God's Last Offer: Negotiating for a Sustainable Future

Ed Ayres, Author Four Walls Eight Windows $22 (357p) ISBN 978-1-56858-125-5
""The window of opportunity is closing fast,"" cautions World Watch editor Ayres, who urges us to seize ""God's last offer"" of precious time and to reverse the global trends that threaten ecological catastrophe and societal collapse. His levelheaded, closely argued manifesto identifies ""four spikes"" of revolutionary change that endanger planetary survival: first, global warming caused by a rise in carbon dioxide emissions due to overreliance on fossil fuels; second, loss of biodiversity through mass extinctions of plant and animal species; third, a surge of unsustainable, resource-depleting consumption as global media and advertising goad the rest of the world to ape the West's consumerist binge; finally, exploding population growth, which exacerbates all the other trends. Ayres's painstaking analysis of these problems, and of how they feed into one another, presents a forceful challenge to those who deny that a crisis exists or minimize its seriousness. Sifting through the ecopolitical debates of the last quarter century, Ayres dismantles the perceptual obstructions that block our awareness of a crisis: truncated news, propaganda by vested interests, diversionary disputes, apathy, fragmentation of knowledge. While his reflective essay comes up short in offering specific solutions, its primary aim is to reorient thinking, and in that it succeeds, making it a vital companion to the Worldwatch Institute's popular annual report, State of the World. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/29/1999
Release date: 04/01/1999
Paperback - 358 pages - 978-1-56858-174-3
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