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The Future is Not What it Used to be: Climate Change and Energy Scarcity Hardcover – 13 Sep 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: MIT Press (13 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262019248
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262019248
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,434,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

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.--Robin Lovelace "Environmental Values "

"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.--Robin Lovelace "Environmental Values "

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.--Citation from the Rachel Carson Award, given by the Society of Environmental Journalists

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.

--Robin Lovelace "Environmental Values "

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.

--Citation from the Rachel Carson Award, given by the Society of Environmental Journalists

About the Author

Jorg Friedrichs teaches at the University of Oxford in the Department of International Development.

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Format: Hardcover
This was a gruelling read but I emerged the other side of it better informed about the long-term prospects of industrial civilisation than ever before.

To put this book into context, I was asked to write it for Environmental Values, have reviewed books such as the Ecotechnic Future and Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition. To summarise, 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.

For the full review, please see www .whpress.co.uk/EV/EVrev.html
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