We’ve covered Ronald Rovers’s views from time to time in our blog. Here is his latest contribution. He covers books he recommends and those he doesn’t.

Top very readable books : ( not necessarily in that order….)

The Upside of Down – Thomas Homer-Dixon

Great book, making connections between problems and tensions in society ( population, energy, environment climate and economy) and analyzing, drawing history lessons and exploring solution directions, very coherent and well reasoned. Very readable and inspiring.

In the servitude of power – Jean-Claude Debeir et all

Energy only works in 1 direction, so the key is to extract as much work as possible from that unit of energy, because gone is gone. But also no more than that! That energy power comes from the sun, eventually. And via labor. From humans and animals, and how was that historically? Wonderful overview and examples.

Value of everything – Mariana Mazzucato

How about money, and capital and means of production, and land? Who claimed what, where and when in the past centuries? A great overview of the development of the (money) economy. And the resulting shortcomings today….

Regenesis – George Monbiot

That agriculture needs to change, everyone understands by now, right? George Monbiot’s latest book (previously known also from the book ‘Heat’) is a great advocate of change, and certainly of agriculture, and went looking for answers with all kinds of projects, farmers, and specialists.

From eternity to here – Sean Carrol

Actually it’s strange: Thermodynamics shows that everything degrades to dust, to chaos, high entropy. Then why isn’t that on the earth? And then what about the universe as a whole? Its heading for chaos, but then it should have come from a hugely organized state (low chaos) ?

How to blow up a pipeline – Andreas Malm

You’re an activist and you want to act. How far can you go? Legal and philosophical exploration of options . ( And so you can blow up Nord Stream …?).

The end of Growth – Richard Heinberg

What people can do to prepare for hard times, say an economic crash: Get out of debt, be self-sufficient and live non-consumptively. Irony: Dont buy anything anymore, And the current faulty system is guaranteed to collapse by itself, so that helps. And so be prepared either way.

Before the collapse – Ugo Bardi

I was previously inspired by an older book , Extraction, by Ugo Bardi, a member of the Club of Rome. But with this book he surpasses himself, showing that the collapse is inevitable. We choose ourselves whether it will be fast and hard or slow and softer.

Energy Return on Investment – Charles A Hall

Perhaps the author who best understands how physical-energy works. Building on Odum’s work, he introduces EROI, analyzing all kinds of processes. At the same time analyses the pursuit of Max Power, a possible additional thermodynamic law .

In fact, I now realize, this should be a mandatory reading list on schools, in stead of fiction books. Its reading and learning at the same time. 


Then there are the books Rovers suggests we forget, which you can see here. We wonder what books you would close to include in your top 10 …

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