The Party’s Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies

‘If societies a century from now have managed to learn how to live peacefully, modestly, and sustainably, it may be at least partly because the advice in this timely book was heeded.’ – Thom Hartmann, author of The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight

‘The Party’s Over is the book we need to reorient ourselves for a realistic future.’
– Chellis Glendinning, Ph.D., author of When Technology Wounds

Without oil, what would you do? How would you travel? How would you eat? What would everyday life be like?

The world is about to change dramatically and permanently as a result of oil depletion. Within the next few years, the global production of oil will peak. Thereafter, even with a switch to alternative energy sources, industrial societies will have less energy available to do all the things essential to their survival. We are entering a new era as different from the industrial one as the latter was from mediaeval times.

The Party’s Over deals head-on with the imminent decline of cheap oil. It shows how oil and war have been closely related for the the past century, and how competition to control oil supplies is likely to lead to new resource wars in the Middle East, Central Asia, and South America. Tracing the crucial role of fossil fuels in the rise of industrialism, Heinberg discusses the degree to which energy alternatives can compensate for oil, and recommends:

* a managed transition to a slower-paced, low-energy, sustainable society in the future;
* a global programme of resource conservation and sharing implemented by the US – the world’s foremost oil consumer and the most mightily armed nation in world history – in concert with other countries; and
* realistic ways for families, communities, nations, and the world to prepare for the coming crisis.

A riveting wake-up call that does for oil depletion what Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring did for the issue of chemical pollution – i.e. raising to consciousness a previously ignored global problem of immense proportions – <>The Party’s Over<> is essential reading for all those concerned with the future of modern life as we know it.

RICHARD HEINBERG is a journalist, educator, lecturer, and musician. He has lectured widely, appearing on national radio and television in various countries, and is the author of four previous books, including Cloning the Buddha, The Moral Impact of Biotechnology and A New Covenant with Nature: Notes on the End of Civilisation and the Renewal of Culture. The latter was a recipient of the ‘Books to Live By’ award of Body/Mind/Spirit magazine.

His monthly MuseLetter was nominated in 1994 by Utne Reader for an Alternative Press Award and has been included in Utne’s annual list of Best Alternative Newsletters. Heinberg is a member of the Core Faculty of New College of California, where he teaches courses on ‘Energy and Society’ and ‘Culture, Ecology, and Sustainable Community’. He is also an accomplished violinist. He lives with his wife in a suburban home they have renovated for energy efficiency, where they grow much of their own food. Richard’s website is: www.museletter.com

June 2003; 288pp; 23.5 x 15.5 cm; paperback; £11.95; ISBN: 1 902636 45 7