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In this existential meditation, Roy Scranton is not setting out to get you to go solar, or ride your bike to work. He's trying to convince you to accept that global warming is changing the world and that life as we know it is unsustainable. That humanity's greatest threat is "not terrorism, not WMDs but the machine of civilization breaking down," and the sooner we collectively accept this and the better we can cope and adapt.
With the prognosis as it is, a book like this is long overdue. A grief counselor for humanity. Scranton writes of serving in the military, "to survive as a soldier I had to learn to accept the inevitability of my own death, for humanity to to survive in the Anthropocene, we need to learn to live with and through the end of our civilization." The only way forward is acceptance.
This is a rich and deep philosophy and necessary for thinking and sensitive people.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Very thought provoking book. It did not take quite the path I had hoped. But I recommend it heartily just the same.
This book deals with the topic of humanity coming to grasp with what might be the end of our civilization. An end that we have essentially brought on ourselves. There is nothing optimistic or hopeful in this book. The author sees no way out of the mess we have made of our planet and clearly believes that it is far too late to affect meaningful change and all of the "solutions" we have come up with to address the poisoning of our planet are too little, too late. He quickly dismisses most of the solutions that even now the eternal optimists among us promote - solar, wind and hyrdo power.
He shines light on many of the hypocritical events activists use to garner attention to their cause, and quickly explains why demonstrations, sit-ins, marches, etc. have absolutely no effect on the society they want to touch.
The author seems to have gone through the stages of grief and is now at the point of acceptance and asks the reader to join him there. Once we have accepted the inevitable, he believes, we can start discussing how humanity could and should work through the next steps, how we prepare, what and who we look to for guidance (not necessarily scientist, he thinks it is too late for them, but philosophers.) It is as if he wants civilization to think about how we can grow old gracefully and accept our fate without losing our humanity. Only once we get to this point, can we figure out if there is a path forward for at least some of us, so we can have some influence on the next civilization this planet creates.
It has been several days since read this and I find myself thinking about the book frequently. Very powerful.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful