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Fleeing Vesuvius: Overcoming the Risks of Economic and Environmental Collapse [Paperback]

Richard Douthwaite , Gillian Fallon
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

20 Nov 2010
The financial crisis that has blighted the world's richest countries since 2008 was a turning point in human history because it ushered in an era in which economies will tend to shrink rather than grow. Incomes will decline because the natural resources required for growth - particularly oil, the lifeblood of the world economy - can no longer be extracted in growing quantities. Indeed, as this book shows, the financial crash itself was due to an irresistible force - the rising global demand for cheap fossil fuels - meeting an immoveable object: a static supply. This is a collection of twenty-seven essays by well-known international authors, all leading thinkers in their fields. Luminaries such as David Korowicz, Richard Douthwaite, Nate Hagen, Dmitry Orlov, and Dan Sullivan weave together the threads of peak oil, resource depletion, economic instability, and climate change and offer far-reaching solutions, including: concrete strategies for personal adaptation; workable models of self-reliant local communities; and, frameworks to support international action on financial and economic reform. Timely, practical, and fundamentally optimistic, this is a must-read for anyone concerned with reducing our risk of environmental and societal collapse.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: FEASTA, The Foundation For the Economics of Sustainability; 1st edition (20 Nov 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0954051017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0954051013
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 16 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 712,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Options for the survival of civilisation 21 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback
Humanity is on the very edge of an economic, social, environmental and resource-related crisis of a scale probably unprecedented in recorded human history. In other words humanity now faces an emergency situation. It is not even any run-of-the-mill emergency that now looms, but one which threatens to imperil millennia-long achievements in knowledge, social cohesion and interaction, and the very fabric of civilisation.

'Fleeing Vesuvius' painstaking sets out the nature of the multi-faceted problem, its causes, consequences and likely outcomes, and offers some much needed comforts, small as they inevitably are, to those bravely facing up to the task of post-crash reconstruction.

This is a truly impressive publication, probably the most comprehensive and up-to-date of its genre - the kind which, if you haven't read, you run the risk of not being up to speed with the state of the world, or to the challenges facing it. I can't say it more clearly than that.

Andy Wilson, The Sustainability Institute
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars General reader recommendation 18 Feb 2011
Format:Paperback
I approached this book as a weighty tome from the intellectual-heavy organisation Feasta. They produce very well researched writings on all aspects of our endangered environment covering climate change, resource depletion and the economic/banking consequences of this degradation. As an ordinary citizen who is very concerned at what is happening to our planet, Fleeing Vesuvius was a great read (but frightening) and did not overwhelm me with jargon and technical matter. One can browse in an informative and stimulating way between detailed articles or more general commentary on environment issues. One chapter on the concept of "enough" had me nodding my head vigorously after every sentence. I also liked the philosophical and emotional discussion on our ecological predictaments. All in all, I heartily recommend this important book to both professional and general readers who are interested in the future of our planet and mankind's place on it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Counter Shock Doctrine 25 Mar 2011
By Gregory - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The father of neo-liberalism and laissez-faire economics , Milton Friedman , said that " Only a crisis- real or perceived- produces real change. Our basic function is to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable."

As we stand today facing an angry planet comes this important book laying out a road map of hope for humanity and describing the hard work ahead. The book includes the necessary alternatives in economics, energy and most importantly human behavior that could make possible a soft landing from our current energy and resource crisis.

Unlike the recent post-disaster policies imposed by force in the US and around the globe, so well described by Naomi Klein in Shock Doctrine, the policies advanced here by the authors are developed in the open and will benefit all people and not just a privileged minority. The wider the audience for these ideas the greater our chances of collective survival.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For those who want more... 25 Aug 2011
By Karen - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is not a primer for beginners to the subject of Peak Oil. It is for folks who have absorbed the basics and are looking for more in depth thinking on all the different aspects of powerdown. The articles vary widely. There is something for everyone but not for the beginner.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading for the 21st Century 25 May 2011
By Stephen Kriz - Published on Amazon.com
This collection of essays is informative and enlightening, and at the same time, shocking and uplifting. The title alludes to the fact that the residents of Pompeii had heard rumblings and tremors long before Mount Vesuvius erupted but most people ignored them before the catastophic event that buried the city. Similarly, many people today think we can go on forever burning oil and coal-based fuels (i.e. fossil fuels) and everything will be fine. We can't and it won't. Oil is a finite, dirty resource and our society and economy is utterly dependent on it to exist. As oil runs out, as it surely will in the next 50 years, our economy will collapse as well. However, these essays aren't all gloom and doom. There are refreshingly innovative methods of building and sustaining a non-carbon-based society described in this book. I'm sure there will be naysayers who will read this and say its all bunk, but the facts are not on their side. Anyone who wants to see what the future looks like unless we radically change our mindsets and lifestyles should read this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and moving 8 Jan 2013
By Perry Freeze - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I greatly enjoyed this collection of essays which, as a whole, is greater than the sum of its parts. Each author provides critical thinking on the subject of economic and environmental crisis we currently face. The resulting collection gives a broad view that is also deeply motivating.
1 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Kindle too expensive 3 Oct 2011
By James S. Kelley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
No reason to be over 10$ for the equivalent paperback of 15$. There should be some sort of proportionality. Perhaps a competing site.
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