There’s never been a better time to “be prepared.” Matthew Stein’s comprehensive primer on sustainable living skills—from food and water to shelter and energy to first-aid and crisis-management skills—prepares you to embark on the path toward sustainability. But unlike any other book, Stein not only shows you how to live “green” in seemingly stable times, but to live in the face of potential disasters, lasting days or years, coming in the form of social upheaval, economic meltdown, or environmental catastrophe.

When Technology Fails covers the gamut. You’ll learn how to start a fire and keep warm if you’ve been left temporarily homeless, as well as the basics of installing a renewable energy system for your home or business. You’ll learn how to find and sterilize water in the face of utility failure, as well as practical information for dealing with water-quality issues even when the public tap water is still flowing. You’ll learn alternative techniques for healing equally suited to an era of profit-driven malpractice as to situations of social calamity. Each chapter (a survey of the risks to the status quo; supplies and preparation for short- and long-term emergencies; emergency measures for survival; water; food; shelter; clothing; first aid, low-tech medicine, and healing; energy, heat, and power; metalworking; utensils and storage; low-tech chemistry; and engineering, machines, and materials) offers the same approach, describing skills for self-reliance in good times and bad.

Fully revised and expanded—the first edition was written pre-9/11 and pre-Katrina, when few Americans took the risk of social disruption seriously—When Technology Fails ends on a positive, proactive note with a new chapter on “Making the Shift to Sustainability,” which offers practical suggestions for changing our world on personal, community and global levels.

Peak Oil Resources Review:

When Technology Fails catches your attention with its intriguing title.  Just what does happen when technology fail?  Prior to learning about Peak Oil, my answer likely would have been, “Technology doesn’t fail.”

Unfortunately, it can and will fail.  It could be the result of a natural disaster, vis a vis Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans.  Or a disastrous storm surge into Manhattan (it has happened before).  A California earthquake.  Or the active caldera underneath Yellowstone could blow, etc…

Then what?  Just-in-time food and resource delivery will halt to affected areas.  The general populace likely have not heeded the call to prepare emergency stocks food, water, and medicines.  Coupled with a potential loss of order, the outlook becomes bleak.

Unless you know what to do.

When Technology Fails is the toolbox and know-how to get the job done, even more so now that it has been extensively revised and updated.  Notably, the second chapter Present Trends, Possible Futures, has been completely overhauled to reflect the national and geopolitical changes that have taken place since the inaugural publishing of When Technology Fails.  There is also an entirely new closing chapter, Making the Shift to Sustainability.  While this book is not an encyclopedic collection of everything that you did or did not want to know about everything, it is a guide to what you need to know to survive.

When Technology Fails cover things like supplies and preparations, emergency measures for survival, water and food acquisition, low-tech medicine, healing, chemistry, building ecosmart dwellings (how cool is that!?!), and more.  These topics and others (far too many to list)  will “wet your whistle”, not make you a pro.  The point is to get you thinking so that you do have half a clue of what to do when technology does indeed fail.  And after you have exhausted the content in the book, Stein gives thorough list of additional resources to so that you can delve deeper into anything from the book.

When you read When Technology Fails, you will do more than simply learn something new.  Your eyes will be opened to your surroundings in ways that you may have taken for granted.  Ultimately, you will be left with a resounding “cool!” from everything that Stein has presented.  Sure, there is uncertainty in the future.  There always is.  It becomes a little less scary when you have When Technology Fails as your guide and roadmap to navigate whatever may lie ahead.