Shortcomings of the Human Mind for Handling Big-Picture, Long-Term Challenges
By Peter Seidel
“Many years of thought, practical work, and reflection are distilled in Peter Seidel’s careful analysis and urgent call to action. The book is wide-ranging and accessible to the public, yet without any ‘dumbing down.’ Highly recommended.”
—Herman Daly, one of the founders of the field of ecological economics, and author of Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development
“The premise behind Uncommon Sense is the biggest question in human history: Ingenious as our species may be, is it also wise enough to do what it will take to keep our civilization viable, before it’s too late? Peter Seidel lays out all that ails the earth in this make-or-break century and leaves it to us to decide whether our saga continues, or ends all too soon.”
—Alan Weisman, author of Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? and The World Without Us
“The author has packed this book with wisdom and insight. It highlights substantial flaws in current institutions, misguided cultural beliefs, and dangerous psychological biases, all of which hold us back from reversing the current trends toward self-destruction.”
—Mathis Wackernagel, co-creator of the Ecological Footprint
and President of the Global Footprint Network
Plenty of evidence points to environmental catastrophe, economic collapse, and resultant human misery in the decades to come, yet we fail to respond in rational, meaningful ways. Uncommon Sense identifies the root cause of most of our problems: ourselves. Beyond the typical surveys of immediate threats, Uncommon Sense delves instead into the shortcomings of the human mind for dealing with such big-picture, long-term problems as climate change, biodiversity loss, and the overcrowding of Earth by people, products, and pollutants. Only by acknowledging and exploring these shortcomings do we have a chance to correct them and work our way back onto sustainable footing, before it’s too late for millions of people, thousands of species, and hundreds of cultures.
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About the Author
Seidel holds a B.S. in Architectural Engineering from the University of Colorado and a Masters in Architectural Planning from the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he studied under renowned architect Mies van der Rohe. Seidel has served as a faculty member at the University of Michigan and Virginia Tech, and he also taught at Central China Institute of Science and Technology. His work has been published in numerous academic journals, and he has also authored three books: Invisible Walls, Global Survival, and 2045.