At Work in the Ruins: Finding Our Place in the Time of Science, Climate Change, Pandemics and All the Other Emergencies
'One of the most perceptive and thought-provoking books …Essential reading for these turbulent times.' Amitav Ghosh, author of The Great Derangement
'Dougald Hine’s brilliant book demands we stare into that abyss and rethink our securest certainties about what is actually going on in the climate crisis. It’s lucidly unsettling and yet in the end empowering. There is something we can do, and it starts with where we look, how we see and what we choose to change.’ Brian Eno, Musician
‘[A] rich book, which like a poetic or religious text deserves multiple readings’ Richard Smith, British Medical Journal
‘I consider this book a must-read for all those activists feeling lost, desperate and perhaps subject to ‘press-on-itis'.’ Gail Bradbrook, cofounder, Extinction Rebellion
Dougald Hine, world-renowned environmental thinker, has spent most of his life talking to people about climate change. And then one afternoon in the second year of the pandemic, he found he had nothing left to say. Why would someone who cares so deeply about ecological destruction want to stop talking about climate change now? At Work in the Ruins explores that question.
‘Climate change asks us questions that climate science cannot answer,’ Dougald says. Questions like, how did we end up in this mess? Is it just a piece of bad luck with atmospheric chemistry – or is it the result of a way of approaching the world that would always have brought us to such a pass? How we answer such questions also has consequences.
Through our over-reliance on the single lens of science, Dougald writes that we are blinded to the nature of the crises around and ahead of us, leading to ‘solutions’ that can only make things worse. At Work in the Ruins is his reckoning with the strange years we have been living through and our long history of asking too much of science. He offers guidance by standing firmly forward and facing the depth of the trouble we are in, to ultimately, helps us find the work that is worth doing, even in the ruins.
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