By Richard Heinberg
Weather swap, besides the depletion of oil, coal, and fuel, dictate that we are going to unavoidably circulate clear of our profound societal reliance on fossil fuels; yet simply how enormous a metamorphosis will this be? whereas many policy-makers imagine that renewable strength assets will supply a simple "plug-and-play" resolution, writer Richard Heinberg indicates as an alternative that we're in for a wild experience; a "civilization reboot" on a scale just like the rural and business revolutions.
Afterburn involves fifteen essays exploring quite a few points of the twenty-first century migration clear of fossil fuels including:
Short-term political and fiscal components that bog down broad-scale, equipped efforts to adapt
The beginning of longer-term tendencies (such as consumerism), that experience created a lifestyle that turns out "normal" to so much american citizens, yet is admittedly unparalleled, hugely fragile, and unsustainable
Potential possibilities and assets of clash which are more likely to emerge
From the inevitability and desirability of extra in the neighborhood prepared economies to the pressing have to shield our fresh cultural achievements and the futility of pursuing fiscal development peculiarly, Afterburn bargains state-of-the-art views and insights that problem traditional considering our current, our destiny, and the alternatives in our hands.
Richard Heinberg is a senior fellow of the submit Carbon Institute, the writer of 11 past books together with The Party's Over and the tip of progress. he's commonly considered as one of many world's most well known communicators of the pressing have to transition clear of fossil fuels.
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Additional info for Afterburn: Society Beyond Fossil Fuels
Already, depletion of the easy-and-cheap sources of petroleum that drove economic growth in the 20th century has led to persistently high oil prices, which are a drag on the economy. We have picked the low-hanging fruit of the world’s petroleum resources, and as time goes on all sources of fossil energy will become more financially costly and environmentally risky to extract. This is a big problem because the economy is 100 percent dependent on energy. With lots of cheap energy, problems of all kinds are easy to solve (Running out of fresh water?
The ratio of energy returned to energy invested in producing shale gas and tight oil from these formations is minimal. While US oil and gas production rates have temporarily spiked, all signs indicate that this will be a brief boom16 that will not change the overall situation significantly: society is reaching the point of diminishing returns with regard to the economic benefits of fossil fuel extraction. And what about our imaginary politicians? Politician A wouldn’t want to talk about any of this for fairly obvious reasons.
14 None of the unconventional sources that the petroleum industry is turning toward (tight oil, tar sands, deepwater) would have been developed absent the context of high oil prices, which deliver more revenue to oil companies; it’s those revenues that fund ever-bigger investments in technology. But older industrial economies like the United States and the European Union tend to stall out if oil costs too much, and that reduces energy demand; this “demand destruction” safety valve has (so far) set a limit on global petroleum prices.
Afterburn: Society Beyond Fossil Fuels by Richard Heinberg