The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future

Paperback | July 1, 2014

byNaomi Oreskes, Erik M. Conway

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The year is 2393, and the world is almost unrecognizable. Clear warnings of climate catastrophe went ignored for decades, leading to soaring temperatures, rising sea levels, widespread drought and-finally-the disaster now known as the Great Collapse of 2093, when the disintegration of the West Antarctica Ice Sheet led to mass migration and a complete reshuffling of the global order. Writing from the Second People's Republic of China on the 300th anniversary of the Great Collapse, a senior scholar presents a gripping and deeply disturbing account of how the children of the Enlightenment-the political and economic elites of the so-called advanced industrial societies-failed to act, and so brought about the collapse of Western civilization.

In this haunting, provocative work of science-based fiction, Naomi Oreskes and Eric M. Conway imagine a world devastated by climate change. Dramatizing the science in ways traditional nonfiction cannot, the book reasserts the importance of scientists and the work they do and reveals the self-serving interests of the so called "carbon combustion complex" that have turned the practice of science into political fodder. Based on sound scholarship and yet unafraid to speak boldly, this book provides a welcome moment of clarity amid the cacophony of climate change literature.

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From the Publisher

The year is 2393, and the world is almost unrecognizable. Clear warnings of climate catastrophe went ignored for decades, leading to soaring temperatures, rising sea levels, widespread drought and-finally-the disaster now known as the Great Collapse of 2093, when the disintegration of the West Antarctica Ice Sheet led to mass migratio...

Naomi Oreskes is professor of the history of science and affiliated professor of Earth and planetary sciences at Harvard University. Her 2004 essay "The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change," cited by Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth (2006), led to op-ed pieces in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chr...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:104 pages, 6.75 × 4.75 × 0.68 inPublished:July 1, 2014Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023116954X

ISBN - 13:9780231169547

Customer Reviews of The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future

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Rated 1 out of 5 by from Love it? - Not so much. What started off with so much intellectual promise quickly degenerated into a 52 page mish mash of disconnected quasi political and scientific nonsense. While I respect Ms. Oreskes for many of her other literary works, this one, unfortunately, doesn't pass the challenge. The publication certainly is not worth the $9.95 + tax I paid for it at Indigo.
Date published: 2016-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A scary and so probable future What will the scholars write about our failure to stop in time our widespread environmental destruction? Probably something similar to that awesome work of anticipation from two science historians. This book should be a mandatory reading, so no one will be able to say they didnt knew.
Date published: 2015-08-21

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. The Coming of the Penumbral Age2. The Frenzy of Fossil Fuels3. Market FailureEpilogueLexicon of Archaic TermsInterview with the AuthorsNotesAbout the Authors

Editorial Reviews

The Collapse of Western Civilization illustrates the potential dangers from climate change, which can help readers think more clearly about the risk management choices society faces. The book may also encourage scientists to reflect on their role in society. If it helps scientists engage more effectively with the public by focusing on the key strengths of science, the book could help improve a flawed political system and enhance the potential for all branches of science to further benefit society.