Richard Heinberg discusses his latest book Afterburn: Society Beyond Fossil Fuels. Climate change, along with the depletion of oil, coal, and gas, dictate that we will inevitably move away from our profound societal reliance on fossil fuels. But just how big a transformation will this be? While many policy makers assume that renewable energy sources will provide a relatively painless solution, Heinberg suggests instead that we are in for a wild ride; a civilization reboot on a scale similar to the agricultural and industrial revolutions.
Afterburn consists of fifteen essays exploring various aspects of the twenty-first century migration away from fossil fuels including short-term political and economic factors that impede broad-scale, organized efforts to adapt, the origin of longer-term trends – such as consumerism – that have created a way of life that seems normal to most, but is actually unprecedented, highly fragile, and unsustainable, and potential opportunities and sources of conflict that are likely to emerge.
From the inevitability and desirability of more locally organized economies to the urgent need to preserve our recent cultural achievements and the futility of pursuing economic growth above all, Afterburn offers cutting-edge perspectives and insights that challenge conventional thinking about our present, our future, and the momentous choices that we currently face.
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