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Wilson himself became increasingly authoritarian and used social pressure to convince members into performing gruelling physical labour that was virtually on the same level as slavery. He did this by telling them these activities were tests of fitness to advance their spirituality.

In , the group was finally dissolved and Wilson disappeared from the Nanaimo area along with hundreds of thousands of dollars of Foundation money and Mabel Skottowe one of the women with whom he was accused of having an extramarital affair. They reportedly left by tugboat and eventually made their way to Switzerland. The majority of reports say that he died in Switzerland in , though some that say he was seen in San Francisco with his lawyer after his alleged death. According to Cowan , because most people have little direct knowledge of cults and mainly get their information through sensationalist media reports, cults are easily presented as targets of moral panic for being immoral, extreme or dangerous.

The three main accusations that cults face are that they engage in brainwashing, acts of sexual deviance and social isolationism. Each of these accusations applied to the media reports on the Aquarian Foundation although their dominant theme centered on the claim that Brother XII was a fraud. While some people think of religion as something individual because religious beliefs can be highly personal , for sociologists religion is also a social institution.

Social scientists recognize that religion exists as an organized and integrated set of beliefs, behaviours, and norms centred on basic social needs and values. Moreover, religion is a cultural universal found in all social groups. For instance, in every culture, funeral rites are practiced in some way, although these customs vary between cultures and within religious affiliations. These universals, and the differences in how societies and individuals experience religion, provide rich material for sociological study.

But why does religion exist in the first place? Despite the conflict that has accompanied religion over the centuries, it still continues to exist, and in some cases thrive. How do we explain the origins and continued existence of religion? We will examine sociological theories below, but first we turn to evolutionary and psychological explanations.

Many psychologists explain the rise and persistence of religion in terms of Darwinian evolutionary theory. Psychologist Roger Cloninger defines this core religious experience as the disposition towards self-transcendence. It has three measurable components: self-forgetfulness absorption in tasks and the ability to lose oneself in concentration , transpersonal identification perception of spiritual union with the cosmos and the ability to reduce boundaries of self vs. The argument is that because this is a universal phenomenon, it must have a common physiological or genetic basis that is passed on between generations that enhances human survival.

According to Charles Darwin all species are involved in a constant battle for survival, using adaptions as their primary weapon against an ever-changing, and hostile environment. Adaptions are genetic, or behavioral traits that are shaped by environmental pressures, and genetic variation. By dissecting religion to a core set of purposes, it can be categorized as an adaption that increases the chances of human survival. All adaptions successfully passed on to future generations aided at one point either in reproduction or survival because the genes that selected for them were passed on.

This is the rule of natural selection Darwin, Much of evolutionary psychology aims at explaining the possible environments in which certain adaptions were selected. Although religion has the potential to cause unwanted side effects, such as wars, it still provides much greater benefits, by responding to numerous survival problems through collective religious processes.

A very specific benefit, for example, is disease prevention. Many historic religions placed an emphasis on cleanliness, comparing it to spiritual purity. Consequently there is also an evolutionary benefit to this religious virtue. During a time period where disease was a constant threat to survival, idealizing cleanliness helped minimize communicable diseases from food, animals, and even humans. Although disease prevention has been an important byproduct of religious practices around the world, evolutionary psychologists argue that the main benefit religion has provided to human survival is the mutual support provided by fellow members.

More specifically, religion creates a framework for social cohesion and solidarity, even during times of loss, and grief, which has been a crucial competitive strategy of the human species. Dean Hamer for example describes a specific gene that correlates with the capacity for self-transcendence. After his research team isolated an association between the VMAT2 gene sequence and populations who scored high on psychological scales for self-transcendence, Hamer noted these genes were connected to the production of neurotransmitters known as monoamines.

The effects of monoamines on the meso-limbic systems in the human body were similar to many stimulant drugs: feelings of euphoria and positive well-being. What is striking about this evidence is the implication that evolution has favoured genes that are often displayed in religious populations. Hamer extends the evolutionary argument to suggest that religion, grounded genetically in a neuro-chemical capacity for self-transcendence, provides competitive advantages for the human species in the forms of community well-being higher rates of reciprocity and social welfare and longevity reduction of maladaptive behaviours and increased cleanliness.

