Friday, June 13, 2008

The Party's Over by Richard Heinberg

I know, I know. It's summer time. According to mom, I should be kicking back and relaxing. But it's just not my style...I have a need to know. "The Party's Over" covers much of the same ground as Kunstler's "The Long Emergency" albeit in a much less apocalyptic way. Whereas Kunstler comes across as a bit alarmist (for good reason) Heinberg presents the problem of peaking oil supplies in a straightforward, well-documented, scientific and historic way. Of course, the information is still very alarming, but that really isn't Heinberg's fault.

Why, you may ask, are you reading yet another book on the same topic? I suppose the reason is I'm trying to fully understand the problem. And honestly, I'm trying to find a flaw in these people's argument. I can't. Granted, they are making predictions and predictions can change. But the predictions seem very logical and well-researched. In fact, I've begun to look at the world through the lense of cheap oil and it's amazing how much our society depends on it. So many things are making sense to me now: our motivations in Iraq, the necessity of debt in our economy, Wal-Mart...the list goes on and on. And now I hear people complaining about the high price of gas and wondering why this is happening. The media and politicians are saying "supply can no longer meet demand," and "China is taking up supply excesses," but no one is talking point blank to the American people about what that actually means.

I'm beginning to realize what that actually means and it ain't good. And the fact that we, as Americans, are dragging our heels on renewable energy development, encouraging each other to buy, buy, buy, and sprawling our cities as quickly as possible, shows that when supply starts shrinking, so will we. I highly recommend this book and further research into this pressing problem. Good luck!

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