16 November 2010

The Oil Drum Book Review of A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization

Oil Drum contributing editor Jeff Vail reviews of my book here for one of the world's leading online energy analysis journals:

Anyone who has spent much time discussing peak oil, the collapse of civilizations, climate change or modern security issues eventually confronts the issue of historical antecedents. The [Insert choice of vanished civilization here] collapsed because of X, and that’s the same thing that is happening now . . . . For those who have delved more deeply into such lines of argument, one thing becomes abundantly clear: historical civilizations did not collapse for a single reason. Rather, their troubles, descent and eventual demise or transition were the result of a system of crises. Fast-forward to present, and there is no shortage of commentary forecasting crisis or collapse of our modern civilization. Perhaps for purposes of marketing, simplicity, or simple ignorance, we are awash in commentary on how climate change will spell disaster, or how peak oil will spell disaster, or famine or disease, etc. But these analysts have failed to advance a comprehensive systems-theory approach to our civilization’s troubles. Enter Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed.

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