The Party's Over

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


The world is about to run out of cheap oil and change dramatically. Within the next few years, global production will peak. Thereafter, even if industrial societies begin to switch to alternative energy sources, they will have less net energy each year to do all the work essential to the survival of complex societies. We are entering a new era, as different from the industrial era as the latter was from medieval times.

In “The Party’s Over,” Richard Heinberg places this momentous transition in historical context, showing how industrialism arose from the harnessing of fossil fuels, how competition to control access to oil shaped the geopolitics of the twentieth century and how contention for dwindling energy resources in the twenty-first century will lead to resource wars in the Middle East, Central Asia and South America. He describes the likely impacts of oil depletion and all of the energy alternatives. Predicting chaos unless the United States-the world’s foremost oil consumer-is willing to join with other countries to implement a global program of resource conservation and sharing, he also recommends a “managed collapse” that might make way for a slower-paced, low-energy, sustainable society in the future.

More readable than other accounts of this issue, with fuller discussion of the context, social implications and recommendations for personal, community, national and global action, Heinberg’s updated book is a riveting wake-up call for human-kind as the oil era winds down, and a critical tool for understanding and influencing current US foreign policy.

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“The Party’s Over is the book we need to reorient ourselves for a realistic future.”

–Chellis Glendinning, PhD, author of Off the Map: An Expedition Deep into Empire and the Global Economy

“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

“Richard Heinberg has written an outstanding book, The Party’s Over. I hope that the U.S. President and Congress read his book.”

–David Pimentel, PhD, Professor, Department of Entomology, Systematics and Ecology, Cornell University

“In this compelling book, Richard Heinberg gives us the tools – the information and understanding – to act. This is a wise and important book.”

–Derrick Jensen, author of A Language Older than Words and The Culture of Make Believe

“When Heinberg writes, I listen.”

–Michael C. Ruppert, author of Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil