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Power Down: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World

Power Down: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World (ISBN 978-0865715103) is a 2004 book by Richard Heinberg in which Heinberg discusses peak oil and its attendant implications for the global economy. Due to the dependence of industrialized society on cheap and readily available petroleum (fossil fuel oil), Heinberg argues that the post-peak period of global history is likely to be characterized by social and economic turmoil, disruption of trade, declining standard of living, and warfare.

Heinberg outlines four possible strategies nations could employ to respond to the economic challenges associated with declining oil production:

  • Last One Standing: Global competition for remaining resources
  • Powerdown: Global cooperation in reducing energy usage, conservation, resource management, and reducing population
  • Denial: Waiting, and hoping that some unforeseen element will solve the problem
  • Building Lifeboats: Preparing local areas to be sustainable in the event that the global economic project collapses

Heinberg fleshes out each of these strategies in detail and describes the current political and economic environment in terms of these elements.

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References to Power Down: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World: