Peak Oil: Apocalyptic Environmentalism And Libertarian Political Culture

Paperback | October 14, 2015

byMatthew Schneider-mayerson

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In recent years, the concept of “peak oil”—the moment when global oil production peaks and a train of economic, social, and political catastrophes accompany its subsequent decline—has captured the imagination of a surprisingly large number of Americans, ordinary citizens as well as scholars, and created a quiet, yet intense underground movement.

In Peak Oil, Matthew Schneider-Mayerson takes readers deep inside the world of “peakists,” showing how their hopes and fears about the postcarbon future led them to prepare for the social breakdown they foresee—all of which are fervently discussed and debated via websites, online forums, videos, and novels. By exploring the worldview of peakists, and the unexpected way that the fear of peak oil and climate change transformed many members of this left-leaning group into survivalists, Schneider-Mayerson builds a larger analysis of the rise of libertarianism, the role of oil in modern life, the political impact of digital technologies, the racial and gender dynamics of post-apocalyptic fantasies, and the social organization of environmental denial.

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In recent years, the concept of “peak oil”—the moment when global oil production peaks and a train of economic, social, and political catastrophes accompany its subsequent decline—has captured the imagination of a surprisingly large number of Americans, ordinary citizens as well as scholars, and created a quiet, yet intense underground...

Matthew Schneider-Mayerson is assistant professor of social sciences (environmental studies) at Yale-NUS College, Singapore.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:280 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:October 14, 2015Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022628543X

ISBN - 13:9780226285436

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“An intriguing and largely sympathetic glimpse into the early twenty first-century cultural phenomenon that was the American peak oil movement. . . . Peak Oil acknowledges, to its great credit, that while peakism has waned, the actual phenomenon of oil depletion hasn’t gone away and deserves our continued attention. . . . With his social science background, Schneider-Mayerson brings a valuable perspective to the issue, and I hope he continues to engage with it in his research.”