By Matt Owens July 25, 2014
The book is finally out! What book? Well, this book: “Traps: A New Theory on the Origins of Civilization and Modern Economic and Climate Traps.”
That’s what I’ve been holed up working on for ages now! The main point of this book is that we can still escape from the fossil fuel trap, and we can even prosper while we do it. But the details are kind of important..! Now, since this whole topic is somewhat dry, and talk of climate change can get to be very depressing very easily, I wanted to shatter the mold, and put the issue into a new context. And that’s what I did. And, the result of the investigative process shocked even myself.
It started out innocently enough... as a book on climate change, its impact, and what we can collectively do about it. But then I decided to get some context for the present situation by examining the relationship between natural resources, humanity, and climate — with a special focus on comparing the modern situation to the one in prehistory. And that’s when a surprising new theory emerged about the origins of civilization — and by extension, the recent past and current state of the world’s natural resources. Perhaps one of the most extraordinary aspects of this part of the book is that the theory I propose also explains the purpose of Stonehenge and many other formerly-mysterious megalithic sites around the world (and no, I’m afraid that aliens are not part of the theory). Truth is stranger than fiction. If I had to boil it down, I’d sum it up with one word: food.
But that’s mainly the first half of the book. Then, in the second half of the book, I present a fairly explicit examination of what we can collectively do about climate change. I also preface that examination by making the case that we can and should take urgent action if we want to experience economic growth again. That’s in the chapter Proof that Fossil Fuels are Fueling the Economic Decay of Developed Nations.
I also lay out how to rapidly overhaul the global energy system in a profitable way, and, how to then remove excess CO₂ from the air in order to offset the carbon cycle and climate feedbacks which have unfortunately already been triggered due to warming (such as the thawing permafrost). Fortunately, the removal of excess CO₂ actually stands a chance of being profitable itself. I also consider how to overcome the political and international roadblocks to making such an overhaul globally successful.
Finally, I roundup with a few short essays and notes on several related topics and details. For example, one speculative essay considers the potentially very strange future of fusion power.
“Traps” is available now as an e-book from Amazon. The print edition is due out shortly.