Post Carbon Reader – book chapters free online

04 Aug 2010

I’ve been excited to get The Post Carbon Reader, a collection of essays by key players in the discussion about peak oil, sustainability, and resilient communities. The book won’t hit the shelves until October, but the Post Carbon Institute (PCI), which is behind the reader, has posted several of the chapters on their site. I think there may be more to come.

They have a liberal policy on reposting, so I’m posting all the blurbs here, and I’ll update this page if they post more chapters later.

Here’s an excerpt from PCI’s website, with blurbs on the chapters and links to the pdfs. After that, I’ll put in the book’s full table of contents, with links to the chapters that are posted online so far.

The following chapters from The Post Carbon Reader are available now for download.

resilience  icon FOUNDATION CONCEPTS: Beyond the Limits to Growth
By Richard Heinberg • July 27, 2010
At some point in time, humanity’s ever-increasing resource consumption will meet the very real limits of a planet with finite natural resources. We, the authors of The Post Carbon Reader, believe that time has come.

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water icon WATER: Adapting to a New Normal
By Sandra Postel • June 22, 2010
Water, like energy, is essential to virtually every human endeavor. It is needed to grow food and fiber, to make clothes and computers, and, of course, to drink. The growing number of water shortages around the world and the possibility of these shortages leading to economic disruption, food crises, social tensions, and even war suggest that the challenges posed by water in the coming decades will rival those posed by declining oil supplies…

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resilience  icon BIODIVERSITY: Peak Nature?
By Stephanie Mills • January 3, 2011
Virtually every human threat to other species and their habitats is driven by economic growth and by our consuption, be it of food, energy, products, or even scenery.

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resilience  icon ENERGY: Hydrocarbons in North America
By David Hughes • January 24, 2011
The hype on shale gas as a silver bullet is pervasive.

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resilience  icon ENERGY: Nine Challenges of Alternative Energy
By David Fridley • August 10, 2010
Alternative energy faces the challenge of how to supplant a fossil-fuel-based supply chain with one driven by alternative energy forms themselves in order to break their reliance on a fossil-fuel foundation.

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resilience  icon POPULATION: The Multiplier of Everything Else
By William Ryerson • August 17, 2010
One thing is certain: The planet and its resources are finite, and it cannot support an infinite population of humans or any other species. A second thing is also certain: The issue of population is too important to avoid just because it is controversial.

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cities icon CITIES: The Death of Sprawl
By Warren Karlenzig • June 23, 2010
In April 2009—just when people thought things couldn’t get worse in San Bernardino County, California—bulldozers demolished four perfectly good new houses and a dozen others still under construction in Victorville, 100 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles…

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resilience  icon SMART DECLINE: The Buffalo Commons Meets Buffalo, New York
By Frank and Deborah Popper • July 19, 2010
In 2002, after decades of trying to restart economic development like most other Rust Belt cities, Youngstown made a radical change in approach. The city began devising a transformative plan to encourage some neighborhoods to keep emptying and their vegetation to return. The plan, still early in its implementation as we write would raze…

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resilience icon RESILIENCE: Personal Preparation
By Chris Martenson • July 6, 2010
My “standard of living” is a fraction of what it formerly was, but my quality of life has never been higher. We live in a house less than half the size of our former house, my beloved boat is gone, and we have a garden and chickens in the backyard…

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And here’s the book’s full table of contents:

part i. foundation concepts

1. Beyond the Limits to Growth, Richard Heinberg
2. What Is Sustainability?, Richard Heinberg
3. Thinking ‘Resilience,’ William E. Rees

part ii. climate

4. A New World, Bill McKibben
5. The International Response to Climate Change, Richard Douthwaite
6. The Upshot: What Is to Be Done?, David Orr

part iii. water

7. Water: Adapting to a New Normal, Sandra Postel

part iv. biodiversity

8. Peak Nature?, Stephanie Mills

part v. food

9. Getting Fossil Fuels Off the Plate, Michael Bomford
10. Tackling the Oldest Environmental Problem: Agriculture and Its Impact on Soil, Wes Jackson
11. Growing Community Food Systems, Erika Allen

part vi. population

12. Population: The Multiplier of Everything Else, William N. Ryerson

part vii. culture and behavior

13. Dangerously Addictive: Why We Are Biologically Ill-Suited to the Riches of Modern America, Peter C. Whybrow
14. Remapping Relationships: Humans in Nature, Gloria Flora
15. The Human Nature of Unsustainability, William E. Rees

part viii. energy

16. Making Sense of Peak Oil and Energy Uncertainty, Daniel Lerch
17. Hydrocarbons in North America, J. David Hughes
18. Nine Challenges of Alternative Energy, David Fridley
19. Peak Oil and the Great Recession, Tom Whipple

part ix. economy

20. Ecological Economics, Joshua Farley
21. Money and Energy, Richard Douthwaite
22. The Competitiveness of Local Living Economies, Michael H. Shuman

part x. cities, towns, and suburbs

23. The Death of Sprawl: Designing Urban Resilience for the Twenty-First-Century Resource and Climate Crises, Warren Karlenzig
24. Smart Decline in Post-Carbon Cities: The Buffalo Commons Meets Buffalo, New York, Deborah E. Popper and Frank J. Popper
25. Toward Zero-Carbon Buildings, Hillary Brown
26. Local Government in a Time of Peak Oil and Climate Change, John Kaufmann

part xi. transportation

27. Transportation in the Post-Carbon World, Richard Gilbert and Anthony Perl

part xii. waste

28. Climate Change, Peak Oil, and the End of Waste, Bill Sheehan and Helen Spiegelman

part xiii. health

29. Human Health and Well-Being in an Era of Energy Scarcity and Climate Change, Cindy L. Parker and Brian S. Schwartz

part xiv. education

30. Smart by Nature: Schooling for Sustainability, Michael K. Stone and Zenobia Barlow
31. Community Colleges: A Vital Resource for Education in the Post-Carbon Era, Nancy Lee Wood

part xv. building resilience

32. Personal Preparation, Chris Martenson
33. What Can Communities Do?, Rob Hopkins

part xvi. call to action

34. What Now? The Path Forward Begins with One Step, Asher Miller


books I've read on failure & grace

The World Without Us
The Last Oil Shock: A Survival Guide to the Imminent Extinction of Petroleum Man
A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster
Hell and High Water: Global Warming--the Solution and the Politics--and What We Should Do
The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl
The Tipping Point
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time
The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization
Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail
The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History, 1300-1850
Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff
Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future
The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World

Mason's favorite books »