BOOK REVIEW: ‘Twilight of Abundance’

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Twilight of Abundance’, by David Archibald.

In “Twilight of Abundance: Why Life in the 21st Century Will be Nasty, Brutish, and Short,” David Archibald stresses the disasters awaiting us (unless we reverse course on several fronts) dwarf anything we’ve previously experienced. …

Mr. Archibald is an Exxon-trained geologist, a financial-industry analyst and a scholar at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, where he teaches a course in strategic energy policy.

“Climate change?” Check (sort of). Right problem, wrong temperature. Yes, we do face “climate change.” That has been drummed into our ears almost 24/7. What’s different about Mr. Archibald’s approach is that he cites chapter and verse to back a claim that we are on a path toward an “entirely predictable but potentially catastrophic global cooling,” not global warming.

“A colder world,” he warns, “will be a hungrier world.” …

“Current grain stocks held by countries around the world,” the author goes on to say, “assume that tomorrow will be much the same as today,” when in reality “the highest solar activity for the last 8,000 years is now past.”

Actually, “the climate for grain growing will continue to get worse,” and “cold-driven reductions in grain supply will be quite distressing even to those who are prepared. The unprepared will become quite dead.”

Furthermore, he claims, only one country in the world has an energy policy adequate for the future: China. …

In terms of armed conflict, the author … sees China as the main long-term threat. The Chinese were “late to the industrial party,” he says. Accordingly, they “prefer that other nations be deferential to them in a hierarchal arrangement with China at the top.” The Chinese perceived lack of the respect they deserve even generated an official National Humiliation Day holiday for 13 years. Determination to overcome the inferiority complex accounts for historical and recent Chinese aggression, notably in the South China Sea.

To erase the stigma of its “century of shame, China will need to have an unequivocal victory over somebody,” Mr. Archibald writes, citing what he believes is “the Chinese dream of a quick war with the United States.” His book lists “four main factors that will influence the timing of China’s attack,” all of them related to energy and military readiness and the U.S. political calendar.

hat-tip Nick