The Collapse of Western Civilization by Naomi Oreskes & Erik M. Conway
Apparently in the future western culture will adopt the “Bhutanian concept of gross domestic happiness” to measure the well-being of a country instead of using the gross domestic product. I like that idea, and I love this adorable high quality mini-book. It’s a quick read and is about the future of climate change, covering 400 years spanning from a few decades ago up to about the year 2400. (It’s technically science fiction since it’s written like it already happened.)
The book (and the fictional author of the report) seeks to explain how human inaction led to the Great Collapse, the breaking up of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the resulting worldwide catastrophe. It is written report style, but never goes into so much detail that it becomes too boring (though you may disagree).
2040: heat waves and droughts cause extensive malnourishment, disease, destruction of crops, food riots, and spikes in insect populations (and resulting spikes in contagious diseases). 2050: martial law, beginning of societal collapse, growth of the Great North American Desert, a merging of the U.S. and Canada.
By 2060 climate engineering projects had backfired and the rebound effect after cessation of them had caused a 5 degree Celsius increase in world temperatures. Then the Arctic permafrost really let loose and a sudden increase in methane release causes a strong positive feedback loop between higher temperatures and methane release.
And what comes next will be in the next post. 🙂