Climate Change as a Crisis in World Civilization

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This study examines the scientific evidence relating to “abrupt” or “dangerous” climate change and explores the social, political, legal and philosophical significance of this evidence. The authors locate the “climate crisis” within the context of a wider crisis of civilization, consisting of a series of converging threats to human survival. There will need to be major changes to human living and thinking, including an abandonment of the idea that unending economic growth and a philosophy of consumer hedonism are compatible with the idea of an ecologically sustainable society.


“... this is a comprehensive, detailed, scholarly work in which the authors have fearlessly tackled all of the major issues involved in global climatic change. ... This may be the most important book yet to be published on this compelling issue, and deserves the widest possible readership.” – Dr. Graham Lyons, Research Fellow, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide

“This is a thorough and scholarly approach to the most alarming problems of our time. The implications reach far beyond necessary changes in energy policy and new applications of technology, and reach toward the future of our society and civilization: how we think, how we behave, how we even survive the impact of our small animal species on the earth’s life system of which we are a tiny but immodest part.” – Sir Crispin Tickell, Director Policy Foresight Programme, James Martin Institute for Science and Civilization, University of Oxford

Table of Contents

1 Introduction: The Threat of Global Climate Change
2 Global Climate Change, Human Health and the Crisis of Civilization
3 Economics, Technology and Law: Confronting the Climate Crisis
4 Conservation Psychology and Human Nature: Strategies for Change
5 Wisdom Regained: Universities and the Institutions of Knowledge
6 Philosophy, Religion and the Environmental Crisis
7 Conclusion: Values, Ethics and the Ecology of Sustainability

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