By Tad Homer Dixon, Knopf Canada

Commanding Hope marshals a fascinating, accessible argument for reinvigorating our cognitive strengths and belief systems to affect urgent systemic change, strengthen our economies and cultures, and renew our hope in a positive future for everyone on Earth.

In Kim Stanley Robinson’s anti-dystopian novel, climate change is the crisis that finally forces mankind to deal with global inequality.

New York Review, by Bill McKibben

The prolific science-fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson, who is at heart an optimist, opens his newest novel, The Ministry for the Future, with a long set piece as bleak as it is plausible. Somewhere in a small city on the Gangetic Plain in Uttar Pradesh during the summer of 2025, Frank, a young American working for an NGO, wakes up in his room above a clinic to find that an unusually severe pre-monsoon heat wave has grown hotter still and more humid—that the conditions outside are rapidly approaching the limit of human survival. Actually, conditions inside are approaching the same level, because the power has gone out.

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How Everything Can Collapse: A Manual for Our Times, co-authored by Pablo Servigne and Raphaël Stevens, provides “a valuable guide to help everyone make sense of the new and potentially catastrophic situation in which we now find ourselves.”

The Upside of Down by Thomas Homer-Dixon takes the reader on a mind-stretching tour of societies’ management, or mismanagement, of disasters over time. From the demise of ancient Rome to contemporary climate change, this book analyzes what happens when multiple crises compound to cause what the author calls “synchronous failure.” But crisis doesn’t have to mean total calamity. Through catagenesis, or creative, bold reform in the wake of breakdown, it is possible to
reinvent our future.

The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells brings into stark relief the climate troubles that await. Without a revolution in how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth could become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century.

Bill McKibben’s Falter tells the story of converging trends—global warming, new technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics—and of the ideological fervor that keeps us from bringing them under control.

Surviving the Future by David Fleming and Shaun Chamberlin lays out a compelling and powerfully different new economics for a post-growth world.  One that relies not on taut competitiveness and eternally increasing productivity—“putting the grim into reality”—but on the play, humor, conversation, and reciprocal obligations of a rich culture.

David Fleming’s Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It leads readers through a stimulating exploration of fields as diverse as culture, history, science, art, logic, ethics, myth, economics, and anthropology, comprising four hundred and four engaging essay-entries covering topics such as Boredom, Community, Debt, Growth, Harmless Lunatics, Land, Lean Thinking, Nanotechnology, Play, Religion, Spirit, Trust, and Utopia.

In times of upheaval, why do some people, communities, companies and systems thrive, while others fall apart? That’s the question at the heart of an exciting new field, and an urgent new agenda for the 21st century. In Resilience, Andrew Zolli and Ann Marie Healy bring you important scientific discoveries, pioneering social innovations, and vital new approaches to constructing a more resilient future. You may never look at your world, your organization, or yourself the same way again.

The Community Resilience Reader: Essential Resources for an Era of Upheaval, Edited by Daniel Lerch, combines a fresh look at the crises humanity faces, the essential tools of resilience science, and the wisdom of activists, scholars, and analysts working on the ground.