Environmental Values - Robin Lovelace
The Future Is Not What It Used to Be provides a potent antidote to wishful thinking about the scale of global problems and a brutally honest high-level assessment of humanity's failure to act. For pessimists there is much to confirm one's world-view and insight into how to avoid the traps of despair or denial. For optimists the book is a gruelling but ultimately enlightening experience. Falling into the latter camp, I found the book a dark masterpiece. A sober check against reckless hope, it contains a message that anyone interested in civilisation's long-term future needs to hear.
Citation from the Rachel Carson Award
This is a rare find among the many books written about climate change over the years, one that explores how humans are not only depleting natural resources but also because of how the world has changed are naive to assume the kind of transitions that have occurred between climatic eras can ever happen again. Through an astute and well-reasoned argument, Friedrichs citing past cases in which climate stress was exacerbated by energy scarcity takes a systematic look at how infinite growth is not possible and how rather than just shifting from one energy market to another the support structure for the industrialized world itself could be in danger of collapse. Whether or not you want to believe civilization itself is on a collision course with a destiny it cannot yet see or predict, this Oxford University scholar's work is chilling, mind-bending and creatively forward-thinking, without being sentimental. It offers a perspective that goes well beyond floods, hurricanes, and a warmer planet.
What People are saying about this
Jeroen C. J. M. van den Bergh
This is a very welcome contribution to the public debate on climate change and peak oil. It contains sharp and attractively formulated insights, which should help to increase support for an urgently needed, effective international climate agreement.
I loved this book. It is very well laid out, well written, concise, and covers a great deal of ground with a combination of erudition and self-assured elegance. The arguments are well-made and substantiated.
Jörg Friedrichs explains with clarity and force how industrial civilization is imperiled by climate change and energy scarcity and why we probably won't act until it is too late to forestall fatal disruption and massive suffering. A sobering and salutary portrayal of an unfolding tragedy.
Benjamin K. Sovacool
This book discusses the 'twin' challenges of energy scarcity and climate change, and it does so in a way that gets deeper than most books. Its sections on the dissemination of knowledge and the moral questions concerning the two issues are novel, as is Friedrichs's take on major historical transitions and how they can be applied to contemporary energy scenarios.