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Download The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring on the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring on the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World, by Paul Gilding Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (242 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Paul Gilding Narrator: Antony Ferguso Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From author Paul Gilding comes an unflinching look at the challenges we face as a global climate crisis approaches—and the unique opportunities this crisis presents for moving toward an ethic of sustainability.

It’s time to stop just worrying about climate change, says Paul Gilding. We need instead to brace for impact, because global crisis is no longer avoidable. This Great Disruption started in 2008 with spiking food and oil prices and dramatic ecological changes, such as the melting ice caps. It is not simply about fossil fuels and carbon footprints. 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 sources.

The Great Disruption offers a stark and unflinching look at the challenge humanity faces—yet also a deeply optimistic message. The coming decades will see loss, suffering, and conflict as our planetary overdraft is paid; however, they will also bring out the best humanity can offer: compassion, innovation, resilience, and adaptability. Gilding tells us how to fight—and fight in—what he calls the One Degree War to prevent catastrophic warming of the earth, and how to start today.

The crisis represents a rare chance to replace our addiction to growth with an ethic of sustainability, and it’s already happening. It’s also an unmatched business opportunity: old industries will collapse while new companies will literally reshape our economy. In the aftermath of the Great Disruption, we will measure “growth” in a new way. It will mean not quantity of stuff but quality and happiness of life. Yes, there is life after shopping.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “If you’re planning to stick around for the 21st century, this might be a useful book to consult.”

    Bill McKibben, bestselling author of Eaarth

  • “The book provides a refreshing, provocative alternative to the recent spate of gloom-and-doom climate-change studies.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Though Gilding’s prose is plain and his sustainability message is unapologetically advocative, he backs up his arguments with plenty of facts and avenues for [listeners] to pursue.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jess Reese | 2/18/2014

    " Hard to describe this book. It's a great thought experiment to imagine how our world must change, but I felt slightly less hopeful that it would after I read this. Good book, though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Pam | 2/17/2014

    " The situation that Gilding proposes is that society will not act on climate change until it directly affects our economy and at that point, nations will rush to act to correct our behavior, as in the 2008 economic bailouts. An interesting read, by an author with a long history of activism. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Phoebe | 2/17/2014

    " I read Tom Friedman's Op Ed on The Great Disruption. I haven't read many books on this subject so don't have a lot to compare it to, but I was motivated by my free-floating anxiety about global warming and the future I'm leaving my daughter. It was certainly refreshing to read an optimistic perspective. Paul Gilding has worked on environmental issues for decades and is at his most compelling talking about the economic issues that he predicts will drive change and the adjustments to our economic model that will have to follow. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Michael | 2/12/2014

    " Gilding's premise is that the current "system" (economy and culture based on continuous growth and the accumulation of "stuff") is unsustainable and must be replaced by one that is sustainable (steady state economy with redistribution of wealth and a focus on personal development, human relationships, and community). Using climate change as an example of how the current system is dysfunctional, he points out that we are currently using 1.4 planets worth of resources to fuel the growth of our economy and support our exploding population and, in the process, destroying our ecosystem through anthropogenic global warming. He proposes that we may have reached the end of economic growth in 2008 and that we have already damaged the climate through the release of greenhouse gasses to the point that the planet will warm two degrees (F) by the end of the century without drastic action. He believes that the collapse of the old economy and the effects of global climate change will lead to "The Great Disruption," a kind of bottleneck through which humanity must pass in order to survive. The disruption (droughts, crop failures, loss of land to rising seas, mass migrations, economic collapse, failed states -- in other words, chaos) will result in the loss of a few billion people, but it will inspire an effort equivalent to that of the West in World War II, which will end global warming through "The One Degree War," effect a transition to clean energy sources, create a new and socially just economic system, and focus the energies of those who remain on achieving happiness (I assume in the Aristotelian sense) rather than on shopping. Although he has the science right, I think he is a bit too sanguine about human nature. His "one degree war" (intended to limit global warming to only one degree) relies heavily on untried, expensive, and possibly unsafe technical fixes carried over the century. The transition to a new economy and clean energy technology will take place largely during "The Great Disruption" and will be given urgency and credibility by that destabilizing event. (We only have to look at Somalia to get an idea of how difficult it is to effect major changes in the midst of chaos.) Gilding is a bit too glib about the prospect of losing a few billion people and 50% of the species now living and coming out of that disruption with our optimism intact, our priorities reordered, a more just economic system, clean energy, a stabilized climate, and a healthier Weltanschauung. He fervently believes that we will respond too slowly to the coming crisis but with overpowering zeal and ingenuity when we do respond. I hope he is right about that response; I fear that he is very wrong. "

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About the Author

Paul Gilding is an international thought leader and advocate for sustainability. He has served as head of Greenpeace International, built and led two companies, and advised both Fortune 500 corporations and community-based NGOs. A member of the core faculty for the Cambridge University Program for Sustainability Leadership, he blogs at www.PaulGilding.com, and his newsletter, the Cockatoo Chronicles, has subscribers around the world.