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The ENERGY Reader: Introduction

Richard Heinberg

October 31, 2012

Our goal is to help change the national and global conversation about energy–to help it evolve quickly from one of how to grow energy production to one of how to shrink our appetites to fit nature’s ability to sustain itself.

Take a good look at what it takes to power our human world of cities and machines. Think about the tens of millions of years’ worth of fossil fuels we are burning in mere decades; about the billions of tons of geologically stored carbon we are releasing into the atmosphere; about the landscapes we ravage, the water we foul, the air we pollute, and the species we drive into extinction in order to fuel our industrial mega-machine.

Then ask yourself: Is all of this really necessary? Couldn’t we just use less?

This is a chapter from The ENERGY Reader: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth (2012).

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Introduction by Post Carbon Institute