The Age of Resilience: Reimagining Existence on a Rewilding Earth
A sweeping new interpretation of the history of civilization and a transformative vision of how our species will thrive on an unpredictable Earth.
The viruses keep coming, the climate is warming, and the Earth is rewilding. Our human family has no playbook to address the mayhem unfolding around us. If there is a change to reckon with, argues the renowned economic and social theorist Jeremy Rifkin, it's that we are beginning to realize that the human race never had dominion over the Earth and that nature is far more formidable than we thought, while our species seems much smaller and less significant in the bigger picture of life on Earth, undermining our long-cherished worldview. The Age of Progress, once considered sacrosanct, is on a deathwatch while a powerful new narrative, the Age of Resilience, is ascending.
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"In an increasingly alarming world of warming temperatures and global pandemics, [Rifkin] thinks humanity is shifting to an age of resilience that could transform our relationship with the natural world and each other. How might this play out? Rifkin sees a future of sweeping economic and social shifts where productivity gives way to regenerativity and gross domestic product to quality of life indicators. Consumerism, corporate conglomerates and globalization all wither while "eco-stewardship", high-tech co-operatives and 'glocalization' flourish. The book will undoubtedly prove beguiling for many readers, even as it infuriates others. It is rarely different for a writer who has spent decades warning of the need to address environmental problems that the human species caused and is still struggling to fix."
--Jane Goodall, Primatologist
"Jeremy Rifkin has challenged us to think differently about the world around us and the history that has come before us. He asks us--demands of us--to look at the consequences of progress, along with the accomplishments, and to imagine a new way of forging ahead, with an equal dosage of awe and humility and confidence in our ability to create systems that are more aligned with the natural world we inhabit. The Age of Resilience is a manifesto that embraces our unique skill sets and warns us of the consequences if we fail to do so. Every policy maker, politician, educator, civic and religious leader should heed his advice. Change at the magnitude needed to save the planet requires a global realignment in how we think. Fortunately, Rifkin has provided us with a detailed roadmap."
--Ken Burns, Documentary Filmmaker
"By worshipping efficiency, we've managed to build an economic system that melted the Arctic. Jeremy Rifkin argues here that it's time to prioritize resilience instead...I defy anyone not to be fascinated and provoked by the vision he unfolds!"
--Bill McKibben, Climate Activist and Author
"The Age of Resilience calls for the great turnaround from adapting nature to our species to adapting our species back to nature. This requires, as Jeremy Rifkin suggests, 'a wholesale rethinking of our worldview.' Among the most significant challenges will be our educational system that will need to be reimagined and reinvented to proffer new pedagogical approaches to learning, if we are to make the transformation from the Age of Progress to the Age of Resilience. Given Rifkin's amazing track record of envisioning the future, no one can ignore the message of this new book. The Age of Resilience is truly an awe-inspiring treatise that must be read, comprehended, and most importantly acted upon."
--Jerry Wind, Professor Emeritus, The Wharton School, and Founder of the Wharton Executive MBA Program
"The most striking feature of our multifaceted economic, social, and ecological global crisis is that none of our major problems can be understood in isolation. They are interconnected and interdependent and require corresponding systemic solutions. Jeremy Rifkin has designed effective systemic solutions to economic and technological problems at the request of governments and business organizations around the world for more than forty years. In this book he uses his rich experience to address the crisis of perception that threatens our species' future survival on Earth. This is a challenging, thought-provoking, yet deeply hopeful book. I recommend it warmly to anyone concerned about the future of humanity."
--Fritjof Capra, Theoretical Physicist and Coauthor The Systems View of Life
"Jeremy Rifkin's The Age of Resilience takes us through the long history of illusions, culminating in the Age of Progress, by which we came to think of ourselves as both separate from nature and masters of the earth. He asks us to reconsider how our obsession with unlimited growth and hyper efficiency--by which we measure progress--has ruptured the web of life and taken us and our fellow creatures to the very brink of a mass extinction. Rifkin helps us remember that we are an intimate part of an animate nature with the hope that we will rejoin our evolutionary family on an indivisible Earth. In these times of despair and hopelessness, Rifkin points to regenerativity, flourishing, resilience, and hope for the future."
--Dr. Vandana Shiva, Feminist, Ecologist, and Activist in the developing world
"At a moment when humanity's obsession with 'efficiency' has led us to the doorstep of cascading biodiversity loss and a catastrophic climate crisis, Jeremy Rifkin guides us toward an alternate future sparked by a prophetic vision of the Age of Resilience. Humanity's window of opportunity to act on climate change is rapidly narrowing. With this in mind, Rifkin calls on humanity to engage in a deep self-examination of its relationship to nature in order to strengthen our bonds with our earthly home. This is the only path toward building a resilient world prepared to take on this century's challenges."
--Ani Dasgupta, President & CEO, World Resources Institute
"Jeremy Rifkin has given us a vision of the future that can inspire all those who want to be agents of change. He invites us to go beyond the idea of progress, and embrace a holistic and ecological conception of our existence on Earth. In the new era, empathy and biophilia take center stage for our reaffiliation with nature."
--Carlo Petrini, Founder and President of Slow Food International