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Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines (Anglais) Broché – 28 octobre 2010

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Book by Heinberg Richard

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Amazon.com: 27 commentaires
65 internautes sur 72 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The best book yet on this century of decline 12 janvier 2008
Par Emilee LeBlanc - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
When I sat down to read this book I thought I knew quite a bit about "Peak Oil" and "Peak Energy" and about several other areas where we are now bumping up against the limits to growth. And since I had not only read The Party's Over and Powerdown but a number of Richard Heinberg's essays that I'd come across at the Energy Bulletin site, I thought I was pretty familiar with his insights regarding both the nature of the mess we now find ourselves in and the options available to us. So it was a pleasant surprise to find new and interesting insights in every chapter of this book.

One of the strengths of the book in my view is that it comes at the subject from so many different angles. I was impressed again and again by the scope of Heinberg's knowledge and the way he put the pieces together to make sense of the great challenges that we are facing.

As he himself says, "None of this is easy to contemplate. . . . [T]he suggestion that we are at or near the peak of population and consumption levels for the entirety of human history and that it's all downhill from here is not likely to win votes, lead to a better job, or even make for pleasant dinner banter."

But the better you understand the true nature of a problem, the better able you are to deal with it, and this book is the best yet in my opinion to help one awaken to the full implications of this "century of decline".
39 internautes sur 43 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Thinking Straight in a Media of Hearsay and Misinformation 25 juin 2008
Par Scott M. Kruse - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Heinberg explains how fossil fuels, primarily oil, permeate every aspect of our modern culture - from agriculture to cities and a long-term perspective. In the age of almost 7 billion people demanding more and more of limited resources, the media, politicians and governments tend to only report short-term perspectives and ignore Heinberg's Five Axioms of Sustainability to the extent that these concepts are taboo to be spoken, discussed or thought:

1) Any society that continues to use critical resources unsustainably will collapse.
2) Population growth, and, or, growth in the rates of consumption of resources cannot be sustained.
3) To be sustainable, the use of renewable resources must proceed at a rate that is less than or equal to the rate of natural replenishment.
4) To be sustainable, the use of nonrenewable resources must proceed at a rate that is declining, and the rate of decline must be greater than or equal to the rate of depletion.
5) Sustainability requires substances introduced into the environment from human activities be minimized and tendered harmless to biosphere functions.

The psychology of peak oil and climate change discussion is like Kubler-Ross' "On Death and Dying." This all lands on the shoulders of "boomers" or the "me" generation. How do you stay optimistic and move forward when most have been conditioned to expect continuous greater wealth and lower cost? Questions and anger are answered by a "A Letter From the Future" - a look back from 2107 CE.

Many of us think, "If only I could be rational and think objectively in light of too much hyperbole and misinformation." I keep this book close at hand and constantly reread specific chapters. I need to keep my head on straight and provide others with constructive, objective, logical, forward thinking in light of the current shift to "peak everything" (oil, coal, water, food, transportation, housing, . . .) and not succumb to emotional, short-term, greed and power struggles. This is excellent.
44 internautes sur 51 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
If you are interested in reality, read this book.... 5 décembre 2007
Par Dana Visalli - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
There is no more critical issue to the human family that the nearly simultaneous peaking of the resources that are necessary to the functioning of modern society. The production of conventional petroleum--the stuff we get our gasoline from--is at or near its peak right now. Henceforth, prices will go up and availability will go down.

At the same time we are getting repeated warnings that the atmosphere is `peaking' in the amount of greenhouse gases it can absorb without inducing climate change. The best information available indicates that other conventional sources of energy--natural gas, coal, and uranium--will all peak within the next 30 years. If this were a movie it would be real thriller; unfortunately we're talking about reality.

Richard Heinberg, author of `Peak Everything,' is one of the world's leading thinkers and writers on this rather earth-shaking issue of the peaking of the resources critical to our society as it is current configured. Heinberg has two other recent books that go into detail on the probable timing of these peaks (see `The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Society') and what our choices are in response to this emerging reality (see `Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-carbon World').

This book, `Peak Everything,' is a wide-ranging exploration of how we managed, physically and psychologically, to end up in this blind alley (the majority of the world's 6.5 billion people are now fed by our petroleum-based agricultural system), and what some of the most promising models are for viable human communities in the future. There is no more compelling subject than this and Heinberg offers some of the best thinking and best insights to be found in print.
18 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Don't judge by its title 6 octobre 2008
Par A. Friedman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
It's a good book and a great title, but the title does not match the content.

Richard Heinberg is an excellent author, and I HIGHLY recommend that everyone read his (other) book "Party's Over" for a riveting & sobering understanding of peak oil! With that under our belts, many of us are now coming to recognize peak population, peak food, peak pollution, peak global temperature, peak fresh water, peak arable land, peak mineral resources, peak ocean fisheries, peak species diversity, peak uranium, peak weaponry, peak resource wars, peak wealth disparity, peak waste, peak life expectancy, etc. Peak Everything! That's what I THOUGHT this book would address.

