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The Post Carbon Reader: Managing the 21st Century’s Sustainability Crises

Anthony Perl Asher Miller Bill Ryerson Bill Sheehan Brian Schwartz Chris Martenson Cindy Parker Daniel Lerch David Fridley David Hughes David Orr Erika Allen Gloria Flora Hillary Brown John Kaufmann Joshua Farley Michael Bomford Michael Shuman Peter Whybrow Richard Gilbert Richard Heinberg Rob Hopkins Sandra Postel Stephanie Mills Tom Whipple Warren Karlenzig Wes Jackson William Rees Zenobia Barlow

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 […]

Searching for a Miracle: ‘Net Energy’ Limits & the Fate of Industrial Society

Richard Heinberg

This report is intended as a non-technical examination of a basic question: Can any combination of known energy sources successfully supply society’s energy needs at least up to the year 2100? In the end, we are left with the disturbing conclusion that all known energy sources are subject to strict limits of one kind or another. Conventional energy sources such as oil, gas, coal, and nuclear are either at or nearing the limits of their ability to grow in annual supply, and will dwindle as the decades proceed—but in any case they are unacceptably hazardous to the environment.

Blackout: Coal, Climate & The Last Energy Crisis

Richard Heinberg

Coal fuels about 50 percent of US electricity production and provides a quarter of the country’s total energy. China and India’s ferocious economic growth is based almost entirely on coal-generated electricity. Coal currently looks like a solution to many of our fast-growing energy problems. However, while coal advocates are urging full steam ahead, increasing reliance […]

Post Carbon Cities: Planning for Energy and Climate Uncertainty

Daniel Lerch

Post Carbon Cities: Planning for Energy and Climate Uncertainty (2007) was the first major guidebook on peak oil and global warming for people who work with and for local governments in the United States and Canada. It provided a sober look at how these phenomena are quickly creating new uncertainties and vulnerabilities for cities of […]

Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines

Richard Heinberg

The 20th century saw unprecedented growth in population, energy consumption and food production. As the population shifted from rural to urban, the impact of humans on the environment increased dramatically. The 21st century ushered in an era of declines, in a number of crucial parameters: Global oil, natural gas and coal extraction; yearly grain harvests; […]

Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World

Richard Heinberg

If the US continues with current policies, the next decades will be marked by war, economic collapse, and environmental catastrophe. Resource depletion and population pressures are about to catch up with us, and no one is prepared. The political elites, especially in the US, are incapable of dealing with the situation, and have in mind […]