In the face of unreliable renewables with expensive storage, many that actually understand the limits of renewable energy have argued for a totally different society that runs within the confines of these limits.

Richard Heinberg calls it Powerdown.


Professor Ted Trainer calls it The Simpler way.

Before I understood that continental drift and erosion meant uranium from seawater would never deplete, I ruled out nuclear power with simplistic thinking about ‘peak uranium’. I found myself desperately trying to accept a Powerdown mode of thinking. It’s not all bad. Much of it aligns with the localism I admire about New Urbanism and Ecocity design. But there are some extreme elements in Powerdown scenarios that will not win over the Australian public. The public dismiss radical ideas about most of us heading back to an 18th Century rural lifestyle. If there is a viable alternative, they’ll eventually flock to it! So I’m forced to agree with Barry Brook when he says:

2. The developing world lives in Ted Trainer’s power-down society already, and they are going to do everything possible to get the hell out of it. The developed world will fight tooth an nail, and will burn the planet to a soot-laden crisp, rather than embrace Trainer’s simpler way. Power down is a non-solution to the climate and energy crises…