A roadmap towards a safe planet.
What is the greatest challenge facing humanity this century? The answer is, how we can produce the energy and resources we need without endangering the future of human life on the planet. And yet, there aren’t many books which present technical and political strategies for a rapid progress towards a safe planet – one powered by clean renewable energy alone. This is a real pity because many intelligent people would love to read a book on this subject.
SAFE PLANET is the first book to describe a road-map towards a new world, a safe planet.
It combines meteorological data and existing tried and tested technologies and it tackles the sticky problem of the existing global political and economic power structures.
This optimistic book is a rallying cry for all those concerned about what the future holds for their children. If you are worried about your energy bills and the price of fuel, about the prospect of 'the lights going out', if you want to stop the environmental pollution and the alarming rate of species extinction, if you are against fracking, if you are for a cleaner better transport and energy infrastructure, if you are sick of the rich getting ever richer at the expense of the rest of us, this compelling and clear narrative about the crisis and its solution is for you.
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John Cowsill took on a huge challenge in writing “Safe Planet.” Namely that challenge involved four components. First the identification and cogent presentation of the environmental problem. I say problem, not problems, because virtually all the problems are interlinked – from ecological destruction, to peak resources, to ocean acidification, to global warming. They all have substantial links to fossil fuels, and to the second component. Second, the identification of the source of many social problems; from economic, to political, to health, to wealth disparities. They are all tied up in capitalism. Third, clearly discussing sustainable energy sources and their effectiveness. Four, engaging in an integrative discussion and laying out a path forward. I was relieved when it became clear that Mr. Cowsill was firmly grounding his discussion in the true root of our problems – capitalism, with its drive for profit and the concentration of power and wealth that results. This presents a radically different approach than has become typical of addressing global warming, peak oil, etc. Namely, capitalist prescriptions that turn the future of renewable resources into a “losing proposition” and leaves the control in the same hands that have squandered current resources. Under a capitalist orientation, there is virtually no challenge to the existing structure. The questions become how to make alternatives both profitable and acceptable to the plutocracy. Such approaches quickly become an effort to persuade the rest of us who question that this is in our best interests. What we can see, and John Cowsill points out without hesitation, is that staying within the capitalist perspective not only doesn't work, it exacerbates the problems. Every “alternative” is either eaten up by the powers that be, or structured to fail. Any attempt by communities to address the crisis in a cohesive way must have current resource giants in the middle of it. Big Energy even “funds” some projects in blatant greenwashing, or they bring their economic might to squash any alternative that might challenge their interests. John Cowsill has done an excellent job on all fronts in identifying the problems, explaining how and why these are more political problems than natural ones, and proposing system oriented solutions. Five stars on this one. ~ S Rowan Wolf, Ph.D.
This is a timely and thought-provoking book. Coming from an unashamedly anti-capitalist position, it argues that a sustained programme of investment in renewables is the way to deal with our energy crisis. Not everybody will agree with all the arguments put forward in the book. But everybody will be challenged by it. ~ John Stewart, Chair, Campaign Against Climate Change (CCC)
By focusing on energy issues, John Cowsill shows how the global political and economic structures that make up the capitalist system are responsible for the multiple crises currently affecting both people and planet and identifies the agency which has the power to get us out of this mess. ~ Ellen Clifford, Disabled People Against Cuts
I have read the book and was impressed ... I would say that this book would appeal to the interested generalist ~ Mike Thompson, MSc Course Director at Anglia Ruskin University