Thursday, October 3, 2019

Book Review: 'Climate Disruption: The Knockout Punch' by Michael Cruit and Pat Lauderdale

Climate Disruption:  The Knockout Punch by [Pat Lauderdale, Michael Cruit -]
Authors Michael Cruit, Director, Herbert Blumer Institute for Applied and Creative Science and Art, Costa Rica, and Pat Lauderdale, Professor, Justice and Social Inquiry, Arizona State University, present their second book of concern about the interaction between humans and the environment. Their initial book was INVITATION TO GLOBOLOGY: AN ALIEN PERSPECTIVE and now they offer CLIMATE DISRUPTION: THE KNOCKOUT PUNCH. Their conjoined efforts are clearly stated – ‘Our focus in this book is to tell a story using the most credible scientific facts. We hope to inform and awaken and warn humanity of the dangers of mass consumption, not only of carbon-based energy, but of myriad “consumer products” fashioned from Earth elements. Although the word “apocalypse” has evolved to mean a cataclysmic event, the original meaning in the ancient Greek was “uncovering” or “revealing.” In this sense, we look boldly at the cataclysmic event looming before us and hope for an awakening, an uncovering.’

It is refreshing for those of us who stand in disbelief that our government continues to ignore climate change, let alone the causes of same, to read this book written by tow well informed thinkers who are concerned enough about our destiny that they place this book before the public. In their Introduction they clearly state, ‘The transformations now occurring within the Earth’s climate and ecosystems portend a drastic impact on human survival, and yet most humans are unaware or indifferent, mainly because mainstream cultural outlets ignore the danger or cover it with disinformation. The disruption occurring in Earth’s ecosystem is reflected in a corresponding decline and disruption in social organization, which is exactly what we see during the last century. Human societies are an inextricable part of the ecosystem and as the ecosystem deteriorates, so too does human experience. This book tells the story of how disruption of Nature impacts social reality and how social realities impact on Nature.’

To merely offer portions of this book as a review would be a disservice to the authors’ intention – this is a book that explains the multifaceted factors that indicate eventual extinction of life on this planet. ‘The record also reveals a fine dynamic between the random explosion of life and the importance of permanent, stable conditions – another symbiotic relationship. Although mass extinctions have been rare in Earth’s history, they teach us that disturbances in the fine-tuned balance can lead to dire consequences for all of Nature, including humans, of course. (Humans had never witnessed a mass extinction event on a global level, let alone imagined themselves among the endangered.) The striking population growth among humans, coupled with global exploration and trade, introduced invasive species on all continents, upsetting the local equilibrium and contributing to species extinction. Very often, the invasive species was human.’ Or as the synopsis states, ‘Earth is in the midst of a transformation not seen since the days of the dinosaurs. Events occur today that the human race never experienced, including the 6th mass extinction event and a warming atmosphere. These events occur on the ecological level and since human societies are an inextricable part of Earth’s ecology they too are effected directly. Thus, as the ecosystem deteriorates, so too does human experience. And now we are close to the Knockout Punch! This book tells the story of how disruption of Nature impacts social reality and how social realities impact on Nature.’

This book is a necessary and welcome wakeup call and should be required reading not only by us, but also by the figures on the government level to accept a proven reality and act to conserve. Grady Harp, July 18

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.