Knowledge for better food systems

The best of times, the worst of times

This book by FCRN member Paul Behrens uses paired chapters of pessimism and hope to show how much needs to be done to achieve a hopeful future, but how this would involve actively building a healthier and more fulfilling world. The book covers subjects including food, energy, climate and economics.

Publisher’s summary

The environmental emergency is the greatest threat we face. Preventing it will require an unprecedented political and social response. And yet, there is still hope.

Academic, physicist, environmental expert and award-winning science communicator Paul Behrens presents a radical dual analysis of a civilisation on the brink of catastrophe.

Setting out the pressing existential threats we face, he writes, in alternating chapters, of what the future could look like, at its most optimistic and pessimistic, and details the steps we can take to ensure our survival. In lucid and clear-sighted prose, Behrens argues that structural problems need structural solutions, and examines critical areas in which political will is necessary, including women’s education, food and energy security, biodiversity and economics.

 

Reference

Behrens, P. (2020). The Best of Times, The Worst of Times: Futures From the Frontiers of Climate Science. The Indigo Press, London.

Read more here. See also the Foodsource chapter Impacts of climatic and environmental change on food systems.

 
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While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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