Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

HOW SOON IS NOW: The Handbook for Global Change

  • Written by  Mick Herron
  • Published in Books
HOW SOON IS NOW: The Handbook for Global Change
15 Aug
2018
by Daniel Pinchbeck• Watkins • £9.99 (paperback)

If the words ‘spiritual revolution’ don’t inspire confidence, perhaps the knowledge that both Sting and Russell Brand have endorsed this book’s contents will reassure. It begins with the author’s memories of the 2005 Burning Man Festival in Nevada, during which he entered ‘a state of messianic megalomania’ from which one might reasonably wonder whether he’s yet emerged. His plan was to write a planetary constitution and trigger a great leap forwards into a world of ecological and social justice, a transition he anticipated occurring in synch with the 5,125-year cycle of the Mayan calendar. We have, he feels, subconsciously willed ourselves into imminent planetary catastrophe in order to force ourselves to make a decision: change or die. The danger is that we’ll reach a tipping point before we’re ready, and our ecosystem will collapse more quickly than our ability to react.

That danger seems real enough, and indeed, Pinchbeck’s analysis of our global problems, from corporate greed to chronic water shortages, is rooted in reality. Some readers, though, may find his solution – that ‘we need to reconnect with a sacred, transcendent dimension’ – lacking in substance. One reason for this, perhaps, is that Pinchbeck was forced to watch the Watergate hearings at the tender age of five, an ordeal which set the tone for his future disengagement from real-world politics. Fair enough, though most of us question the positions our five-year-old selves took. But then, in 15 years of reviewing for Geographical, I’ve rarely encountered a book in which the personal pronoun occurs so often. This is as much about the various states of Daniel Pinchbeck as it is about that of the world: he’s often optimistic, sometimes disappointed, full of theories, and yes, his heart’s in the right place. But I wouldn’t want to be trapped in a lift with him.

Click here to buy HOW SOON IS NOW: The Handbook for Global Change on Amazon

Subscribe to Geographical!

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

Sign up for our weekly newsletter today and get a FREE eBook collection!

geo line break v3

University of Winchester

geo line break v3

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth University University of Greenwich The University of Derby

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

DOSSIERS

Like longer reads? Try our in-depth dossiers that provide a comprehensive view of each topic

  • Natural Capital: Putting a price on nature
    Natural capital is a way to quantify the value of the world that nature provides for us – the air, soils, water, even recreational activity. Advocat...
    The Human Game – Tackling football’s ‘slave trade’
    Few would argue with football’s position as the world’s number one sport. But as Mark Rowe discovers, this global popularity is masking a sinister...
    Essential oil?
    Palm oil is omnipresent in global consumption. But in many circles it is considered the scourge of the natural world, for the deforestation and habita...
    REDD+ or Dead?
    The UN-backed REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) scheme, under which developing nations would be paid not to cut dow...
    The Air That We Breathe
    Cities the world over are struggling to improve air quality as scandals surrounding diesel car emissions come to light and the huge health costs of po...

MORE DOSSIERS

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...

Films

Powerful expedition film, screened at the 2018 Adventure Uncovered Film…

Books

by Laura Locker and Julia Scheele • Icon Books • £12.99 (paperback)

Books

by Patrick Nunn • Bloomsbury • £16.99 (hardback) • £14.99 (eBook)

Books

by Oliver Bullough • Profile Books • £20 (hardback) • £14.99 (eBook)

Books

by Thomas Reinertsen Berg • Hodder & Stoughton • £25 (hardback)

Books

by Adam Rutherford • Weidenfeld & Nicolson • £18.99 (hardback) • £9.99 (eBook)

Films

Ever since 1984, when the first TED conference took place,…

Exhibitions

Annual photography competition at the Natural History Museum celebrates the…

Exhibitions

We all have to live with buildings, but getting the…

Books

by Bruno Latour • Polity Books • £12.99 (hardback)

Books

edited by Fearghal O’Nuallain • Summersdale • £9.99 (paperback)

Books

by Francis Fukuyama • Profile Books • £16.99 (hardback) • £14.99 (eBook)

Books

by Pascal Bruckner • Polity Books • £16.99 (hardback)

Books

by Kevin Begos • Algonquin Books • £20.99 (hardback)

Books

by Karl Schlögel (translated by Gerrit Jackson) • Reaktion Books • £18 (hardback)

Films

Space race biopic tries to uncover the real Neil Armstrong,…

Exhibitions

Four new galleries at Royal Museums Greenwich explore Britain’s maritime…

Books

by John Foot • Bloomsbury • £25 (hardback)

Books

by Deborah Baker • Chatto & Windus • £25 (hardback)