Instead, he has cobbled together a collection of essays on aesthetics, psychology, language, and other aspects of peaking. Oh, it's okay stuff, but it's not at all what I expected nor hoped to read--and he warns of that in the first page of the introduction. The intro is sprinkled with charts showing peaks, but they're not really discussed in much detail.

This book is for those who already know a lot about peak everything and just can't stop reading about it. Discussions of Art Nouveau, Freud, and wild parrots were just too tangentially abstract for my expectations. I wanted hard facts and numbers for forceful arguments, proposed plans of action, and glimpses of hope in promising new breakthroughs.

It's hard to rate this fairly because it was so disappointing due to the misleading title. Chapters 8, 9, & 10 won me over to the fourth star. Chapter 8, "Bridging Peak Oil and Climate Change Action," was my long sought acknowledgement of the 800 pound gorilla: discussion of the two topics from a single perspective.

Please, Mr. Heinberg, now write the book on Peak Everything!

2012 UPDATE: Toss in "Peak Growth". Heinberg has now written a book worthy of the title Peak Everything, but it's title is The End of Growth. Great book! Read it instead of this one.
14 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Excellent Primer, Narrowly Focused, Provokes Reflection 16 octobre 2009
Par Robert David STEELE Vivas - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I was tempted to limit this book to four stars because it fails to properly recognize, among many others, Buckminster Fuller, e.g. his Critical Path and it provides only passing reference to such foundation works as Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update and Human Scale, but place it at five stars for two reasons: 1) excessive negativity by other reviewers; and 2) a superb primer for the public ready to get past Al Gore's hyteria, the venom surrounding The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World, and connect in a very easy to read and understanding elementary counterposte to The Resilient Earth: Science, Global Warming and the Fate of Humanity.

Another important reason for attending to this book and respecting its author, apart from him many prior works including the globally recognized The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies, is the endorsements of two of the top ten (in my view) in this arena, Lester Brown (Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization (Substantially Revised)), and Bill McKibben (Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future).

For the lay reader--the normal person not steeped in the environmental and catastrophic literature, this a first-rate overview book.

The author opens by pointing out that it is not just oil that has peaked, but also natural gas, coal, grain, uranium, fresh water, arable land, wild fish, and strategic minerals such as copper, platinum, silver, gold, and zinc.

In a light-hearted effort to offer some good news, the author points out that inequality goes down when excess goes down. As we wean ourselves from many petroleum, plastics, and chlorine-based additions, we will become more like the Amish, with a sufficiency of essentials for all.

The author provided a good discussion of the outrageous difference between Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that measures evil production as well as good production (e.g. hospital waste and prison-slave labor) and the Genuine Progress Indicator. I will post his chart at Phi Beta Iota, the Public Intelligence Blog (Amazon deleted over 350 of my images posted here, I no longer trust Amazon).

In the author's view the central task of this and the next generation is the transition from fossil fuels to more balanced energy sources. This section is almost poetic. He talked about an awakening that is occurring, a multi-dimensional emotional, political, and cultural catharsis, in which the definition of "normal" is about to change BIG TIME.

"Awakening is an on-going visceral as well as intellectual reassessment of every facet of life--food, work, entertainment, travel, politics, economics, and more."

The chapter on tools distinguishes among four classes in relation to their use of energy. The author discusses how the creation of tools, and powered tools especially, led to techno-politics and in now leading to a decline in innovation. I would point out, as Michael O'Hanlon does in Technological Change and the Future of Warfare, that the author is missing the ONE huge area where innovation is truly revolutionary, C4I (command and control, communications, computing, and intelligence). The author makes the connection between new forms of energy and technology and the destruction of old forms of society and family.

The chapter on 50 million farmers (we have 3-4 million now in the USA) is most fascinating, discussing the implications of the looming fuel shortage for mega-agriculture. He points out that US agriculture uses twice as much fuel as the US military. We have a shortage of farmers and a scarcity of fresh water, as global climate change creeps up on us. I am most impressed, Jeffersonian that I am, to read the author's views on how we must move back toward farming preserves, the de-industrialization of agriculture, to engage in permaculture (see Yeoman's Priority One: Together We Can Beat Global Warming, biointensive farming, re-ruralization, and LAND REFORM, which I take to mean the expropriation of mega farmlands from those we just bailed out at taxpayer expense, and a massive planned return to family and county farming.

The chapter on arts and crafts and on the five axioms of sustainability are of passing interest to me. The author does point out that there is no axiom for social equity--I would point him to Yochai Benkler's The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom.

Note: I am going to stop here as Amazon refuses to listen to reviewers demanding additional links and more space. You can read the rest of my review, with other important links, at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog.
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