ISBN 978-0-230-34218-7. “The Big Flatline – Oil and the No-Growth Economy” by Jeff Rubin was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012. You remember Jeff don’t you? He wrote the outstanding “How Your World is About to get a Whole Lot Smaller” in 2009. It is a work that we recommend everyone reads. Not only was it a good read but it had a certain gravitas being from a man who had spent his career as the chief economist at CIBC Markets in Canada. Sadly no more. Now he is just an author who “blogs for the Huffington Post”. Nowadays he earns his money by writing about energy economics. And if there is one thing he knows it is the energy markets. So how do you follow up a classic?
ISBN 978-1-4441-7440-3. The “All That Matters” book on “Sustainability” by Chris Goodall was published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2012. This is a small book that fits nicely in your pocket with only 154 pages. The blurb says that “All That Matters” books are written by “the world’s leading experts”. Certainly Chris is that. We are a big fan (we admit it). We will read anything he writes including his excellent blogs. So it is interesting to see how his work has evolved over the years. Those who have followed his work can’t help but notice that THIS book reveals a lot about the current state of Chris’s mind. So, what does he think today about sustainability?
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 978-0-1410-4214-5. “The Plundered Planet – How to Reconcile Prosperity with Nature” by Paul Collier was published in 2010 by Allen Lane (although the review copy was the 2011 imprint by Penguin Books). With a title like that this sounds like a really useful and interesting book. Collier is an Economics Professor at Oxford University and once held a position at the World Bank. He is best known for his book “The Bottom Billion” and his field of expertise is third world development. “The Plundered Planet” covers such development through resource exploitation. What caught our eye was the provocative header note “forget everything you’ve ever been told about how to solve the World’s problems”. The problem is that Collier just repeats “everything you’ve been told” with bells on.