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Hell and High Water: Climate Change, Hope and the Human Condition Paperback – June 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 285 pages
  • Publisher: Birlinn Ltd (June 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841586226
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841586229
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #359,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Soil and Soul by Alistair McIntosh:'a terrific book' - Brian Logan, The Guardian'the book of the decade' - Robin Harper MSP'This is a world-changing book ... one day it'll be recognised as a classic' - Sunday Express'It is a beautifully written analysis' - Scotland on Sunday'A book of passion and wit ... weaving a dizzying range of ideas into a bright fabric ... It is a book every Scot should read' - John Burnside, The Scotsman

About the Author

Alastair McIntosh is a Scottish writer and campaigner for social justice and environmental sustainability. He holds fellowships at the Centre for Human Ecology, the E. F. Schumacher Society and the Academy of Irish Cultural Heritages at the University of Ulster. In 2005 the University of Strathclyde gave him an honorary post as Scotland's first professor of human ecology. He lectures around the world at institutions including the Russian Academy of Sciences, the World Council of Churches, WWF International and, for the past decade, teaching nonviolence on the Advanced Command & Staff Course at Britain's leading military staff college.

More About the Author

Alastair McIntosh (b. 1955) is a Scottish writer, broadcaster and activist on social, environmental and spiritual issues, raised on the Isle of Lewis. A Fellow of the Centre for Human Ecology and a Visiting Professor at the University of Strathclyde, he holds a BSc from the University of Aberdeen, an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in liberation theology and land reform from the University of Ulster.

His books include Hell & High Water: Climate Change, Hope and the Human Condition on the cultural and spiritual dimensions of climate change, Rekindling Community on the spiritual basis of inter-relationship, and Soil and Soul: People versus Corporate Power on land reform and environmental protection - the latter described as "world changing" by George Monbiot, "life changing" by the Bishop of Liverpool and "truly mental" by Thom Yorke of Radiohead.

For the past 8 years he and his wife, Vérène Nicolas, have lived in Govan where he is a founding director of the GalGael Trust for the regeneration of people and place. A Quaker, he lectures around the world at institutions including WWF International, the World Council of Churches, the Russian Academy of Sciences and the UK Defence Academy (on nonviolence). His driving passion is to explore the deep roots of what it can mean to become fully human, and use such insights to address the pressing problems of our times.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Susanne Moser on July 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
I assume Alastair McIntosh must receive hundreds of emails appreciating his books. But maybe not so many from climate change scientists. I am of that tribe, sent him one, and feel compelled to provide this appreciation more publicly.

I read Hell and High Water in a day, and it IS - simply - the best on the topic of climate change. As a scientist, I appreciate the author's faithfulness to the science, his straight talk on the technological options, the clearer-eyed perspective on the politics surrounding energy and climate change, and Mr. McIntosh's analysis of our violent consumer culture. I also honor his utter honesty, his own story of loss and pain woven subtly throughout the book, the lack of pretense about how "clean" and green we all are (and can be) in this messy world. Maybe most of all, I appreciate his call for a return to soul. Maybe that won't save our skin - but it will save our humanity.

Read it! Then give it to your friend, your parents, your children, your boss and colleagues. Give it to everyone for Christmas and their birthdays. Give it to someone who needs to be reminded of their soul - come Hell or High Water!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Todd J. Levasseur on December 15, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author adds a unique perspective to the growing publications on climate change. He begins with a summary of climate science and then moves on to a psychoanalysis of western culture and its consumptive ways. His work on interconnecting hubris, spirituality, hospice, and mythos are a fresh take on why we seem to be unable to stop emitting ghgs. Well written, poetic, full of interesting quotes (from the author and from cited sources), this is a different take on a subject that will only see more books in the coming years. Worth the read, as it opens new doors and charts new paths for trying to deal with what is coming our way.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Peter Vido on April 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
For those who can digest the truth about climate change if it is served on a platter of hope, here is a book which stands in a league of its own on the mountaintop. In a remarkable synthesis of science, humanitarianism and spirituality, Alastair McIntosh's Hell and High Water may well be the most holistic presentation to date on the challenges rapidly converging on our doorstep.

Knowing at least some of Alastair's activist work, in his native Scotland as well as internationally, he brings to mind a combination of Wendell Berry, Ivan Illich and Mahatma Gandhi. In addition, while writing Hell and High Water, he seems like a mad archaeologist with an oversized shovel digging for clues to help him better understand our present predicament; in the process he churned up an impressive amount of ground. The roadmap he draws for the future is a refreshing addition to other writers' proposed solutions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. H. A. Jones on July 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
Hell and High Water: Climate Change, Hope and the Human Condition, by Alastair McIntosh, Birlinn, Edinburgh, 2008, 304 ff

Survival into the next century?

This would be a good book for study in schools because it offers scientific and technical information about ecology, sociology and psychology at a level that is very accessible. The author, a Scottish environmentalist, relates this to the inner life and thence the outward actions of all of us. Essentially, it's a book about climate change and the human mind-set that has brought it about but continues to deny any responsibility. It also gives us constructive suggestions for a way forward.

The first part of the book on Climate Change focuses on the science and politics responsible for our current situation, with supporting data. It is balanced in approach but speaks honestly about the potential dangers of ignoring the facts that are now available to us about the effects the human species has had on the Earth, especially since the Industrial Revolution. It is informative and thought-provoking.

Part 2 of the book on The Human Condition looks at how we are living currently, our perceptions of life and the absence of thought for much of the population about their inner lives. If our only purpose is to pursue a hedonistic existence, any sensitivity or concern for the planet that supports and nurtures us seems irrelevant - at least for now! As this is the way of life of the majority of us, it is not surprising that we now find ourselves in a situation where that life support system on which our very existence depends is being systematically destroyed. This part of the book is illustrated with poetry and psychology.
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