Sunday, October 16, 2011

Deep Future

I can't say too much as I am reviewing this book for Zadok Perspectives, the quarterly of the Zadok Institute, but I wanted to plug it here as I think it is an interesting and important book: Deep Future, by Curt Stager. It is published in Australia by my good friends at Scribe.

When you read IPCC reports, they deal with what scientist Tim Lenton calls the political timescale, events involving our grandchildren. All of the scenarios and reports look out to about 100 years or the end of the 21st century. But what about beyond that? By considering paleoclimate and the physical processes that govern the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, Stager is able to show humans will effect the climate for tens of thousands of years, effectively avoiding an ice ages for half a millennia, turning the seas acidic and so on. It's interesting to pursue the scenarios well out into the future and consider the problem of global cooling and retreating sea levels will have on harbour towns.

For a Christian of course, the whole issue of when the resurrection occurs and how the creation will be redeemed (Rm 8:19-25) comes in to play. Yet a) given we don't know when this will happen and b) the long timescale throws the impacts of what we are doing into even sharper relief I think it is an important book.

It is also well referenced from the scientific literature, and I'd used it already in my teaching.

1 comment:

  1. Are you familiar with "The Long Thaw" by David Archer? If so, how would you compare/contrast these two books? Perhaps I need to go and find your Zadok review...