Many similar effects can be observed in the present environment. Strawbridge, Sherna, Cohen, and Kaplan, conducted a year longitudinal study on religious attendance and survival. Although they found that weekly religious attendance more often assisted in targeting and reducing maladaptive behaviors such as smoking, it also aided in maintaining social relations, and marriage Strawbridge et al. Evolutionary psychology argues that these modern tendencies to feel happiness during a church congregation to reduce maladaptive behaviours are innate, sculpted by centuries of exposure to religion. Evolutionist Richard Dawkins hypothesized a similar reason why religion has created such a lasting impact on society.

Comparable to genes, memes are bits of information that can be imitated and transferred across cultures and generations Dawkins, As a vocal proponent of atheism, Dawkins believes the idea of God is a meme, working in the human mind the same way as a placebo effect.

The God meme contains tangible benefits to human society such as answers to questions about human transcendence and superficial comfort for daily difficulties, but the idea of God itself is a product of the human imagination Dawkins, Although a human creation, the God meme is incredibly appealing, and as a result, has continually been passed on through cultural transfusion. The logic of evolutionary psychology suggests that it is possible for religion to be replaced by another mechanism that is more beneficial to human survival.


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Just as Dawkins hypothesized that religious memes colonized societies around the world, this process could also be applied to secular memes. The secularization thesis predicts that as societies become modern, religious authority will be replaced with public institutions. As Canada, and other countries develop, perhaps evolution will continue to favour secularization, demoting religion from its central place in social life, and religious conflicts to history textbooks and motel night tables. Where psychological theories of religion focus on the aspects of religion that can be described as products of individual subjective experience — the disposition towards self-transcendence, for example — sociological theories focus on the underlying social mechanisms religion sustains or serves.

They tend to suspend questions about whether religious world views are true or not — e. Is enlightenment achievable through meditation? Marx, Durkheim, Weber and other early sociologists lived in a time when the validity of religion had been put into question. Traditional societies had been thoroughly religious societies, whereas modern society corresponded to the declining presence and influence of religious symbols and institutions.

Nationalism and class replaced religion as a source of identity. Religion became increasingly a private, personal matter with the separation of church and state. However, modern societies seemed inevitably to be on the path towards secularization in which people would no longer define religion as real. The question these sociologist grappled with was whether societies could work without the presence of a common religion. Instead religion was the product of a projection. Humans projected an image of themselves onto a supernatural reality, which they then turned around and submitted to in the form of a superhuman God.

Religious belief was a kind of narcotic fantasy or illusion that prevented people from perceiving their true conditions of existence, firstly as the creators of God, and secondly as beings whose lives were defined by historical, economic and class relations. Their suffering was real, but their explanation of it was false. However, Marx was not under the illusion that the mystifications of religion belief would simply disappear, vanquished by the superior knowledge of science and political-economic analysis.

The problem of religion was in fact the central problem facing all critical analysis: the attachment to explanations that compensate for real social problems but do not allow them to be addressed. They would continue to live under conditions of social inequality and grasp at the illusions of religion in order to cope.

The critical sociological approach he proposed would be to thoroughly disillusion people about the rewards of the afterlife and bring them back to earth where real rewards could be obtained through collective action. Emile Durkheim explained the existence of religion in terms of the functions it performs in society. Unlike Marx, however, he argued that religion fulfills real needs in each society, namely to reinforce certain mental states, sustain social solidarity, establish basic rules or norms, and concentrate collective energies.

These can be seen as the universal social functions of religion that underlie the unique natures of different religious systems all around the world, past and present Sachs, He was particularly concerned about the capacity of religion to continue to perform these functions as societies entered the modern era in the 19th and 20th centuries. The key defining feature of religion for Durkheim was its ability to distinguish sacred things from profane things. Sacred objects are things said to have been touched by divine presence.

They are set apart through ritual practices and viewed as forbidden to ordinary, everyday contact and use. Profane objects on the other hand are items integrated into ordinary everyday living. They have no religious significance. This basic dichotomy creates two distinct aspects of life, that of the ordinary and that of the sacred, that exist in mutual exclusion and in opposition to each other. This is the basis of numerous codes of behavior and spiritual practices. Durkheim argues that all religions, in any form and of any culture, share this trait. Therefore, a belief system, whether or not it encourages faith in a supernatural power, is identified as a religion of it outlines this divide and creates ritual actions and a code of conduct of how to interact with and around these sacred objects.

