Second Vermont Republic

A citizen movement committed to restoring Vermont to an independent republic, free to pursue life, liberty and happiness unimpeded by the demands of an imperial, corrupt and disintegrating United States.

2052: Our World In Forty Years, by Matthew Cibotti (BOOK REVIEW)

Ever wonder what the world will be like in forty years? Will climate change have a significant impact on our planet and will we have enough resources to continue endless growth? These are a few of the many issues that author Jorgen Randers, professor of climate strategy, discusses in his book 2052.  Written in 2012, Randers gives us an in depth analysis on his predictions of the global future and what we should expect as citizens of planet earth forty years into the future.  Forty years ago, Randers co-wrote the book Limits To Growth, which addressed the issue of how humans would adjust to the limited resources of planet earth and how we as a society should deal with these limits.  Now, forty years later, Randers gives us an idea of where the world is at now and a warning of the many environmental and economic struggles that our planet will have to face in the next forty years.

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Randers tackles many different global issues throughout the book.  However the main universal issue that surrounds and supports the majority of his arguments is climate change.  Due to the world’s high use of fossil fuels and greenhouse gases, Randers predicts that global temperatures will rise 2 degrees Celsius; which as a result will cause many harmful climate effects within the decades to come.  Extreme weather events such as untypical floods, recurring droughts, landslides in new places, and uncommon trajectories for tornadoes, hurricanes, and cyclones will occur.  Randers then explores global warming and the huge environmental impacts it will have in years to come such as the melting of most glaciers outside the arctic and a predicted one-foot rise in sea level.

Randers also stresses a lot about resource limitations and how it will be very difficult to continue limitless economic growth.  He hopes that the world (especially the United States) will cut back on energy use and consumption simply because we do not have the physical resources to continue using the amount of energy that we currently use.  Randers goes into a lot of detail on humans high rate of carbon dioxide emissions and its direct result to climate change.  Carbon dioxide emissions occur with our use of energy for things such as electricity and transportation.  When carbon is used in things such as coal, oil, and gas it is emitted into the atmosphere when these fossil fuel are burned to generate heat and power.  Much of that carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere and results in higher surface temperatures, which is why climate change and global warming are occurring.

Although there is much stress on the damage that is being done in the environment, Randers does provide some solutions for these problems.  One example is the switch over from fossil fuels to solar power – Randers’ prediction that solar power will be used much more within the next forty years to prevent further carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere.  Randers also predicts that by 2052, our society will begin to seek more sustainable lifestyles due to new environmentally friendly energy resources.

The content in 2052 has heaps of scientific information with many graphs and statistics that match the issues being explained.  However, much of the book’s information comes straight from Jorgen Randers and his personal predictions on what he thinks the world will look like forty years from now.  Randers even admits that many of his predictions could turn out to become entirely false.  However the book provides a lot of facts and statistics to back up the predictions that Randers makes.  There are also many excerpts from other writers that related to the issues being discussed, which I found helpful.

I have never read an environmental book before 2052.  As I began to dive into the book, I found the information eye opening and informative.  I think what hit me the most was when Randers explained some of the severe environmental impacts that the world will have from global warming and many of the ecosystems that will become seriously damaged.  In a way I feel like this book is trying to send out a message to my generation in hopes that we will become more environmentally conscious and come up with new sources of energy and power that are less harmful to the environment.  I hope that as I move forward in life, I will be able to contribute in making a difference to help the environment and prevent climate change from becoming any worse than it already is. Just living in Vermont has given me a greater appreciation for the environment and the beauty that natural world here in the Green Mountains has to offer. Therefore, I have become much more concerned about environmental issues and learning about ways to live more sustainable and conserve energy and resources to benefit our planet.

Vermont has also been directly affected by climate change and unusual severe weather when Hurricane Irene struck the state back in the summer of 2011. Irene was one of the most devastating natural disasters to hit Vermont in generations. Many areas of Vermont received more than 7 inches of rain, resulting in floodwaters and debris pouring through river ways and communities all across Vermont. Irene caused many problems in Vermont, including issues with highway transportation, public safety, water supply, and natural forests. The storm killed six Vermonters and caused millions of dollars in property damage. Many Vermonters and Vermont businesses are still working to return back to normal after the storm. Hurricane Irene is a perfect example of how climate change and severe weather has directly affected the state of Vermont.

Overall, I learned much from reading this book.  I feel that I now have a better understanding of why climate change is occurring and what is causing it.  I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about the future of our planet and what we can accept forty years from now.

For more revolutionary writing, visit Chelsea Green Publishing.

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This entry was posted on October 14, 2014 by in Arts.

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