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The Oil Age is Over
What to Expect as the World Runs Out of Cheap Oil
From: Bill Anderson Thursday 10:53 AM
Network 6000, Inc.
I’m going to make the decision to buy this book real simple for you... if you do not already know about “Peak Oil” and what will happen when we run out of cheap oil, then buy this book immediately... it may be the most important book you will ever read. It could literally save your life and your family’s lives by opening your eyes to what is surely to happen sooner or later. The USA is absolutely and completely dependant on cheap foreign oil. Just think about what cheap oil gets you these days... electricity, heat, groceries and everything else in the stores, transportation, water, pharmaceuticals, and just about everything you can think of depends on fossil fuels in one way or another. And... it will all go bye-bye or get very, very expensive as the supply of cheap oil dries up. Listen to what these people have to say...
Review From Spring 2005 Issue of Permaculture Magazine:
By Graham Strouts
The starting point for the book is the concept of "peak oil" and the understanding that the energy that has driven the rise of industrial societies follows a bell curve in its production, peak and descent. First described by the American geologist M.K. Hubbert in the early 1970s, who used it to accurately predict the peak and subsequent decline of US oil supplies in 1971, there is now emerging slowly but surely a "Peak Oil Movement", predicting an imminent or current peak in world energy supplies. Savinar draws on the work of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO), the work of Mike Ruppert of From The Wilderness Publications, and Energy Investment Banker Matt Simmons, among others, to support his case. A lot of the evidence for peak oil has actually come from within the oil industry itself or from now retired oil experts who have no axe to grind other than a wish to inform the world of the dire predicament we will all soon have to wake up to. The modern world and civilization as we know it is coming to an end.
"I heard we have about 40 years of oil left. What's there to worry about?" is the opening question. Savinar explains that the issue is that we are running out of cheap oil. As energy becomes increasingly expensive, which will result in real shortages, not just higher prices, the world's population continues to rise, demanding dramatic increases as newly industrializing nations like China and India come on line. There is simply not enough to go around. In a world as dangerous as the one we find ourselves in the early 21st century, this will only lead to more and deadlier resource wars.
The oil shocks of the 1970s actually led to greater fuel efficiency and decreased demand, probably delaying peak by 10-15 years. "Unfortunately, the day of reckoning is now upon us." Savinar does not mince his words but gives his stark prognosis of what energy descent will mean early on in the book: "In short, the end of cheap oil means the end of everything you have grown accustomed to, all aspects of industrial civilisation, and quite possibly humanity itself. This is known as the post-oil 'die-off'."
Using biological models of population overshoot in other species, Savinar predicts a return to pre-industrial global population levels of less than 500 million - less than 10% of current population in the next 50-100 years, as a result of oil depletion. In saying this, Savinar sets himself apart from other writers in this field, e.g. the 10 possible scenarios presented by the writers of the 30-year update to The Limits to Growth. He is not saying, "This is one possible scenario unless we take remedial action." He is saying that this will happen.
One of the key reasons for this is that humans have become almost completely dependent on fossil fuels, not just for gas in the tank, but for much more. This dependency is responsible for the leap in human population from 1.5 billion around 1850 to the 6.4 billion today. The delivery of fresh water also depends on fossil fuels, as does modern medicine. "If the experts are correct," Savinar writes, making an analogy to bacterial bloom and die-off in a lab, "we are less than one generation away from a crash. Yet to most of us, there appears to be no hint of a problem. One generation away from our demise, we are as clueless as bacteria in a petri dish."
In the third section, Savinar takes us through possible alternatives to oil and why they cannot stem off the inevitable: even "free energy" , were it a reality, would not change the fundamental issue that humans are up against: the earth has a carrying capacity, and we have used up the super-abundant resource, oil, over the last 150 years to systematically deplete virtually every other resource: top soil, fresh water, forests, biodiversity and minerals.
This is why we will not just be quietly slipping back to the 1700s but will be more likely to go straight back to the Stone Age. For example, pre-industrial societies mined copper from ores with 30-50% metal. Nowadays, a typical copper mine averages less than 0.8% copper which can only be extracted using large amounts of energy. No oil, no copper and no anything else that we take for granted in the modern world.
