The modern world is, in the authors’ view, undergoing the process of meltdown—global meltdown. Having argued in an earlier book that humankind is headed for an environmental catastrophe that will either eliminate the human species or greatly reduce our numbers, the authors now focus on the breakdown of organized social order that will occur when the ecological crisis happens. Believing that civilization as we know it will not last, even without a definitive environmental cataclysm, they explore here the social, political, and philosophical ramifications of this vision.
After outlining the interaction of the forces of environmental destruction, economic rationalism, and technological revolution, this book shows their impact on social problems such as immigration, racial and ethnic conflict, and the loss of personal, spiritual, and religious meaning. In the first chapter, the authors consider the effects of these social conflicts in both the non-Western and the Western world, concluding that the global meltdown theory is supported by the worldwide rise of terrorism. Chapter 2 discusses the technological and ecological forces they believe will led to a new world disorder. The work then goes on to use Australia as a case study illustrating the collision of population and environment. In the concluding chapter, the authors support their thesis further with a review of the literature on the subject.