Unsustainable World : Are We Losing the Battle to Save Our Planet? book cover
1st Edition

Unsustainable World
Are We Losing the Battle to Save Our Planet?

ISBN 9781032058580
Published March 15, 2022 by Routledge
418 Pages 86 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $42.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Using a cross-disciplinary, science- and economics-based approach, this book provides a sobering and comprehensive assessment of the multifaceted barriers to achieving sustainability at a global level.

Organized into three parts, the book defines sustainability in part I and sets the context of the historical and current difficulties facing the world today. In parts II and III, it outlines the sustainability challenges faced in transportation, manufacturing, and agriculture, and then in turn addresses the solutions, conditional solutions, and nonsolutions to these challenges. These include electric and autonomous automobiles, nuclear power, renewable energy, geoengineering, and carbon capture and storage. The author attempts to differentiate among those proposed solutions and discusses which are most promising and which are infeasible, counterproductive, and potentially a waste of time and money. In each of the book’s chapters, the scientific evidence is presented in detail, in keeping with the advice of the young Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg, to let the science speak for itself. The author outlines why sustainability is unlikely to be achieved in several key areas of human endeavor and readers are challenged to weigh the scientific evidence for themselves.

Using an economic business-based approach, this book introduces students and general readers to the challenges of sustainability and the environmental difficulties facing humanity today.

Table of Contents

PART I: Introduction and Critical Concepts

Chapter 1: Introduction: The Nature of the Challenge

Chapter 2: The Economics-Ecology Nexus

PART II: Greenhouse-Gas-Intensive Sectors

Chapter 3: Unsustainable Industry

Chapter 4: Unsustainable Automobility

Chapter 5: Unsustainable Agriculture

Chapter 6: Agriculture and the Existential Threat of Climate Change

PART III: Quid Nunc? Solutions, Conditional Solutions and Non-Solutions

Chapter 7: Hi-Tech Transportation

Chapter 8: Nuclear Power

Chapter 9: Renewable Energy: Prospects and Challenges

Chapter 10: Conclusion: The Narrowing Path to Sustainability

Chapter 11: Pandemics and Sustainability

View More



Peter N. Nemetz received a PhD in Economics from Harvard University and is Professor Emeritus of Strategy and Business Economics in the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia, Canada. For twenty-nine years he held a visiting research position in the Department of Health Sciences Research at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He has published more than one hundred books, academic articles, and consulting reports in the areas of natural disaster economics, natural resource and environmental economics and policy, international business, sustainability, and epidemiology.


"A book with cutting-edge industry and sector data and observations, informing existing and future scholarly work, practitioners and organizations on key issues and challenges in sustainability. Thought-provoking, with highly intellectual material to generate fundamental questions and critiques around sustainability matters, practices and conceptualizations."

Iva Bimpli, Lecturer, University of Leeds, School of Earth and Environment, United Kingdom

"When one is guided by science, the way forward for humankind is not a rosy path—it is a path marred by unnecessary ecological degradation and irresponsible resource draw-down. Peter Nemetz’s new work removes some of the varnish that otherwise obscures the precarious vista that humanity now faces. It gives us cause for far deeper reflection regarding our common fate on this planet."

Scott Valentine, Professor of Regenerative Planning and Circular Economy, Director of Research Promotions Office, Kyushu University, Japan

"Using an economic-business-based approach, this book presents the unvarnished scientific facts that describe the dimensions of global ecological change conveying a critical message to humankind: unless drastic action is undertaken to change how economic systems relate to nature, the survival of our way of life in this planet is in serious jeopardy."

Miguel A. Altieri, Professor Emeritus of Agroecology, University of California, Berkeley, USA