"It might well be said of Howard T. Odum that his ideas suffered inordinately for being far ahead of their time. Today's mainstream paradigm or methodology was often his outrageous suggestion of yesteryear."
—Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America
"Of value to all who wish to learn more about a future in which sustainability and prosperity coexist. General readers; upper-division undergraduates and up."
"The senescence period of humanity after the loss of our highest quality fuels can be a disaster or it can be planned in a way that will diminish its deleterious aspects. . . . H. T. Odum and his wife, Elisabeth, have provided a blueprint for the future with their excellent book A Prosperous Way Down."
"Howard Odum was one of the first to realize seriously the dangers of using fossil fuels."
—Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
A Prosperous Way Down (2001), the last book by Howard T. and Elisabeth C. Odum, has shaped politics and planning as nations, states, and localities begin the search for ways to adapt to a future with vastly increased competition for energy.
A Prosperous Way Down considers ways in which a future with less fossil fuel could be peaceful and prosperous. Although history records the collapse of countless civilizations, some societies and ecosystems have managed to descend in orderly stages, reducing demands and selecting and saving what is most important.
The authors make recommendations for a more equitable and cooperative world society, with specific suggestions based on their evaluations of trends in global population, wealth distribution, energy sources, conservation, urban development, capitalism and international trade, information technology, and education.
Available for the first time in paperback, this thoughtful, provocative book forces us to confront assumptions about our world's future and provides both a steadying hand and a call to action with its pragmatic analysis of a global transition.