This study provides a comprehensive and scholarly introduction to the debate around global apocalypse. The work presents an up-to-date overview of global climactic change, while also addressing challenges from climate change skeptics. Issues discussed include, the limits of scientific knowledge, and the capacity for societies to adapt to environmental challenges. The theme of the collapse of modern civilization is gaining increasing academic and popular interest. In recent times, there have been a number of movies and best-selling popular books dealing with this theme. However, there is also a body of scholarly and scientific work which also sees human civilization and even the survival of the human species itself: as under threat. Typically these works are concerned with the interacting and converging ecological threats of climate change, resource depletion (especially 'peak oil'), biodiversity destruction and impending water and soil crises, among other matters. Some influential scholars see a collapse of modern civilization occurring because of the self-destructive affluence of the First World, with a possible descent into 'global anarchy'.
Others are more optimistic and see hope for a new ecologically sustainable civilization to be built from the decaying ruins of modernity. "The Self-Destructive Affluence of the First World" offers a clear and concise introduction to these epic debates which will decide the future of humanity. The work presents for non-specialists an up-to-date overview of some alarming trends in global climatic change, while also addressing challenges from climate change skeptics. Issues discussed include the limits of our rational and scientific understanding of the world, and the need for epistemological humbleness, the incapacity for modern societies to adapt to the radical environmental challenges ahead, and the likely way the human story will end.