ISBN 978-0-86571-609-4. “The Long Descent – A User’s Guide to the End of the Industrial Age” by John Michael Greer was published by New Society in 2008. Well over two years ago we reviewed Greer’s “The Ecotechnic Future” and generally quite liked his work. “The Long Descent” is essentially the same book reworked into a new form. If you read one you pretty much get the other. In his last book Greer challenged the ‘sudden collapse’ beliefs of the Peak Oil crowd. For him it would be a drawn-out descent of several hundred years. In THIS work Greer spends more time unravelling the cultural origins of both the ‘sudden collapse’ & what he calls the “myth of progress”.
ISBN 978-0-141-04571-9. “Whoops – Why everyone owes everyone and no one can pay” by John Lanchester was published by Penguin Books in 2010 (this paperback edition has new material - the original was published in 2010 by Allen Lane). You can almost fall in love with this book from its great subtitle. However when you read it you will note a strong resemblance to “How Markets Fail – The Logic of Economic Calamities” by John Cassidy (2009 Penguin ISBN 978-0-141-03651-9) which we reviewed on Oct 16th 2012. Whereas Cassidy provides a long history of the origins of modern neo-liberal economics; Lanchester chooses to cut straight to how the crash happened and who was to blame. Beyond that, he asks the questions we should all be asking: when is enough, enough?
ISBN 978 1 905570 33 1. “The End of Growth – Adapting to Our New Economic Reality” was written by Richard Heinberg and published by Clairview Books in 2011. This is a “living book” and updates can be found at www.endofgrowth.com (although this just takes you to http://richardheinberg.com/!). For your money you get 322 pages including Acknowledgements, an Introduction of ten parts followed by 7 chapters broken down into 48 topic-based sections, Notes and Index. The inside cover bristles with “advance praise” (how does that work?) from the likes of Herman E Daly, Lester Brown, Bill McKibben, Caroline Lucas and James Gustav Speth. This is Heinberg’s sixth major outing in print. His seminal work “The Party’s Over” has been a springboard for countless thousands of people who previously didn’t comprehend what Peak OIl meant for them. Continue reading
ISBN 978-0-7453-3053-2. “A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization and how to save it” was written by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed and published by Pluto Press in 2010. Also see our review of the “film of the book” here. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed is the Executive Director of the London-based think tank the Institute for Policy Research and Development. His previous books include “The War on Truth” (2005) and “The London Bombings” (2006). His previous work (as this suggests) was more closely related to studying the links between Western Security forces and Islamic Terrorist groups. However Nafeez also appear in the film “Oil, Smoke and Mirrors” which covered Peak Oil and the politics of the War on Terror (tag line “there is no war on terror;only a war for oil”). Digging into the murky realities of international terrorism remains his strongest point and the rest of “crisis” is built around his latest research on this one topic.