Mark Rowlands presents a novel analysis of three epoch-defining environmental problems: climate, extinction, and pestilence. Our climate is changing at a rate that is unprecedented and, if unchecked, disastrous. Species are disappearing hundreds or thousands of times faster than normal. COVID-19 has wreaked social and economic havoc but is merely the latest off a blossoming production line of emerging infectious diseases, many of which have the potential to be far worse.Rowlands establishes that all three problems are consequences of choices we have made about energy, which can be divided into two major forms: fuel and food. Focusing on food choices as far more central to the issue than commonly recognized, he argues that the solution is breaking our collective habit of eating animals. Rowlands shows that in doing so, we stem our insatiable hunger for land, which he identifies as central to the problems of extinction and pestilence. He explains that reversing the industrial farming of animals for food will first, substantially cut climate emissions, rapidly enough to allow sustainable energy technologies time to become viable alternatives; and most importantly, make vast areas of a land available for the kind of aggressive afforestation policy that he shows as necessary to bring all three problems under control. With World on Fire, Mark Rowlands identifies the source of our environmental ills and provides a compelling and accessible account of how to solve them.
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