Durkheim examined the social functions of the division of the world into sacrd and profane by studying a group of Australian Aboriginals that practiced totemism. Totemic societies are divided into clans based on the different totemic creatures each clan revered. In line with his argument that religious practice needs to be understood in sociological terms rather than supernatural terms, he noted that totemism existed to serve some very specific social functions. For example, the sanctity of the objects venerated as totems infuse the clan with a sense of social solidarity because they bring people together and focus their attention on the shared practice of ritual worship.

They function to divide the sacred from the profane thereby establishing a ritually reinforced structure of social rules and norms, they enforce the social cohesion of the clans through the shared belief in a transcendent power, and they protect members of the society from each other since they all become sacred as participants in the religion. They create a collective consciousness and a focus for collective effervescence in society.

In a religious context, this feeling is interpreted as a connection with divine presence, as being filled with the spirit of supernatural forces, but Durkheim argues that in reality it is the material force of society itself, which emerges whenever people come together and focus on a single object. As individuals actively engage in communal activities, their belief system gains plausibility and the cycle intensifies. The fundamental principles that explain the most basic and ancient religions like totemism, also explain the persistence of religion in society as societies grow in scale and complexity.

However, in modern societies where other institutions often provide the basic for social solidarity, social norms, collective representations, and collective effervescence, will religious belief and ritual persist? In his structural-functional analysis of religion, Durkheim outlined three functions that religion still serves in society, which help to explain its ongoing existence in modern societies. First, religion ensures social cohesion through the creation of a shared consciousness form participation in rituals and belief systems.

Second, it formally enforces social norms and expectations of behavior, which serve to ensure predictability and control of human action. As long as the needs remain unsatisfied by other institutions in modern social systems, religion will exist to fill that void. He abandoned the idea of a religious or rabbinical career, however, and became very secular in his outlook.

Religion performs the key function of providing social solidarity in a society. This type of analysis became the basis of the functionalist perspective in sociology. He explained the existence and persistence of religion on the basis of the necessary function it performed in unifying society. His approach was to determine the meaning of religion in the conduct of life for members of society. Three key themes concerning religion emerge from his work: the concept of theodicy, the disenchantment of the world, and the Protestant Ethic.

They give meaning to why good or innocent people experience misfortune and suffering. Therefore believers must accept that there is a higher divine reason for their suffering and continue to strive to be good. Individuals must struggle in this life to rectify the evils accumulated from previous lives.

In particular, he was interested in the development of the modern worldview which he equated with the widespread processes of rationalization : the general tendency of modern institutions and most areas of life to be transformed by the application of technical reason, precise calculation, and rational organization.

Again, central to his interpretivist framework, how people interpreted and saw the world provided the basis for an explanation of the types of social organization they created. In this regard, one of his central questions was to determine why rationalization emerged in the West and not the East. Eastern societies in China, India, and Persia had been in many respects more advanced culturally, scientifically and organizationally than Europe for most of world history, but had not taken the next step towards developing thoroughly modern, rationalized forms of organization and knowledge.

The relationship to religion formed a key part of his answer. One component of rationalization was the process Weber described as the disenchantment of the world , which refers to the elimination of a superstitious or magical relationship to nature and life. Weber noted that many societies prevented processes of rationalization from occurring because of religious interdictions and restrictions against certain types of development. A contemporary example might be the beliefs concerning the sacredness of human life, which serve to restrict experimenting with human stem cells or genetic manipulation of the human genome.

For Weber, disenchantment was one source for the rapid development and power of Western society, but also a source of irretrievable loss. A second component of rationalization, particularly as it applies to the rise of capitalism as a highly rationalized economic system, was the formation of the Protestant Ethic. This will be discussed more fully below. The key point to note here is that Weber makes the argument that a specific ethic or way of life that developed among a few Protestant sects on the basis of religious doctrine or belief, i.

The restrictions that religions had imposed on economic activities and that had prevented them from being pursued in a purely rational, calculative manner, were challenged or subverted by the emergence and spread of new, equally religious, forms of belief and practice. He noted that in modern industrial societies, business leaders and owners of capital, the higher grades of skilled labour, and the most technically and commercially trained personnel were overwhelmingly Protestant.

