I noticed a reference a few weeks ago to Thom Hartmann's book, The Last Hours of. Ancient Sunlight, and I just finished reading it. It is a very good summary of. While everything appears to be collapsing around us – ecodamage, genetic engineering, virulent diseases, the end of cheap oil, water shortages. Editorial Reviews. Review. “Thom Hartmann seeks out interesting subjects from such disparate outposts of curiosity that you have to wonder whether or not he.
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The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: Revised and Updated Third Edition: The Fate of the World and What We Can Do Before It's Too Late [Thom Hartmann, Neale. A call to consciousness combinging spirituality and ecology that offers hope for the future. As the world's population explodes, cultures and species are wiped. Read "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: Revised and Updated Third Edition The Fate of the World and What We Can Do Before It's Too Late" by Thom.
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And we're also providing extra videos exclusive to sponsors. Sponsor Special: The American diet is now killing more people than high blood pressure and smoking. Become a Thom Supporter- Click the Patreon button. I recall awhile ago, that there was a progressive website where Thom had his book online. I had started to read it, but now can't seem to find it. It wasn't a PDF file, it was simply posted on some website. Does anyone know where I can find the book posted?
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To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Mar 23, Liz rated it it was amazing Shelves: Though updated with statistics and events through , this reads like a prophetic treatise on the collapse of our industrialized culture which is entirely based on fossil fuels, a limited resource.
No one seems to deny that oil is limited, but 2 narratives determine our actions today: Older and younger cultural beliefs. Older cultures valued generosity, leisure, and community. The younger cultures value productivity, accumulation and individualism.
He gives many examples to illustrate his poin Though updated with statistics and events through , this reads like a prophetic treatise on the collapse of our industrialized culture which is entirely based on fossil fuels, a limited resource.
He gives many examples to illustrate his points making this an interesting read, not academic at all.
The first part of the book describes the problems: But the second part explores how we can look back at older ways of thinking and redefine our relationship with the world and with each other.
Both cultures seem backward to a society totally dependent on a diminishing resource, yet they are more prepared to survive the collapse of industrialism than I am. There are 2 documentaries on this topic of peak oil more recent than this book that I have seen: But Thom Hartmann's book is the most hopeful and spiritual and in that sense, a more thoughtful and challenging read.
Everyone needs to read this as there is much food for thought. View 2 comments. Jun 19, Michele marked it as to-read. Saw this author in the DVD "11th Hour.
Most of our human history involved living with "current sunlight. Ancient sunlight is the energy stored in the earth from fossil fuels, etc. Ancient sunlight is not an unlimited resource and has supported a human population explosion. And the increase in our bloated population is conributing to our environmental problems. Here's a Gore vidal quote used in the book: We can realize that we ARE nature, and that viewpoint will dictate how we treat our environment.
When we see ourselves as "separate" from nature, we think of nature as a resource to be exploited. Dec 03, Justin rated it it was amazing. Our economic system based on infinite growth has run into the limits of the physical world.
Now that our social systems must rapidly adapt to a new reality of energy scarcity, we must pay special attention to the humans within those systems. Representing the world as varying forms of ancient sunlight is a powerful analogy that can introduce even the most encapsulated thinkers to holistic systems thinking.
It reminded me of the idea that innovation can either be built on success of the past or borrowed from the future. Hartmann provides all the facts and figures necessary to demonstrate that the majority of our current lifestyle is dependent on the ancient sunlight of the past, stored in dense forms like oil and coal.
Our depletion of this resource has borrowed even the most basic support systems from the future. Yet, how can we be in a situation that is so dire yet everything looks so good? Ancient Sunlight explains that our modern industrial civilization is living off its startup capital, like a company that is building a lavish office without pushing a sustainable business model.
The severity of this situation cannot be iterated enough. An example is in human slavery, the dense form of energy we have now gives us access to hundreds of energy slaves that can drive our cars and light our houses, without this it would take many humans to do equivalent work. Coupled with collapses in biodiversity, water shortages, widespread desertification because of climate changes, and massive cutbacks in forest cover are presenting our species with a decade of significant change afoot.
