The Upside of Down

24 November 2007 at 12:39 am Leave a comment

Upside of Down cover
Andrew Curry writes:

I was asked to write a paragraph on a book which had influenced my thinking in 2007 for a forthcoming issue of the WPP newspaper The Wire. My choice: Thomas Homer-Dixon’s book The Upside of Down:

The Upside of Down changed the way I look at the world. It is about what holds together the complex systems which make our societies work. The answer, in short, is energy – and in particular, energy which doesn’t take very much energy to produce. Sun works well in warm countries; oil is perfect. As societies get more complex, they have to create and shift ever more energy, which makes them even more complex. When the easy energy starts to run out, collapse follows. Homer-Dixon brings his argument to life with stories about the Roman Empire and Californian fires. So where’s the upside? Only this: it may not be too late to make our shift to a world of scarcer energy less disastrous than it was for the Romans.

I’ll blog some more when The Wire is published on the other entries.

Entry filed under: books, sustainability.

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