Ellwood packs a great deal of information into his 192 pages. He discusses ominous signs of strain on the earth, such as the depletion of major world fisheries, the melting of Arctic ice, and depletion of fossil fuel resources. Capitalism, he says, is to blame for the relentless pillaging of Earth’s resources. Though capitalism “wears different masks…adapts to different political configurations,” the common denominator is growth. Like a shark, it constantly moves forward, consuming. Profit, not production, is its over-riding preoccupation, as Karl Marx pointed out.
It would be tempting to look around at the extreme and growing polarities, and persistent poverty so evident in the world today, and shrug. Flannery doesn’t do that, and in fact quite clearly eshews such negative “self-fulfilling prophecies”. Instead he offers a range of solutions from electric vehicles, smart grids, and satellite surveillance of environmental trangressions, along with the suggestion that the ultimate answer lies in governments being willing to cede power for the common good.