An Inconvenient Apocalypse: Environmental Collapse, Climate Crisis, and the Fate of Humanity

Univ. of Notre Dame. Sept. 2022. 248p. ISBN 9780268203665. pap. $24. SCI
Jackson (Consulting the Genius of the Place) and Jensen (We Are All Apocalyptic Now) take a hard look at the near future as climate change intensifies and predict looming crises will lead to human suffering and radical changes. The consuming activities of humans have pushed the planet far over its carrying capacity and degraded essential ecosystems. Increased recycling and switching to electric vehicles won’t save the Western world lifestyle. Nor can people rely on geoengineering projects to halt climate change. Jackson and Jensen blame energy-seeking human nature for bringing us to this point, stating that we must ration carbon and limit its extraction. In the coming decades, they expect unprecedented energy drawdown, likely a collapse to a much smaller population and simpler societies. Surviving farmers and villagers might find themselves living as many Indigenous Americans on reservations do now, with rickety infrastructures at best. The authors reference the Old Testament and Octavia Butler’s science fiction novels.
VERDICT Jackson and Jensen cut through pervasive denial about humanity’s destiny in a more hostile environment. As in an effective seminar, they posit a situation and then raise questions that will resonate with readers.
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