Switching off the autopilot: An evolutionary toolbox for the Great Transition (new book)
This book is about the ecological crisis that threatens to collapse our entire civilisation. It is about the crisis of liberal democracy unfolding before our eyes. And it is about a new approach that aims to tackle both crises.
Over the last few years, campaigns and activist approaches to tackling systemic problems have increasingly looked at the world through a lens of identity, power and privilege. I’m deeply concerned that this approach is highly divisive and counterproductive. Instead of bringing us closer to tackling our most pressing issues, like climate change, they contribute to further political polarisation and increase the risk of authoritarian regimes. The current political climate might set us back many years from tackling the ecological crisis, years we don’t have. It might also reverse some of the enormous social progress made in recent years instead of contributing to a fairer world.
The book argues that civil society leaders and funders have a lot to gain from adopting an evolutionary worldview. Evolutionary science teaches us how we got to where we are now, and how understanding our gene-culture co-evolutionary heritage will make it much easier to switch off our destructive deep-seated tendency for tribalism and design a good society. We have to shift all our attention to tackling the hard problem of evolution: figuring out how to adapt to the new conditions on Earth much faster than humanity has ever done or has had to do.