The Best of Times, the Worst of Times: Futures from the Frontiers of Climate Science

The Best of Times, the Worst of Times: Futures from the Frontiers of Climate Science

Paul Behrens

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The environmental emergency is the greatest threat we face. Preventing it will require an unprecedented political and social response. And yet, there is still hope.

Academic, physicist, environmental expert and award-winning science communicator Paul Behrens presents a radical analysis of a civilisation on the brink of catastrophe. Setting out the pressing existential threats we face, he writes, in alternating chapters, of what the future could look like at its most pessimistic and hopeful.

In lucid prose, Behrens argues that structural problems need structural solutions, and examines critical areas in which political will is required, including women’s education, food and energy security, biodiversity and economics.

'This is an incredibly important book and I want the whole world to read it.’ Dean Bakopoulos, author of Please Don't Come Back from the Moon and Summerlong

'Essential reading for all.’ Jan Carson, author of The Fire Starters

‘A powerful, up-to-date, and sometimes terrifying primer on the stupendous global problems we face today.' David Christian, Professor of Russian and European History at Macquarie University and author of Origin Story: A Big History of Everything

‘Behrens provides a wealth of critically important facts, accessibly and insightfully related by presentations alternately slanted to pessimistic and optimistic attitudes.’ Herman Daly, Emeritus Professor at the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland and author of Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development

‘An extraordinary distillation of science, policy, and common sense without being tedious or dismal.’ David Orr, Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics at Oberlin College Emeritus and author of Dangerous Years: Climate Change, the Long Emergency, and the Way Forward

‘Paul's book is truly amazing and I think everyone should read it. You'll learn so much, I promise. It's like a though manual for the future. It's just plain great.’ Julia Steinberger, Professor of Ecological Economics at the University of Leeds

'Scientists have warned that tipping points could drive the Earth System past a fork in the road to two different futures. This book – beautifully written with a powerful format – vividly describes what these futures might look like, and how we might steer society towards a liveable future.’ Will Steffen, Emeritus Professor at the Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University


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