“The Great Disruption”


Paul Gilding’s book The Great Disruption was released around the world over 2011 to wide acclaim. It is now being translated into various languages. The Dutch edition has been released (see here) with the German version due for release in late 2012.

A bracing assessment of the planetary crisis that we can no longer avoid-and the once-in-an-epoch chance it offers to build a better world.

“One of those who has been warning me of [a coming crisis] for a long time is Paul Gilding, the Australian environmental business expert. He has a name for this moment-when both Mother Nature and Father Greed have hit the wall at once-‘The Great Disruption.’ ”

– Thomas Friedman in the New York Times

It’s time to stop just worrying about climate change, says Paul Gilding. We need instead to brace for impact because global crisis is no longer avoidable. This Great Disruption started in 2008, with spiking food and oil prices and dramatic ecological changes, such as the melting ice caps. It is not simply about fossil fuels and carbon footprints. We have come to the end of Economic Growth, Version 1.0, a world economy based on consumption and waste, where we lived beyond the means of our planet’s ecosystems and resources.

The Great Disruption offers a stark and unflinching look at the challenge humanity faces-yet also a deeply optimistic message. The coming decades will see loss, suffering, and conflict as our planetary overdraft is paid; however, they will also bring out the best humanity can offer: compassion, innovation, resilience, and adaptability. Gilding tells us how to fight-and win-what he calls The One Degree War to prevent catastrophic warming of the earth, and how to start today.

The crisis represents a rare chance to replace our addiction to growth with an ethic of sustainability, and it’s already happening. It’s also an unmatched business opportunity: Old industries will collapse while new companies will literally reshape our economy. In the aftermath of the Great Disruption, we will measure “growth” in a new way. It will mean not quantity of stuff but quality and happiness of life. Yes, there is life after shopping.

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Praise for The Great Disruption:

“This is the most important “environmental” book to have been published for many years. It’s one of those rare books, which come along every so often, that can really change the paradigm of the political debate.”— Chris Rose, previous Deputy Executive Director of Greenpeace UK, author of campaignstrategy.org

“We’re in the rapids now, heading for the falls, too late to swim for shore. But Paul Gilding offers some excellent insights into how we might weather that which we can no longer completely prevent–and how we can still prevent that which we won’t be able to weather. If you’re planning to stick around for the 21st century, this might be a useful book to consult.”—Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth, founder of 350.org.

“Gilding offers a clear-eyed and moving assessment of our predicament but more importantly, he offers a plausible way forward and good reasons to think we will rise to the occasion. His message is that our situation is dire, but we will act because we must. Essential reading.”—David W. Orr, Paul Sears Distinguished Professor, Oberlin College, author of Hope is an Imperative and Down to the Wire.

Reviews for The Great Disruption:

“A leading advocate for action on climate change asserts that the world is already in the midst of a global emergency that will mark not the collapse of civilization, but a positive transformation of society…a remarkably optimistic view of the brave new world in our future—certain to be widely and strongly challenged.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Gilding’s confidence in our ability to transform disaster into a “happiness economy” may astonish readers, but the book provides a refreshing, provocative alternative to the recent spate of gloom-and-doom climate-change studies.” —Publishers Weekly

“[Gilding] backs up his arguments with plenty of facts and avenues for readers to pursue.” –Library Journal

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152 thoughts on ““The Great Disruption”

  1. Margaret R BENNETT

    Well, I’m back. Paul’s book, The Great Disruption’ is one of the most important books I’ve ever read. Now we have Donald Trump as president in the U.S., it’s obvious we are in ‘the Great Disruption’. Everything is changing–mostly for the better. I can ‘roll with it’, because I believe Mr. Gilding’s positive predictions that we will figure it out. [I hope we all live long enough–at least those of us who are no longer as young as we once were.]

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