28 January 2011

Radio Ecoshock Interview

My interview with Radio Ecoshock, the web's premiere ecologically-oriented radio show, about my new book, A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It (2010). Listen to it here - my bit starts around 30 min in.

4 January 2011

My new book makes the Guardian's 'non-fiction choice'

On New Year's Day I was pleasantly surprised to find that A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It was given a pretty positive, if short, review by Steven Poole in the Guardian, alongside two other books, which you can read here. Here's the excerpt about mine (some of it might not entirely make sense without reading the other reviews):

If you still need something to worry about, how about a grand conflagration of climate, financial, energy, food, and civil-liberties crises, which might destroy the world as we know it before the century is out? Such troubles, Ahmed argues, are not blips in our civilisation but "integral to the ideology, structure and logic of the global political economy", which therefore needs to be changed if humanity is to survive.

Ahmed could be charged with a certain ebullience in his delineating of potential catastrophe, which will necessitate "the dawn of a post-carbon civilisation". But his arguments are in the main forceful and well-sourced, with particularly good sections on agribusiness, US policies of "energy security", and what he terms the "securitisation" of ordinary life by western governments. Finally he offers a rather catholic range of recommendations, including treating water and energy as "part of the Global Commons" and eliminating the lending of money at interest. Building more car-parks for philosophers and novelists to frolic in, sadly, doesn't seem to be on the world-saving agenda.

Short and sweet.

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