The Issues

Read a short summary, watch an interview clip, or check out the books related to these pressing issues highlighted in What A Way To Go:

Resource Depletion & Peak Oil

The 2008 crude oil price, $147 per barrel, shattered the global economy. The “invisible hand” of economics became the invisible fist, pounding down world economic growth to match the limitations of crude oil production.
—Kenneth Deffeyes (petroleum geologist)

Climate Destabilization

“We can take a lot of punches. Nature takes punches pretty readily. Global
warming is a really severe punch. And all that we depend on for natural systems and agricultural systems is about to be wiped out pretty drastically.”
Richard Manning, What A Way To Go

Mass Species Extinction

“A majority of the nation’s biologists are convinced that a “mass extinction” of plants and animals is underway that poses a major threat to humans in the next century, yet most Americans are only dimly aware of the problem, a poll says.

The rapid disappearance of species was ranked as one of the planet’s gravest environmental worries, surpassing pollution, global warming and the thinning of the ozone layer, according to the survey of 400 scientists commissioned by New York’s American Museum of Natural History.”

Joby Warrick, Staff Writer
Washington Post, April 21, 1998 (Note the date!)

Population Overshoot

“… our lifestyles, mores, institutions, patterns of interaction, values, and expectations are shaped by a cultural heritage that was formed in a time when carrying capacity exceeded the human load… That carrying capacity surplus is gone now, eroded both by population increase and immense technological enlargement of per capita resource appetites and environmental impacts. Human life is now being lived in an era of deepening carrying capacity deficit. All of the familiar aspects of human societal life are under compelling pressure to change in this new era when the load increasingly exceeds the carrying capacities of many local regions—and of a finite planet. Social disorganization, friction, demoralization, and conflict will escalate.”

William Catton, Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change

Economy & Financial Meltdown

“All the structures that now exist – our urban formations, our transportation systems, our means of getting food, globalization as an economic model, capitalism as an economic model, which depends on constant expansion and growth and ever-more resources – cannot possibly continue to exist. Because they’re all based on – the root base of all of it – is the existence of cheap energy.”
Jerry Mander, is author of Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television and In the Absence of the Sacred.

Preparation and Transformation

As of all this starts to shift and change and disintegrate and collapse, there’s the opportunity, in fact, to come back to ourselves. To grow up, fundamentally, as people and as a culture.

~Richard Heinberg, What A Way To Go: Life at the End of Empire

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