Ending the Fossil Fuel Era

Ending the Fossil Fuel Era

Edited by Thomas Princen, Jack P. Manno and Pamela L. Martin

A provocative call for delegitimizing fossil fuels rather than accommodating them, accompanied by case studies from Ecuador to Appalachia and from Germany to Norway.





A provocative call for delegitimizing fossil fuels rather than accommodating them, accompanied by case studies from Ecuador to Appalachia and from Germany to Norway.

Not so long ago, people North and South had little reason to believe that wealth from oil, gas, and coal brought anything but great prosperity. But the presumption of net benefits from fossil fuels is eroding as widening circles of people rich and poor experience the downside.

A positive transition to a post-fossil fuel era cannot wait for global agreement, a swap-in of renewables, a miracle technology, a carbon market, or lifestyle change. This book shows that it is now possible to take the first step toward the post-fossil fuel era, by resisting the slow violence of extreme extraction and combustion, exiting the industry, and imagining a good life after fossil fuels. It shows how an environmental politics of transition might occur, arguing for going to the source rather than managing byproducts, for delegitimizing fossil fuels rather than accommodating them, for engaging a politics of deliberately choosing a post-fossil fuel world.

Six case studies reveal how individuals, groups, communities, and an entire country have taken first steps out of the fossil fuel era, with experiments that range from leaving oil under the Amazon to ending mountaintop removal in Appalachia.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262028806 392 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 8 figures


$30.00 X ISBN: 9780262527330 392 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 8 figures


Thomas Princen

Thomas Princen explores ecological and economic sustainability at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Treading Softly: Paths to Ecological Order and The Logic of Sufficiency (both published by the MIT Press).

Jack P. Manno

Jack P. Manno writes about sustainability, ecological economics, and indigenous values at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. He is the author of Privileged Goods: Commoditization and Its Impacts on Environment and Society.

Pamela L. Martin

Pamela L. Martin examines issues of sustainability, energy, and rights at Coastal Carolina University. She is the author of Oil in the Soil: The Politics of Paying to Preserve the Amazon and coauthor of An Introduction to World Politics: Conflict and Consensus on a Small Planet.


  • Ending the Fossil Fuel Era is an urgent, timely, and brilliant book. From Appalachia to the Amazon, from Australia to Germany, the authors capture the transnational spirit of resistance to the violence and the dead-endedness of extreme extraction. If you believe we need to make the bold imaginative, ethical, technological, and political transition to a more just and biophysically sustainable planet, this book is indispensable reading.

    Rob Nixon

    author of Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor

  • Combining their own substantial work with that of colleagues, the author-editors present a broad and insightful analysis of the necessity and difficulty of winding down the fossil era. Highly recommended.

    Herman E. Daly

    Professor Emeritus, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland

  • Princen, Manno, and Martin have done the nearly impossible job of acknowledging the reality of climate change while still leaving readers with hope. Rather than dismissing the resistance to new fossil fuel exploration popping up around the world, they provide frontline reports and analyses of the Keep It in the Ground movement that offer a way forward.

    Annie Leonard

    Executive Director, Greenpeace US, and author of The Story of Stuff


  • Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2015