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Page added on May 30, 2004

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PowerDown review by Bruce Thomson

Business

Moderator Bruce Thomson reviews
‘PowerDown’ (Richard Heinberg’s upcoming book) on the EnergyResources Yahoo group.

Summary: he likes it.

New Society Publishers sent me a draft of 'PowerDown' (Richard Heinberg's
upcoming book) to preview. It's good, so I'll send out this recommendation
of it to the main egroups.

A GOOD COVERAGE, A VERY USEFUL BOOK FOR BRIEFING ANYONE QUICKLY

It seems to speak the truth, in very plain ordinary language, and without
much reticence. Lucid, factual, quantitative. E.g. he mentions that 25% of
US fertilizer companies have permanently closed. Another 25% are closed
indefinitely. All because of natural gas decline, and the resultant
crippling rises in prices.

He even strongly draws attention to the word 'depletion' (the ultra-taboo,
no-no word in this domain).
And goes on to give some irrefutable, formidable facts about the depletion
of oil and gas in the US, North Sea. He's brave enough to speculate about a
'coming demographic holocaust'.

So far it seems much better than 'The Party's Over', which I thought was
too pedestrian, and had kindly go-back-to-sleep optimism. The responses to
the energy decline are also much more clear-headed, specific and practical.
The book would be a good one to give as a briefing to any elected
representative or any significant decision-maker.

I'm wondering now if this book may soon be the best primer yet on the
subject because it encapsulates the whole situation so very well in 190
pages of easy reading, for anyone.

Here is a good 'kit' of favourite tools of educating people fast might
currently be

RUNNINGONEMPTY SLIDE SHOW (VERY FAST, INFO-PACKED BRIEFING, MAYBE 30 MINS)

(Ready-made slide show about the exhaustion of the world's oil and gas
reserves as the wells finally empty, the likely impacts, and suggested ways
of coping.)

If you are interested in downloading the RunningOnEmpty slide show so that
you can customize it and use it to present the energy decline story to any
group, download it from :
http://www.renewableenergy.org.nz/resources/oilcrash/RunningOnEmptyNZ.ppt
(By the kind cooperation of Andrew Groom, andrew@a... )

POWERDOWN (BOOK) BY RICHARD HEINBERG (180 PAGES OF PAPERBACK READING)

Contact is New Society Publishers. www.newsociety.com or sara@n...
Easy to read for beginners or even those who already 'know'. Up-to-date
(2004) book about the decline of oil and gas. Full of good statistics and
references that are very persuasive. Nice balance of pragmatic honesty and
humane good-manners.

ULTRA-CHEAP BRIEFING HANDOUT - INFO-TICKET 500 CARS IN ONE HOUR FOR $5

Briefing 'ticket' (ten per sheet, each is business card sized item).
Very cheap way of alerting people. Put under windshield wiper of cars. Can
do 500 cars in a couple of hours (6 seconds per car, about an hour to do
the lot, and at about $5 for the whole lot.)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RunningOnEmpty2/files/

FACT SHEET

The two-page 'Fact Sheet' leaflet summary of the oil and gas decline
situation, handy for giving out at meetings.
http://www.geocities.com/RunningOnEmptyNZ/_FactSheet.doc

READY-MADE TEMPLATES FOR OFFICIAL SUBMISSIONS TO CITY COUNCILS, ETC

From that same website you can download example documents that make it
really easy to create a submission about the energy decline, to a local
council or any institution. Look for 'submission' in the list of files at..
http://www.geocities.com/RunningOnEmptyNZ/_FactSheet.doc

SLIDE SHOW - IN OTHER FORMATS

The slideshow is dowloadable for easy use by anyone in two different
formats other than the PowerPoint .ppt file.

http://www.renewableenergy.org.nz/resources/oilcrash/RunningOnEmptyNZ.sxi -
Open Office Impress format (similar tool to Powerpoint)
http://www.renewableenergy.org.nz/resources/oilcrash/RunningOnEmptyNZ.swf -
Flash file, most people have this running in their web browsers.

Feel free to grab copies of these. Both of the above versions are only
about 2MB, so this might make life a bit easier.

Because it took years of thinking and hours of PC work to create it, I will
be especially interested in feedback about success downloading and running
it and using it.

CAUTION ABOUT BRIEFING PEOPLE ON THE ENERGY DECLINE

Remember the slide show contains material that's depressing to deal with.
To prevent them being paralysed, focus on them and their strengths to
respond well:

'Invite' your audiences to 'help you' deal with the energy decline.
'Offer' to them the ideas it contains.
'Ask' them/highlight what their particular strengths might be in dealing
with the situation.
'Ask' them what they think is best to do.
and how they can.
If they show signs of distress, back off, and leave it to another time.
Talk about something else.

Good luck.

Bruce Thomson
Moderator, RunningOnEmptyNZ group
Palmerston North
New Zealand
bthomson@e...
www.geocities.com/RunningOnEmptyNZ

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Bruce Thomson bthomson@e...
20 Lyndhurst Street, Palmerston North,
New Zealand Tel. 64-6- 3577-773 or 3577-889
Mobile 021-176-9711 (omit that 0 if overseas)
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