The name of this blog, Rainbow Juice, is intentional.
The rainbow signifies unity from diversity. It is holistic. The arch suggests the idea of looking at the over-arching concepts: the big picture. To create a rainbow requires air, fire (the sun) and water (raindrops) and us to see it from the earth.
Juice suggests an extract; hence rainbow juice is extracting the elements from the rainbow, translating them and making them accessible to us. Juice also refreshes us and here it symbolises our nutritional quest for understanding, compassion and enlightenment.

Tuesday 9 May 2023

An Inconvenient Apocalypse (Book Review)

The title of this book, An Inconvenient Apocalypse,1 evokes the 2006 book and movie, An Inconvenient Truth – US Presidential candidate Al Gore’s attempt to educate people about global warming. This book’s sub-title is Environmental Collapse, Climate Crisis, and the Fate of Humanity.

Little excuse then for not knowing that this book deals with climate change (global warming) and other matters.

However, you will not find any reference in this book to 1.5 degrees (or 2 degrees, nor any other temperature measure) of warming. There are no numbers like 420 ppm or how many Gigatons of carbon dioxide are emitted per year. No apocalyptic numbers at all.

That is because the authors of this book ask different questions than do the writers of most other books dealing with these apocalyptic times. Most other writers are asking questions such as: what does the science tell us, what are we doing, and what can we do about it?

Wes Jackson and Robert Jensen however, ask: who are we?

That simple question is far more significant that those that ask questions of what we have, have not, or will do.

In posing and attempting to answer this fundamental question, the authors have deliberately chosen the word apocalypse to form part of the book’s title. The word, the authors note, can have two meanings, each of which is germane to their thesis.

In contemporary English, apocalypse has the meaning of something cataclysmic, especially the coming of the end of the world.

The other meaning is suggested by the word’s etymology. Jackson and Jensen express it thus: ‘…from the Greek meaning a lifting of the veil, a disclosure of something hidden from most people, a coming to clarity.’

This is the message the authors wish to communicate. We are in cataclysmic times and that, to navigate these times, we must lift the veil on who we are. We must also gain greater clarity on the character of the systems we have devised over many hundreds of years.

Jackson and Jensen do not wish to point the finger at human designed systems and institutions such as capitalism, religion, or other ideologies, although these may be implicated as ‘accessories to the deed.’ Rather, they wish to walk and talk us through some inconvenient understandings related to physics, chemistry, and biology. Equipped with these understandings, the authors would like us all (individually and collectively) to come to realise that ‘no human system can ignore the forces of the larger living world, which are far more powerful than we are.’

If you are seeking answers to how to cope in apocalyptic times, or how to proceed, then you will find very few in this book. You will, however, be presented with an articulate formulation of many of the questions that are essential to ask.

Right now, the questions posed by Jackson and Jensen carry more potency than the answers we are being led to believe will resolve the predicaments we are in.

That is because we have been asking the wrong questions.

Jackson and Jensen ask new, and inconvenient, questions. Get the book and start asking the same questions.


1. Wes Jackson & Robert Jensen, An Inconvenient Apocalypse: Environmental Collapse, Climate Crisis, and the Fate of Humanity, University of Notre Dame Press, Indiana, 2022.

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