When Technology Fails

When Technology Fails : A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability and Surviving the Long Emergency

3.88 (373 ratings by Goodreads)
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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.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 494 pages
  • 215.9 x 279.4 x 30.48mm | 1,406.13g
  • Chelsea Green Publishing Co
  • White River Junction, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • Revised, Expanded ed.
  • Black and White Illustrations Throughout
  • 1933392452
  • 9781933392455
  • 90,006

Review quote

"The depth of this book, covering everything from building materials to spiritual healing, is astounding. It is a one-stop source... to create a self-sufficient, earth-friendly lifestyle. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in preserving the health of themselves and the planet--and moving toward a sustainable, sane way of living."--Robyn Griggs Lawrence, editor-in-chief, Natural Home magazineshow more

Rating details

373 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 29% (107)
4 39% (147)
3 25% (93)
2 6% (21)
1 1% (5)

Our customer reviews

A decent read with lots of information to varying depths of coverage that covers all the important topics relating to self-reliance specifically in the context of a possible future global scenario of technological failure, power outages, infrastructure collapse and resource shortages. The opening chapter "Present Trends, Possible Futures" provides an excellent introduction to why self-reliance and consideration of a bleak future is wise. Matthew talks about flu pandemics, climate change, peak oil, natural disasters, terrorism, overpopulation with a good look at ecological systems, system feedback, sources and sinks. The closing chapter "Making the Shift to Sustainability" illustrates how we've had years to act and particularly in the US, that opportunity has been passed by. But there is still time to change. In between these two chapters, Matthew covers emergency survival techniques and equipment, water treatment, food growing and storage, shelter construction - and we're talking about proper long-term accommodation suited for natural heating and cooling - first aid, clothing, energy production, metalworking, basic home chemistry and engineering. We could do without the chapter "When High-Tech Medicine Fails" which talks about colloidal silver, herbs, natural remedies, homeopathy and more. Some of these may work and if the rest work it'll be due to placebo. That may warrant inclusion in this book but I felt it tainted an otherwise good book.show more
by Nathanael Coyne
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