Analyzing how we got here is a useful way to build a model for the future. By looking at historical examples of global cultures Ancient Sunlight draws a distinction between Younger Cultures and Older Cultures. Hartmann explains how younger cultures are warlike, agressive and obsessed with superiority while older cultures are filled with respect, integration and conservation. The younger culture is a culture of control, gaining power through its current incarnations with the powerful drugs of television and general entertainment, just two of the things that completely disconnect us from our natural environment and our birthright as humans.
Hartmann provides an all encompassing look at the stories we tell ourselves about our culture, i. Constrast these examples with the older culture stories, i. Much of this comes from our view that natives were lazy and stupid, falsehoods that are overturned by even a cursory study of the accounts from ethnographers, whether of brilliant pharmacological solutions to illness in the site or of the technology of the! Kung tribes which allowed them to work less than 20 hours a week.
Cooperation is revealed as the basis for a new paradigm, a better society encompassed by this statement from Dwight D.
Quiet time for reflection has led me to immense personal and universal truths. Jul 27, Annie Chin rated it it was amazing. It was such an amazing book to read. This is one of those annoying books that the school picked out to torture us. Since California is in such a big drought, I was aware of the problems of insufficient natural resourcea that we are facing worldwide.
However, it wasn't until reading this book that I rea It was such an amazing book to read. However, it wasn't until reading this book that I realized how dire the situation was. And this revised copy was published in ! I absolutely loved the way the author presented facts to us. He did such a good job in explaining the differences between the Older Cultures and the Younger Cultures. Usually, as a Buddhist, it's hard for me to read text that talks about religion since the author always seemed to be trying to impose their religion on the reader , but Thom Hartmann was an exception.
In this book, he tells us that differences between communities are absolutely natural, and it wasn't until the birth of the Younger Culture that identified differences as negative. Conformity is what makes us feel less self-conscious at that one party.
Conformity makes us seem less of an outsider. The reason for this is because we have set up a hierarchy for the differences. However, he explains that in the Older Cultures, they have no hierarchy.
They don't view someone with a different set of beliefs as bad, but just as different. The main point he makes about this and also follows throughout his book us that they also don't try to impose their own beliefs to someone who has a set of different ones.
Never once in the book did he tell someone to convert. This book is such an amazing and eye-opening experience. It really makes you question the society we live in today and wonder in what ways we can start connecting to nature again. View 1 comment. Jun 02, Fenix Rose rated it it was amazing Shelves: A very easy to read book yet thought provoking book.
Our society is built on teh use of ancient sunlight, we fight wars over it, since it is a limited resource. The civilizations before us did the same and in the end collapsed because they forgot something vitally important There is no pyramid where we are at teh top.. This book delves into the past, the far past whe A very easy to read book yet thought provoking book.
This book delves into the past, the far past where tribal structures were the norm, a few still managing to exist to modern times, and the more recent past, the 7, years we know as human civilization. It shows not just social structure but how that affected economic structure and how it affected the environment they lived in.
In the end we need to learn from these pasts, remember what we have forgotten as a species. But though we need to change our view of teh planet and nature and ourselves, change how we live, our economies and society as a whole, it isnt an either or situation.
We dont need to totally give up our tech and all those things we have learned, but we can use them to built a sustainable civilization that allows us to live as part of nature, in harmony with the world around us, and will take us far into the future. Perhaps our tech will even enable us to heal some of the scars our civilization has made on the face of teh Earth.
It all starts with us as individuals changing how we view our home and our place in it and then changing how we interact with it. All those small movements, ripples, will fan out and combine into bigger ripples, as we see around the world even today, ripples of change. Primitive isnt living simply in harmony with nature, primitive is being irresponsible and immature and destroying the natural world around us for a quick buck that wont have any value when civilization collapses.
Apr 16, Patricia rated it it was ok Shelves: The first third of this book outlines all the problems we've got going on, on this planet.
Since this book was published originally in , it covered ground I was pretty familiar with. No solutions were offered, though. Then, there was a section about culture and then a third section. Hartman is fond of "Old Way" thinking, characterizing modern society as "Young Way" thinking.
According to him, primitive cultures had it going on. But what to do about the fact that we don't live in primitive cu The first third of this book outlines all the problems we've got going on, on this planet.
