I believe this will be an important and very thoughtful contribution to the often shallow and scarily short-term climate and sustainability debates running in Australia, the US and elsewhere.
What follows is the UK press release for Paul's book (see cover pic at bottom):
This Great Disruption started in 2008, with spiking food and oil prices and dramatic ecological change. We’re at it again in 2011, with weather extremes driving record food prices and political tension fueling peak oil driven price spikes. It’s time to face reality – we have come to the end of Economic Growth, Version 1.0, a world economy based on consumption and waste, where we lived beyond the means of our planet's ecosystems and resources. The earth is full – and it’s time to brace for impact.
The Great Disruption offers a stark and unflinching look at the economic challenge facing humanity - yet contains a deeply optimistic message. The coming decades will see loss, suffering, and conflict with a synchronised, related crash of the economy and the ecosystem leading to food shortages, massive economic change and geopolitical instability. However, they will also bring humanity’s best: compassion, innovation, resilience and adaptability; and more good news - there is life after shopping!
It is true, as some advocates argue, we could choose to let a dog-eat-dog response to the crisis drive us into ever smaller conflicting groups of regions, nations and communities – of defensive and scared people fighting over what’s left, fighting for physical survival. In that scenario, we would lose millennia of human development and have to effectively start again, just hoping the cycle wouldn’t repeat itself.
Or, we can choose to consciously overcome that tendency, as we have in the past. We can draw on what is great about being human and dig deep to express our highest potential – the potential that can take us through the coming crisis and out the other side to a stronger, safer and more advanced civilisation.
Gilding tells us how to choose the latter, and how to fight and win what he calls ‘the One Degree War’ to prevent catastrophic warming. With his background as both a senior global activist and as strategy advisor to numerous global corporations, he describes this challenge both in its social and geopolitical implications but also as a business opportunity greater than any in history.
PAUL GILDING is an Australian advocate for sustainability and climate change who has spent 35 years campaigning for a balanced use of Earth’s resources. His experience has ranged from being the global head of Greenpeace to advisor many Fortune 100 corporations.
'One of those who has been warning me of [a coming crisis] for a long time is Paul Gilding, the Australian environmental business expert. He has a name for this moment--when both Mother Nature and Father Greed have hit the wall at once--"The Great Disruption."'
Thomas Friedman in the New York Times