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Peak OilApocalyptic Environmentalism and Libertarian Political Culture$
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Matthew Schneider-Mayerson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226285269

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226285573.001.0001

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Climate Change and the Big Picture

Climate Change and the Big Picture

(p.150) Conclusion Climate Change and the Big Picture
Peak Oil

Matthew Schneider-Mayerson

University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses the decline of the peak oil movement in the late 2000s, as a result of diminishing concerns about fossil fuel scarcity. It places the peak oil movement in the context of climate change and the environmental changes and stresses brought on by modernity (the ‘Great Acceleration’), and argues that while peakists may have overestimated the rapidity and consequences of fossil fuel depletion they were, unlike most Americans, closely attuned to the gravity of other contemporary environmental issues, such as climate change. It contends that the very real crises that Americans and the planet now face, which include climate change, a globally interconnected economy and eventual resource depletion, require a intra- and international communitarian engagement that demands a historical break with the long tradition of American individualism and the more recent ‘libertarian shift.’

Keywords:   Anthropocene, great acceleration, sustainability, climate change, denial

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