But what to do about the fact that we don't live in primitive cultures anymore? There are no solutions in this book! Near the end, I hit this paragraph which made things clear: It presents the problems, delves into the causes of them, and then presents as a solution something that many may think couldn't possibly be a solution because it seems unfathomably difficult: I'm off to change the culture, beginning with myself.
Feb 19, Will rated it did not like it Shelves: This is a half-baked treatise that uses global warming and peak oil as a rationale for "spiritual" living.
Actual science and studies are thin on the ground. I really should have guessed that something was up when looking at the recommendations: I read to the point where he started talking about the indoctrinating This is a half-baked treatise that uses global warming and peak oil as a rationale for "spiritual" living. I read to the point where he started talking about the indoctrinating effect of television on today's youth. It's going in my recycling pile when I can be bothered to pick it up.
I suppose I shouldn't be quite so hard on it given that it was written in , but having just read Plan B, Hot: The Next 50 years, and The Ecotechnic Future -- this book doesn't measure up to any one of them. There are more comprehensive, more complete books out there now.
Go download one of them. May 28, John P. I'm impressed. I read this primarily as a theologian; I'm fascinated by the notion that "original sin" could stem from the moment I stumbled into Thom Hartman through an amazing movie, a documentary called "I Am". Also excellent. A Thoughtful Search for a Silver Lining amid the Gloomiest Storm It is quite normal to get deceived when you are ignorant, to get distracted when you are not free, and to become desperate when you can see no hope.
These are the three states which Thom Hartmann challenges in his book, calling for an action by every individual to face a problem that undermines the existence of the whole of humanity. It is not yet another book about the environment and the depletion of nature's resources, as it is a A Thoughtful Search for a Silver Lining amid the Gloomiest Storm It is quite normal to get deceived when you are ignorant, to get distracted when you are not free, and to become desperate when you can see no hope.
It is not yet another book about the environment and the depletion of nature's resources, as it is a unique book that speaks to the practical as well as the spiritual, the informed as well as the misinformed.
You may not like all that's written in it, but that won't change the fact that its premise is true, and the truth usually hurts. Hartmann is an author, a radio host, a psychotherapist, and a political commentator, among other things. His areas of expertise include treating ADHD -- a main subject of some of his books -- studying tribal communities, and, as it seems from this book, a casual interest in spiritual meditation.
He has a good understanding of science and is rightfully concerned about the future of our children as we all should be. In this book, which was originally published in -- the edition on which this review is based -- followed by a revised edition in , he tries to build a momentum towards "sustainable living" through a clear understanding of the scale of the problem ahead of us.
His aim is a collective action of all humans, yet he describes why that is impossible in a system like the one we are living in. Hence, he appeals to the individual, trying to build from the ground up an awareness of the need to change, so as to at least mitigate the dangers as our modern culture sucks the life out of the planet.
From the beginning of the book, it is clear that what lays beyond us isn't a rosy way. The author notes that he divided the book into three sections, each trying to answer the following questions respectively: What the scale of the problem is?
How have we gotten ourselves into such a dire situation? And what can we do to escape the seemingly inevitable doom? He emphasizes that those who like to only hear good news will feel a tendency to stop the reading after reaching the middle of the first chapter for the lack of any. He invites them, though, to continue reading with a promise of a silver lining towards the end of the book.
The first chapter is as intense as it should be, detailing the current situation. The prospects are gloomy, projecting a future in which nothing of substance is done to circumvent the status quo towards a better destiny.
It is purely scientific, qualifying as a concise, simple introduction to the mechanics of nature and how our actions are disturbing it -- I really believe it should be taught in schools. Hartmann refers to all sorts of energy as sunlight, whether current, like plants and animals' meat, or ancient like coal and oil. The premise of his book, and especially this chapter, is simple: Sunlight is the source of almost everything living on Earth and the energy these creatures consume.
Thus, consuming only current sunlight means maintaining a stable population dependent on what the lands can deliver as energy while consuming ancient sunlight means growth of population beyond the Earth's output of current sunlight.
One can immediately see where this is going by rereading the title of the book. In the course of describing the whole natural cycle of energy production and the vital role of trees in it, Hartmann reminds us of bits of history that show how development affects the environment through the patterns of consumption of energy. It all began with hunting-and-gathering tribes, which date back to more than hundred thousand of years, depending totally on current sunlight.
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