Economic growth is over for good and Fleeing Vesuvius is the first book to explore the profound, historic implications. Its message could hardly be more urgent. -- Richard Heinberg
Fleeing Vesuvius New Zealand Edition is unusual, critically important and refreshingly provocative. -- Jonathan Boston
Fleeing Vesuvius is a practical and fundamentally optimistic book. Its 39 authors, all leading thinkers in their fields, take a hard look at many of the problems facing humanity and offer far-reaching solutions.
Most of its contributors believe that the financial crisis that has blighted the world's richest countries since 2008 was a turning point in human history because it ushered in an era in which economies will tend to shrink rather than grow.
Incomes will decrease because the natural resources required for growth - particularly oil, the lifeblood of the world economy - can no longer be extracted in growing quantities. Indeed, the financial crash itself was due to an irresistible force - the rising global demand for oil - meeting an immoveable object, a static supply.
Consequently, further turmoil can be avoided only if a financial system that developed to suit growth is altered to cope with contraction.
Since psychological, institutional and cultural factors influence our behaviour, Fleeing Vesuvius also considers the changes required in the way we think, how we use the land and how we relate to others if we are to reduce the risk of environmental and social breakdown posed by the current crisis.
The book's overall aim is to arm its readers with the knowledge they need to develop new ways of doing things instead of staggering from crisis to crisis trying to patch up systems that are only suited to economies that can grow and grow.
A taste of the New Zealand contributions