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Book Review: The Downside of Up - Catagenesis PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Thursday, 04 January 2007 17:49
The Downside of Up - Catagenesis

PEJ News -Bill Henderson - I got Thomas Homer-Dixon's THE UPSIDE OF DOWN for Christmas. I dove right in and remain happily immersed in this year's A SHORT HISTORY OF PROGRESS.

It's such a good read: San Fran in 1906, the day after the earthquake as the survivors try and stop the fires; jump/skip to a keystone in one arch of Rome's Coliseum and how it got there, Rome's rise as an empire and long decline; Americans in Iraq, the suburbs grown from cheap oil; our amazing, complex, emergent, globalized world, astonishingly, beautifully alive in the ecologist's eye, caught on video, for just a precious moment, before the peak.

The Downside of Up - Catagenesis

Bill Henderson
PEJ News
January 4, 2007

Diamond took us travelling the world; Wright chimped us through progress traps. 'Tad' has us in the car with him on our way to the very most up to date symposium on our Bottleneck predicament, where totally accredited egos will either pooh-pooh any talk of limits to growth or, ashen-faced, warn of imminent catastrophe, when suddenly we have to cross six lanes of LA freeway without power in order to survive and arrive late, missing the prelims. Whew!!

Like Heinberg and Kunstler our guide doesn't expect just a big bang and a THAT'S IT sign but a continuing world, although we might have to get out of the car and walk. David Suzuki has argued convincingly that we're racing along impetuously heading for a brickwall - Tad expects at least some of us to survive. Heck, we might even be able to buy a better new car with our insurance (if the insurance company survives the crash too). San Fran rebuilt, and with a much improved banking system; Rome survives today not only in history and ruins. Life will, in all probability, go on after peak oil and resource wars, after terrists, bird flu and/or runaway climate change, when Madonna is as old as Liz Taylor.

I joke a bit and am not doing Homer-Dixon justice because this is a great and very important book. I expect it will spread the inconvenient truth of imminent dislocation amongst the already awakening movers and shakers who drive everything. Tad calmly and clearly, and with an impressive modicum of ideology/bias, describes and quantifies the differing risks of dislocation and then points out to the movers and shakers and those of us reading along as passengers what to expect, how to increase the chances of our survival, and how to make the most of the opportunity of continuing life, if in a powerdown future.

A fun read for us passengers, but Warren, Bill: what do you think? Will we still be able to log on and play bridge? Won't we? - text Tad at theupsideofdown.com  And don't listen to any of this pessimism George - trust your instincts and listen for God's instruction. You're drivin.

bill (at) pacificfringe.net

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 January 2007 17:49

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