Graeme Snook's new book is a veritable tour de force begining with the origin of the universe 15 billion years ago and the emergence of life on Earth 4 billion years ago. It analyzes the biosocial or sociobiological ascent of humankind and human society over 2 million years and the rise and development of civilization over the parst 10,000 years. The author offers a novel interpretation of the causes of the industrial revolution 200 years ago, and he stresses the demographic revolution of the past 50 years. The motor force of this long and still ongoing process, the author is at pains to demonstrate, is economic—or more precisely materialist—competition to use scarce resources for survival. The political payoff from all this and more is the author's recommendation to face the future global ecological crisis by developing a new technological paradigm rather than by giving in to Club-of-Rome-type ecological limits to growth, the existence of which the author denies.


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pp. 107-115
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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