Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
God's Last Offer: Negotiating for a Sustainable Future Paperback – August 10, 2000
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
From Publishers Weekly
"The window of opportunity is closing fast," cautions World Watch editor Ayres, who urges us to seize "God's last offer" of precious time and to reverse the global trends that threaten ecological catastrophe and societal collapse. His levelheaded, closely argued manifesto identifies "four spikes" of revolutionary change that endanger planetary survival: first, global warming caused by a rise in carbon dioxide emissions due to overreliance on fossil fuels; second, loss of biodiversity through mass extinctions of plant and animal species; third, a surge of unsustainable, resource-depleting consumption as global media and advertising goad the rest of the world to ape the West's consumerist binge; finally, exploding population growth, which exacerbates all the other trends. Ayres's painstaking analysis of these problems, and of how they feed into one another, presents a forceful challenge to those who deny that a crisis exists or minimize its seriousness. Sifting through the ecopolitical debates of the last quarter century, Ayres dismantles the perceptual obstructions that block our awareness of a crisis: truncated news, propaganda by vested interests, diversionary disputes, apathy, fragmentation of knowledge. While his reflective essay comes up short in offering specific solutions, its primary aim is to reorient thinking, and in that it succeeds, making it a vital companion to the Worldwatch Institute's popular annual report, State of the World.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Ayres, editorial director of the environmental group Worldwatch, sees the world's recent spate of natural and economic disasters all stemming from human degradation of the planet. Hurricanes, floods, droughts, and the collapse of Asian economies, Ayres argues, are the result of four interconnected threats: the rise of carbon gas emissions, increasing extinctions of plant and animal species, an unsustainable rate of consumption, and an ever-growing human population. Together they have not only altered our weather patterns (e.g., global warming), they have put unbearable stresses on national economies, resulting in foundering currencies and roller-coaster financial markets. Ayres delineates several of these connected environmental and economic catastrophes, such as the drying of the Ogallala Aquifer, which stretches from Texas to South Dakota and provides irrigation for America's breadbasket. But this isn't scaremongering. Objective and detailed, it's must reading for all concerned about the fate of Earth and its inhabitants. Brian McCombie --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
After briefly summarizing the ways in which the overall environmental threats are interconnected with our overall problems and our unnecessarily wasteful materialistic lifestyles, he identifies the four most dangerous master processes (or mega-phenomena) that are quickly altering the basis for biological life on earth. First among these is the rise on carbon gas emissions, which he links to the overuse of private automobile transportation and the rapidly dwindling degree of forestation in the world, especially in the Amazon area of the new hemisphere. Among other things, this is quickly changing the nature of the world's weather, and this single fact is extremely worrying to Ayres. Next he describes the ways in which the various technological implementations have expedited the rate of species extinction, rapidly depleted and profoundly weakening the primordial basis for life on the planet itself.
Likewise, this profound intrusion into the nature of the biosphere threatens the foundations of biological life itself, and we must recognize how threatening this is to us as a species. Third, he points out the number of ways in which the ever-accelerating degree of human over-consumption of the world's limited resources, and has the unfortunate side effect of also despoiling and polluting the world's potable water (and food) supplies. Finally, he shows how the explosion in world population combined with the other three master processes will soon stress the third world countries toward a catastrophic collision with their own degrading environmental conditions.
Ayres also extends his argument to mount a stinging indictment of the relatively sophisticated and dangerously disingenuous efforts on the part of money-grubbing global corporations, international institutions, and various governmental bodies to mislead and misguide public perceptions and awareness of the increasingly dangerous situation. Their callous manipulation of the instruments of the media have lulled the masses of the so-called advanced countries into a frightening degree of apathy and complacency regarding the environment. In a world that revolves around making money and corporate profits, the last thing anyone in a position of authority and responsibility wants to have to publicly confront and recognize is the almost herculean effort (and the corresponding drastic alteration in our lifestyles and level of individual consumption) necessary in order to effectively change the practices and approaches of an economy so organized and so perpetuated.
In concluding, the author recommends a number of practical approaches that would be instrumental in turning the tide into amore positive direction. While admitting the social, political, and economic difficulties associated with so doing, he argues that what is necessary in order to avoid the environmental catastrophes otherwise directly confronting us, we must rapidly shift our perspectives, values, and practices and learn very quickly to relate to each other and to the world around us in a much more responsible and comprehensive fashion. This is a wonderful book and is one I highly recommend for anyone concerned about learning more about the massive ways in which the human assault on the ecosystem is threatening our continuing survival as a society and as a species.
While only the text of it can be easily found on the web ([...] ), it summarizes eloquently some of the resource-availability-and-impact issues which are masterfully detailed in this extremely important book "God's Last Offer: Negotiating for a Sustainable Future".
Civilized countries should revise their educational programs to incorporate this book into their systems while there may be time to revert some of the human-made ecological disasters that result from the common "Quick Buck" mentality and particularly the cruelty associated with animal meat consumption - but, unfortunately they will not. Well established meat profiting industries, as well as, idiotic religious fervor will get in the way to promote the perpetual and biggest crime of humanity. What a shame!
By all means - BUY THIS BOOK if you haven't.