Resource depletion and population pressures are about to catch up with us, and no one is prepared. Oil is running out and, if the Western world continues with its current policies, the next decades will likely be marked by war, economic collapse, and environmental catastrophe. The political elites, especially in the US, have shown themselves to be unwilling to deal with the situation, and have in mind a punishing game of 'Last One Standing'. There are alternatives. A 'Powerdown' strategy, for example, would aim to reduce per-capita resource usage in wealthy countries, develop alternative energy sources, distribute resources more equitably, and reduce the human population humanely but systematically over time. It could save us, but will require tremendous effort and economic sacrifice."Powerdown" speaks frankly to these dilemmas.
Avoiding cynicism and despair, it begins with an overview of the likely impacts of oil and natural gas depletion and then outlines four options for industrial societies during the next decades: Last One Standing: the path of competition for remaining resources; Powerdown: the path of cooperation, conservation, and sharing; Waiting for a Magic Elixir: wishful thinking, false hopes, and denial; and, Building Lifeboats: the path of community solidarity and preservation. Finally, the book explores how three important groups within global society - the power elites, the organized opposition to the elites (the 'activist' movements), and ordinary people - are likely to respond to these four options. Timely, accessible and eloquent, "Powerdown" is clarion call to urgent action.