In Part V and VI, Savinar discusses the role of the US and its descent into fascism, and claims that the US government has based much of its foreign policy on peak oil for over 30 years. The US government plan involves: invasion and occupation of oil and resource rich countries (Iraq is just the opening volley); suppression of civil liberties in the US; the development and deployment of Star Wars and space weapons; the complete running down of domestic economies and the re-introduction of the draft. The US government and many others have already decided that the only way to deal with this crisis is to go to war to get oil and kill anyone who gets in the way. (Savinar scrapped the section he had originally planned on ideas and actions for lobbying and canvassing politicians since he has concluded that this is a complete waste of time. Politicians are all in the hands of big business and the media is incapable of telling the truth.)
If you are not already familiar with this information it may be hard to swallow. It was for me but once you understand the mechanics of peak oil and the way it has influenced so much of modern history, all the pieces start to fall into place. You awaken to a world at once more logical and much more sinister.
In the closing sections of the book, Savinar addresses the issue of how to deal emotionally with the reality confronting us, and what we can do on a practical level to increase our survival chances. He advocates a personal program of reducing fossil fuel dependency in every area of our lives, learning to grow food, and educating others. He encourages us to maintain a sense of humor, which he clearly does. Well, what else can you do?
Is Matt Savinar overdoing his extreme doom-and-gloom scenario? Well, that's for you to decide. I think he presents his case very well and the question-and-answer format works. Most objections that people will come up with are covered. It will cause even the well-informed reader to think again about our dependency on oil and how its declining availability may affect our future. If nothing else, it will set the standard by which all other doomsday scenarios can be measured and highlight the possibly extreme nature of the crises now confronting us.
"I am astounded on the information in your book. The MOST important information I have ever read. I am an educated professional who is not easily swayed by "doomsday" prophecies but your info is RIGHT ON and I have done an exhaustive amount of research (web based and otherwise) on the subject. I would much rather be forewarned than be caught unaware, I'm a big boy and can take the bad news, I'm under no false illusions of the future."
"Matt - I've been following your site and all related issues for 4 months now, and the revelations have changed my long term course, as they did for you. I haven't yet reached the point where I consider myself fully informed, so am still reading everything I can. I downloaded your book last night, and must commend you for a job well done. I hope it sells well. And many thanks for expanding the "breaking news" section of your website, as a central resource for mainstream/alternative news on this subject is priceless. You are doing a great service."
"I think you did a great job with your book. It was a quick, if disturbing, read. The opening segment on population crashes and implications for human society was especially sobering. I'm already circulating one of the two books to friends and asking them to pass it on, etc. Keep up the vital work, and thanks."
"I wanted to thank you for writing your book. My Dad bought it & sent it to us once he was finished reading it. He heard you on a radio program & just had to buy your book. I read your book this week & my husband is currently reading it. I hate to think that peak oil is true but with all the facts you've presented, plus I've checked it out on the net, it has to be."
"God, am I glad I read your book. I couldn't stop shivering as I read some parts of it. Just so you know, I'm a very skeptical person by nature, so it was hard for me to accept all this but as I followed your links/references, and did other research on the Internet, I realized that what you're predicting is true."
"You don't have to do any more to convince me about the realities and implications of Peak Oil. I doubted you at first but my curiosity led me to continue to read your site updates, download your book and follow your efforts. After hearing your very well given radio interview, however, I am now pretty much convinced that you have been hitting the nail upon the head all along, and that we are all about to face a very dire energy and economic crisis whether we want to believe so or not. I think Morgan Freeman in the Sum of All Fears said it best. 'It adds up. You just don't like what it adds up to.’'"
Table of Contents
Part I - Introduction (p 1)
Part II - Peak Oil and the Ramifications for Industrial Civilization (p 5)
Part III - Alternatives to Oil: Fuels of the Future or Cruel Hoaxes? (p 45)
Part IV - Issues of Economy, Technology, and the Ability to Adapt. (p 71)
Part V - Peak Oil and US Political/Social Issues. (p 85)
Part VI - Peak Oil and America's March toward a Fascist-Fuedal State. (p 103)
Part VII - Peak Oil and Global War (p 125)
Part VIII - Managing the Crash and coping with the Ramifications. (p 147)
(Note: This "Table of Contents" does not do this book justice. This book is basically a series of 113 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and answers which make it very easy to read and follow. The table of contents should list all these questions, but there is not enough room here to do that.)
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