From the publisher's description:

"The year is 2393, and the world is almost unrecognizable. Clear warnings of climate catastrophe went ignored for decades, leading to soaring temperatures, rising sea levels, widespread drought and—finally—the
disaster now known as the Great Collapse in 2093, when the disintegration of the West Antarctica Ice Sheet led to mass migration and a complete reshuffling of the global order. Writing from the Second People’s Republic of China on the 300th anniversary of the Great Collapse, a senior scholar presents a gripping and deeply disturbing account of how the children of the Enlightenment—the political and economic elites of the so-called advanced industrial societies—failed to act, and so brought about the collapse of Western civilization."

From the French edition:

"Nous sommes en 2393, avènement de l’ «Age de la Pénombre », et les deux historiens futurs se retournent sur leur passé - qui est notre présent et notre avenir (possible). Tout avait pourtant bien commencé avec la création du GIEC en 1988. Mais rapidement le « déni » se répand en faisant valoir l’incertitude des données scientifiques. Les effets du changement climatique s’intensifient, et en 2023, l’année de l’«été perpétuel », il y a 500 000 morts et 500 milliards de dollars de perte. La frénésie pour les énergies fossiles amène les dirigeants à saisir les notes scientifiques sur la fuite de pétrole Bp en 2011. Puis la loi dite de « négation de la hausse du niveau de la mer » est adoptée par certains états. Mais rien n’y fait. La nature se déchaine sans que les mesures nécessaires ne soient prises. Pendant l’été 2041, des vagues de chaleur sans précédent détruisent les récoltes. Panique, émeutes, migration de masse, hausse explosive des populations d’insectes, épidémies. L’ordre social s’effondre dans les années 1950 et les gouvernants, acquis à l’idéologie néolibérale, se retrouvent désarmés devant la nécessité d’une intervention massive de l’état…"

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“Provocative and grimly fascinating, The Collapse of Western Civilization offers a glimpse into a future that, with farsighted leadership, still might be avoided. It should be required reading for anyone who works—or hopes to—in Washington.”

—Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History and Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change

“Oreskes and Conway’s startling and all-too-plausible history of the century to come is in the spirit of George Orwell and Aldous Huxley and all the writers who have turned to prophecy in the attempt to ward off an oncoming disaster. Witty in its details and disturbing in its plausibility, this is an account of the Long Emergency we’re entering that you will not soon forget.”

—Kim Stanley Robinson, author of Shaman, 2312, Science In the Capital, and the Mars trilogy

“A chilling view of what our history could be. Ignore it and it becomes more likely. Read this book, heed its warning, and perhaps we can avoid its dire predictions.”

—Timothy E. Wirth, vice chairman, United Nations Foundation, and former U.S. Senator and Member,
U.S. House of Representatives

"A much-needed antidote to the "AGENDA 21" nonsense promulgated by Glenn Beck and the far right, Oreskes and Conway provide us with a glimpse of the dystopian future we may ACTUALLY face should we fail to head the warning of the world's scientists regarding the looming climate change crisis."

--Michael E. Mann, director, Penn State Earth System Science Center, and author of The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines


"Regret, Oreskes and Conway argue, is an equal-opportunity employer. Yes, climate change will be a nightmare for environmentalists. But global warming also threatens free marketeers, because unabated, it guarantees big government intervention. And that's the great service of this short but brilliant parable: it creates bipartisan empathy for our future selves. From that gift, perhaps we can summon the will to act today."

--Auden Schendler, Vice President, Sustainability, Aspen Skiing Company


"The scenario portrayed in this valuable little book is scarily possible. It would be apt if readers took action to keep it from, you know, happening."

--Bill McKibben, founder 350.org

© 2017 Erik M. Conway.