Chaos Point: The World at the Crossroads: Seven Years to Avoid Global Collapse and Promote Worldwide Renewal. Paperback – 27 Apr 2006
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"This book will change the world." --James O'Dea, President, The Institute of Noetic Sciences
"'The chaos point' argues that we are at a critical point in history, one in which resources are fast being depleted, hundreds of millions live in crushing poverty, and local choices have global impact. Laszlo says society can either break down or break through to a new future by making different choices--choices he outlines in the book"--Provided
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The author, who has written many books on a variety of subjects, is probably best described as a futurist – someone who examines the ills of society with the purpose and hope of turning unfavourable situations around for the benefit of all concerned. Many of the problems he defines here have been described by previous authors, and addressed through the work of international social or environmental agencies.
The core issue described here is that humankind is on course for extinction if we either ignore global problems or simply tinker at the edges in addressing them. The economic and environmental conditions existing in the world will soon (within decades?) reach a ‘tipping point’ or ‘chaos point’ beyond which they will change irreversibly and possibly disastrously unless we take coordinated global action to alter attitudes and practices, in both the rich and developing countries alike.
So, many agencies are convinced that there is an urgent need for change in social philosophies. But how is this to be achieved? Individual human nature is likely to be essentially the same in the next few decades as it has been in the past few decades. It is only by coordinated action by influential groups of people that any worthwhile changes can be implemented. Such groups will have many factors working against them and over which they will have little control – violent political upheavals; global epidemics like AIDS, bird flu or Ebola; rapidly changing weather systems; exponentially increasing global population; and, as nations are forced to work ever more closely together, an increasing anti-globalization movement.
The author questions whether these factors would comprise complete ‘limits to growth’ or rather that they would provide limits to growth only as we have seen it in the past. After a brief digression into chaos theory in general, Laszlo considers how these destabilizing factors may lead to the ‘tipping point’ or ‘chaos point’. There are some disturbing statistics here. The average amount of commercial electrical energy consumed by Africans is 0.5 kWh per person; for Australians and Americans this increases up to 8 kWh per person. The U.S. alone consumes 25% of the world’s energy but has only 4% of the world population. These are the trends we must divert. Greed is still the dominant philosophy in the affluent countries of the world.
There are excellent succinct sections here on economic, ecological and social unsustainabilities. Laszlo describes how there have been ‘shifts in civilizations’ in the historical past – from Mythos to Theos to Logos in philosophical terms – and how we need to provoke a corresponding global change now.
The Postscript section of this book on the scientific background to these human social trends is rather less generally accessible but the Appendix of Comments by Members and Partners of the Club of Budapest (Peter Russell, Ed Mitchell, Karan Singh, Thomas Berry and others) makes interesting reading. This is a highly thought-provoking book. Let us hope it will be equally action-provoking!!
Howard Jones is the author of Evolution of Consciousness
The teachings in this book should be taught in every school, college and university for our species depends on a shift in consciousness and I could not think of any one more clear or committed to promoting this world shift than Ervin Lazslo
Read it you,will not regret it and you will certainly learn a great deal.
This book will open your eyes - and you will never think about the world we inhabit in the same way ever again.