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Many argue that knowing the grim truths of our current relationship with the natural environment will lead to social paralysis. Minoru Kyo believes that shying away from the impacts of our current trajectory leads to a more dangerous complacency. The author contends: 'We don't understand the problem; we couldn't do anything about it if we did; and we wouldn't do anything about it if we could.'
Already Extinct addresses human impact on natural systems: the interrelationships between energy sources, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, mineral extraction, water scarcity, and soil degradation. The book provides an argument that there are natural limits to resource extraction and environmental services, and that there are limits to economic expansion. Furthermore, the effects of an unequal distribution of income on education, media and governance are related to societal inertia. Our present mode of production is antagonistic to sustainability and our inability to change threatens civilization.
If you wish to create a sustainable society, it is important that you understand the scope of the challenge. Already Extinct is not for the faint of heart.