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The top 5 reasons we know the ultimate crash has already started, as explained in Brace for Impact:
- We’re running out of food. For six of the past 11 years, the world has eaten more food than it has produced. People in wealthy countries are as yet unscathed; they think it’s just the poor end of the boat that is sinking. (Chapters One and Two)
- We’re running out of water. Lakes, rivers, reservoirs and aquifers everywhere are shrinking, with no hope of replenishment. Stand by to abandon Las Vegas. (Chapter Three)
- We’re running out of oil. Forget the hype about the mythical oil boom in the US, oil production continues to decline worldwide and will soon deprive the industrial economies of their oxygen — cheap, plentiful oil. (Chapter Five)
- We’re running out of electricity. The power grid is aged, unstable and misused. Efforts to develop sustainable sources of electricity are doomed as long as they feed their product into the unsustainable grid. (Chapter Six explains the problem. For the solution, see Chapter Ten.)
- We’re running out of time. Global climate change, a threat multiplier for all the above, is coming on faster and harder than anyone predicted just a few years ago.
It’s too late to save everybody. But you can save anybody — your family, your community — by understanding the threat and learning the principles of sustainable living, and sanctuary, as explained by a veteran, nationally recognized environmental writer.
Click Here to Watch the C-Span Book Interview on Brace for Impact
Introduction to the Hardcover Edition (2009)
In Collapse, Jared Diamond explained why civilizations disappeared in the past; in Hot, Flat and Crowded, Thomas Friedman tried to chart a course through the economic and environmental afflictions that imperil our way of life; in Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan taught us to worry about our food supply, as did Paul Roberts in The End of Food. Others have focused on the threats of peak oil, global warming, and shrinking water supplies.
Now, in Brace for Impact: Surviving the Crash of the Industrial Age, Thomas A. Lewis does what only a veteran reporter, historian and environmental writer could do: explains and analyzes all the gathering threats to our society’s life-support systems, and the inability of our political and economic institutions to save us. With chapters on food, water, oil, electricity, politics and finance, he makes a convincing case that we can’t win the race against catastrophe, that we are in fact running the wrong way — toward catastrophe. What sets Brace for Impact apart is that after it faces the conclusion from which others shrink — that industrial society cannot survive — it then shows how easily individual families and communities can weather the collapse through sustainable living.
Our only hope, Lewis writes, is to turn away from the hopeless task of trying to preserve the industrial world, and embrace the promise of sustainable living; there is no way to solve the problem for everyone, but we have the knowledge and the technology to solve the problem for anyone.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lewis is a veteran print and broadcast journalist and author of five previous books who for six years wrote the authoritative “Environmental Quality Index” for National Wildlife Magazine and World Almanac, and who was the executive editor of a 16-book Time-Life Books series on the earth sciences called Planet Earth. He is currently Artist in Residence at the Department of Mass Communication, Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland.