Escape from Bubbleworld by Keith Skene

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Escape from Bubbleworld by Keith Skene

Category: Popular Science
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Andy Lancaster
Reviewed by Andy Lancaster
Summary: Creating renewed interest in the science of apocalyptic world catastrophe created by mankind's own foolishness isn't an easy task when we have read and seen so much about this. But Dr Keith Skene produces a highly informative, challenging and even entertaining book which while not pulling any punches, still manages to generate the feeling that there is a way forward.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 433 Date: September 2011
Publisher: Ard Macha Press
ISBN: 978-0956250124

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Before you stifle the inward groan that comes from the thought of another book assaulting population growth, western greed and reckless exploitation of the environment, take time to read the first chapter of Keith Skene's 'Escape to Bubbleworld'. Because this is as entertaining and amusing book as you are likely to read on the subject, while at the same time taking us into to some deep science and fascinating exploration of what turns out to be less certain certainties. For Skene’s writing has two attributes which I can almost guarantee will keep even the non-scientific reading.

Firstly, he has a fascinating approach to examples and allusions which calls forth bizarre but revealingly relevant comparisons and ways into complex subjects. Reading about population growth isn't fun for most of us, but by contextualising this within the mysteries of Easter Island we are immediately engrossed in a detective story of epic proportions. And this approach also reveals Skene's other great strength, an eclectic mind. For throughout the text it feels as if we are not reading one (however complex) explanation of the effects of Man's exploitation of the planet, but a mix of ideas from science, arts, history and literature which all coalesce to both explore and aid understanding. He leads us through a labyrinth of ideas and study to bring us to a richer understanding of the consequences of our actions.

The book is not mere speculation and style, however, but founded on detailed information exemplified in copious references. And we are confronted not merely with standard fare, but with some very challenging and up-to-the-minute theories and research which frankly I wasn't expecting. For Skene's case is that we have allowed ourselves to be seduced by certain key (and dated) ideas, such as, controversially, the survival of the fittest, which have framed our world view to the detriment of the way in which the biosphere really works. Skene attacks these conventional approaches of bioscience, which have created a 'human-centric' view of the planet.

But if it isn't 'science-as-we-have-been-taught-it' neither is it Planet Gaia's holistic approach to ecological stasis. Skeen expounds a more complex dynamic theory of evolution and ecology based on energy and the flow of energy across the planet. He reveals how much of what we are involved in scientifically (and economically) is aimed at disrupting the natural pattern of energy, constantly looking for solutions which start from a false premise, that we must maximise everything (our economy, wealth, control, production) to survive.

Ultimately this is a book which demands more than one reading, not least because, clear and dynamic as this book is, there is no quick fix, no simple solution proposed here, and the 'Seven Curves to save the Earth' (the subtitle) emerge as tools of analysis primarily rather than calls to action. To translate this exciting insight into practical steps, governmental or local policies, individual life choices still needs more work, but Skene provides us with the underpinning understanding needed for our future.

'Escape from Bubbleworld' is a step into the complexities of our environmental role – a more straight-punching, anger-inducing and in an odd way lyrical text for any of us who need convincing (or reminding) of the ultimate price to pay, is Silent Spring by Rachel Carson.

Buy Escape from Bubbleworld by Keith Skene at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Escape from Bubbleworld by Keith Skene at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Escape from Bubbleworld by Keith Skene at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Escape from Bubbleworld by Keith Skene at Amazon.com.


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