jackson, Michael Shuman, Sandra Postel, Richard Douthwaite and Zenobia Barlow. Many others are less well-known, brilliant theorists and practitioners of sustainability in the whole spectrum of human life, working on visionary redesign of communities and offering practical steps to reforming our societies from top to bottom.

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Post Carbon university

In Transition Voice

[Excerpts] ...Its 34 essays by two dozen authors impressively cover subjects likely to be both old and new to readers who follow peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis. Finishing The Post Carbon Reader can give you the same sense of accomplishment as if you’d polished off Aristotle’s Poetics, Gargantua and Pantagruel and the Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica between dinner and bedtime. It’s like graduating from Post-Carbon University. And all without the student loans...

For me, most exciting were the essays that traveled beyond the well worn sustainability paths of wildlife, food, water and energy...

...As far as the Post Carbon Institute’s branding, this volume has done its duty to establish the group’s credibility. And I’m sure many other readers will be proud to join me in graduating from Post Carbon University...

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Post Carbon Reader Hits the Shelves

In Common Current

By Warren Karlenzig

[Excerpt] ...Much like the Club of Rome's 1972 treatise, The Limits to Growth, the work of PCI fellows now presents a publicly available collective analysis of where we are, where we are headed and what our options might be in terms of climate, biodiversity, economies, cities, food, energy, culture, population, health, education, transportation and developing better resilience.

Most importantly, thanks to editors Heinberg and Daniel Lerch, The Post Carbon Reader illustrates inter-relationships among these categories, instead of just providing a laundry list of issues and challenges...

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The Post Carbon Reader

In Make Wealth History

[Excerpt] ...I wouldn’t normally highlight a forthcoming book, but I’m making an exception of this one because there’s a great series of sample chapters available as downloads from the Post Carbon website. I’ve been browsing them this week on the train, and if the rest is as well written and well designed, I’ll enjoy reading the whole book when it comes out in October.

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The Post Carbon Reader: Track to The Future

In Treehugger

[Excerpts] The Post Carbon Institute see their task as "leading the transition to a more resilient, equitable, and sustainable world." And one of their current projects is the upcoming publication of a 540 page book, The Post Carbon Reader. Containing essays on renewable energy and urban agriculture to social justice and community resilience from a who's-who of provocative thinkers, the book is available for pre-ordering with a 20% discount. Or as a free, part download...

Should you also be wondering who the Post Carbon Institute is itself, then you might already of aware of them because we previously alerted you to their publication, How Can Food and Farming Transition to a Post Carbon World?, as well as pointing you to their clever little video which details A Brief History of Fossil Fuels.

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The Post Carbon Reader

Managing the 21st Century’s Sustainability Crises

Edited by Richard Heinberg and Daniel Lerch

Table of Contents
Content available for download
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about The Post Carbon Reader

How do population, water, energy, food, and climate issues impact one another? What can we do to address one problem without making the others worse? The Post Carbon Reader features essays by some of the world’s most provocative thinkers on the key issues shaping our new century, from renewable energy and urban agriculture to social justice and community resilience. This insightful collection takes a hard-nosed look at the interconnected threats of our global sustainability quandary and presents some of the most promising responses.

Contributors to The Post Carbon Reader are some of the world's leading sustainability thinkers, including Bill McKibben, Richard Heinberg, Stephanie Mills, David Orr, Wes Jackson, Erika Allen, Gloria Flora, and dozens more.

Published by Watershed Media, October 2010, distributed by Publishers Group West
544 pages, 6 x 9“, 4 b/w photographs, 26 line illustrations
$21.95 paper 978-0-9709500-6-2