by Peter Seidel
Prometheus Books, 2009
A Review by NPG’s David Simcox
Prometheus Books New Releases – March 2009 Fiction
A Story of Our Future
by Peter Seidel
“Peter Seidel’s novel gives us a sense of what life will be like in the future if we stay with our business-as-usual policies. It is an insightful, revealing read.”
Lester R. Brown, President of Earth Policy Institute
and author of Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization
Global warming, environmental degradation, the rapid pace of technological innovation, and the economic stresses of globalization give rise to much speculation about the future. How will these dynamic factors affect society in the coming decades? In this dystopian novel, environmental expert Peter Seidel has created a stark and haunting vision of a world on the near horizon.
Carl is a small-town midwestern businessman who is accidentally put into a coma when he receives an inadequately tested vaccine. When he finally regains consciousness, he discovers that it is the year 2045 and his unusual medical story and recovery have turned him into an international celebrity. As he visits family and friends, he finds out that almost everything has gone wrong and the family business he ran thirty-five years ago has disappeared. Carl’s fame lands him a job on a seemingly idyllic tropical island with one of the eight giant international corporations that own almost everything. His job is to help promote a soft drink. He is overwhelmed by the unbounded luxury he finds on the island. But he learns that the ethical standards in this strange place are only a front. During a business trip, he discovers something that horrifies him and turns him in a new direction, one beset with life-threatening dangers.
Seidel skillfully projects a wide range of current trends into a believable and disturbing near-term future scenario. Peter Seidel (Cincinnati, Ohio) is an environmental architect/planner with wide-ranging interests who studied with world-renowned Bauhaus architect Mies van der Rohe and city planner Ludwig Hilberseimer. He is the author of Invisible Walls.
320 pages ∙ ISBN 978-1-59102-705-8 ∙ Paperback: $19 (6” x 9”) ∙ World Rights To Order Call: 800-421-0351 Can also be purchased in book stores or on Amazon
Comments from Back Cover
“2045 is the most important book I have ever read, for two reasons. Seidel has an astonishing ability to make an exhaustive survey of the modern world and identify all those forces that work in the system which will have a huge effect when projected ahead three or more decades. Second, he has an extraordinary ability to forecast how different kinds of forces will interact with each other. Like Tolstoy’s War and Peace, 2045 paints a very ‘big picture.’ “This is a highly engaging and entertaining novel. However, you gradually come to notice that up to three new ideas or facts are being revealed to you every page you read.”
Kenneth E. F. Watt author of The Titanic Effect, and Understanding The Environment is published in Russian, Spanish, and Japanese
“Peter Seidel’s novel gives us a sense of what life will be like in the future if we stay with our business-as-usual policies. It is a revealing read to say the least.”
Lester R. Brown, President of Earth Policy Institute and author of Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization
“Corporate unethical and illegal behavior is common today but partially kept in check by government intervention. In 2045 the world is controlled by 8 giant corporations through mergers and acquisitions. They control nearly all countries, democratic or autocratic. The environment, consumers, and workers are now utterly at the mercy of the corporations. Seidel vividly describes the resulting situation in a gripping novel.”
Marshall B. Clinard, Author of four major books on corporate ethics and crime.
“Peter Seidel’s new novel, 2045, offers a bold, imaginative exploration of what our world will look like thirty-five years in the future if current trends, including the depletion of natural resources, continue for a while un-checked. Seidel conjures for us a world in which large swathes of the western United States are a desert, cars are a luxury only the very wealthy can afford, and government and the press are in the thrall of a small number of multinational corporations. Seidel’s characters are finely-etched, the dynamics among them rich and persuasive. This novel offers a brilliant opportunity for all of us to envision the possible outcomes of our current levels of resource use, and to effect positive change before it is too late.”
Mathis Wachernagel, Executive Director of Global Footprint Network, and Co-Creator of the term Ecological Footprint.
“Given the accelerating volatility of today’s economic and environmental trends, it’s hard to imagine life more than three decades out. Peter Seidel has constructed a plausible near future that combines aspects of both a techno-wonderworld and a collapsing civilization. 2045 is a timely reminder that today’s ongoing population growth and environmental degradation carry a high risk, the real possibility of a global descent into human hell. It’s not a pretty picture, but it makes for a provocative novel with a clear message: Don’t go there. We still have time to head toward a better, more egalitarian future. But probably not a lot of time.”
Robert Engelman, author of More: Population, Nature, and What Women Want.
World population, now over 7.3 billion, is predicted to rise to 9 billion by 2050, an increase of almost two billion, or 23%, in the short space of only 34 years from now.In the highly unlikely event that per capita greenhouse gas emissions could possibly be decreased by an equal percentage in such a short space of time (a blink of an eye) the total amount of worldwide emission would remain the same!
From this simple illustration it would appear that without drastically reducing the size of world population, there is no solution to the problem.None at all.So then why do our world leaders pretend that there is one?What is to be gained by pretending rather than by proposing a solution that would solve the problem – a reduction in the size of world population to not more than 1- 2 billion?