Peak Oil: Apocalyptic Environmentalism and Libertarian Political Culture (Hardback)Matthew Schneider-Mayerson (author)
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Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 280
Weight: 522 g
Dimensions: 231 x 150 x 23 mm
"Peak Oil guides us through the media landscape of the present day, with a detailed analysis of the Left's version of doomsday preppers, "peakists" who prepare individually to survive the anticipated fall of modern civilization. . .Provides a fascinating look into the development of a left subculture that grew in popularity and adherents largely during the Iraq War, beginning in 2004 and tapering off by 2011."-- "American Quarterly Review"
"A compelling and nuanced account of the peak oil movement in the era of climate crisis. . . . In this timely, engaging, well-written, and accessible book, Schneider-Mayerson argues that a libertarian shift in culture within the context of environmental crisis explains the individualistic behavior of peakists even as they, in line with their overwhelmingly liberal political ideologies, recognize the need for collective action. Peak Oil pushes readers to recognize the urgent need for political action on climate change while simultaneously providing a thoughtful and sympathetic explanation for why so many people respond to environmental crisis in individualistic ways. . . . Peak Oil is an impressive example of using analysis of a little-known movement to shed light on broader social trends in the United States that inform imaginaries of the future in response to climate change."-- "Energy Research & Social Science"
"Engaging. . . . The strength of Peak Oil resides in its judicious, even-handed approach. Schneider-Mayerson neither idealizes nor vilifies his subjects. He commends them for their insights about petro-capitalist constraints, yet he does not hesitate to call out their limitations. . . . Schneider-Mayerson correctly points out that whatever their biases, peakists were attempting to do something extraordinarily difficult: imagine life aft er petroleum while living in a society fully saturated by it. And today the political fatalism of peakists is unnerving, he concludes, not because it is so rare but because it is so pervasive. The powerful message is that within late petro-capitalism, hope and imagination are in short--but desperately needed--supply."-- "Environment and Society"
"From Mad Max to Mad Men, this dead-on critique of long held beliefs about masculinity and traditions of American individualism and techno-optimism--all steadily becoming associated with a 'shift towards libertarianism'--is by turns entertaining, insightful, and troubling. The book clearly outlines how these traditions and beliefs present daunting challenges to communities interested in organizing and implementing effective and timely responses to accelerating global climate change."-- "Joni Adamson, coeditor of American Studies, Ecocriticism, and Citizenship"
"Schneider-Mayerson's inventive and illuminating study of the peak oil movement is just the kind of scholarly intervention we need now to help us grapple fully with the social and political challenges we face. If his exploration of the practices and beliefs of the 'Peakists' is cause for worry, it isn't because of how they view fossil fuels or its environmental impact. It's in the largely individual response of peak oil advocates to what is of necessity a collective problem. This mainstreaming of a libertarian ethos in the United States and elsewhere--on both right and left--should ring alarm bells. As much an analysis of contemporary US political culture as it is about the politics of climate change, Peak Oil makes for a stellar addition to debates in which we all have a stake today."-- "Imre Szeman, University of Alberta"
"This is a highly significant, original, and engaging book. Schneider-Mayerson provides a sophisticated analysis of the rise of libertarianism in the United States and articulates well how the struggle to form a collective response reflects a decline of trust in social institutions and the rise of individualism. Peak Oil is well-written, compelling, and very timely. It will no doubt be of interest to readers both inside and outside of the academy."-- "Kari Marie Norgaard, author of Living in Denial: Climate Change, Emotions, and Everyday Life"
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