He also noted the uneven development of capitalism in Europe, and in particular how capitalism developed first in those areas dominated by Protestant sects. As opposed to the traditional teachings of the Catholic Church in which poverty was a virtue and labour simply a means for maintaining the individual and community, the Protestant sects began to see hard, continuous labour as a spiritual end in itself. Hard labour was firstly an ascetic technique of worldly renunciation and a defense against temptations and distractions: the unclean life, sexual temptations, and religious doubts. Weber argued that the ethic , or way of life, that developed around these beliefs was a key factor in creating the conditions for both the accumulation of capital, as the goal of economic activity, and for the creation of an industrious and disciplined labour force.

It is an element of cultural belief that leads to social change rather than the concrete organization and class struggles of the economic structure. As the impediments toward rationalization were removed, organizations and institutions were restructured on the principle of maximum efficiency and specialization, while older, traditional i. The irony of the Protestant Ethic as one stage in this process is that the rationalization of capitalist business practices and organization of labour eventually dispensed with the religious goals of the ethic.

Phenomenology seeks to describe the way in which all phenomena, including religion, arise as perceptions within the immediate sensorial experience and awareness of individual subjects. Phenomenologists study the ways in which the world, and ourselves within it, first come to presence in experience and only later become separate objects, social structures or selves. Religion is only secondarily a structure, institution, practice, or set of beliefs. How do humans go from the flux of immediate perception to a religious worldview?

For Berger, religion is a particular type of culture Berger In order for humans to survive, the world must be culturally prepared as a world in which things and people have stable meanings. Culture, Berger argues, exists therefore as an artifice that mediates between humans and nature and provides needed stability and predictability in human life. From the phenomenological point of view, culture enables both the ongoing creation of the world as a stable, objective social reality outside the subject and the simultaneous creation, or interiorization, of social roles and social expectations within the subject.

Religion develops because the stability of culture is inherently fragile. Just as the immediate experience of the individual is subject to flux and change, so is the foundation of the ordered, meaningful world of culture. Cultural meanings tend to be fixed and rigid through time, whereas the underlying reality they describe is not.

Events occur that are not explainable. They fall outside the categories and threaten to put the whole cultural framework or nomos into question. Religion comes into existence as a solution to this problem. Religion is able to resolve the threat of instability and terror of anomie by postulating a supernatural agency or cosmological view of the world, which are unaffected by everyday inconstancy and uncertainty. In a religious cosmology the order described by culture is the natural order, that is, it is the way the gods have decided things must be.

Things that occur that cannot be explained in human terms are explained as the products of divine will. Religion is therefore a source of ultimate legitimation because it provides the social order with an unquestionable foundation of legitimacy: the way things are is the will of the gods. From a phenomenological point of view however, the price of this religious solution is a mode of forgetfulness and alienation. For the legitimation effect of religion to work and be plausible, humans must forget that they themselves have created religion.

They must forget that religion is a human accomplishment. In The Sacred Canopy, Berger argued that the processes of secularization will eventually erode the plausibility of religious belief. For religion to function as a sacred canopy and ultimate legitimation, it must provide the foundation for a shared belief system. In modern societies however, other types of knowledge and expert systems like science assume greater authority to describe the nature of the world and our role within it.

As we will see below in Section Despite the dominant expectation that modern societies were becoming ever more secular, Stark believed that religion was, and would continue to be, an important and influential factor for individuals and society. Stark notes that church membership and new religious movements have actually increased in the United States as the country modernized. In Europe, where religious participation is relatively low, levels of individual belief nevertheless remain high and participation has not undergone a long-term decline Stark, b. What explanation can be provided for the persistence of religion?

Stark begins with the stipulation that the importance of the supernatural must be recognized when studying religion. Belief in a higher force or power is the feature that distinguishes religions from non-religious beliefs and organizations. Any theory of religion must take this into account.

Stark attempts to answer this question by proposing a number of basic, general rules about humans and their behavior. Rational choice theory states that the most basic human motive is individual self-interest, and that all social activities are a product of rational decision making in which individuals continuously weigh the benefits of choices against their costs Scott, A person who has a choice between two jobs, for example, would weigh the rewards of each one such as higher pay or better benefits against the possible costs of longer work hours or further commutes. Individuals will on balance choose the course of action that maximizes their rewards and minimizes their costs.

In this sense, even seemingly irrational decisions or beliefs can be understood as rational choices from the point of view of the individual decision maker Stark, a. Religious belief in the supernatural may seem irrational from an outside perspective because it involves an orientation to invisible, supernatural powers that affect the everyday material world through unobservable mechanisms. However, for the religious believer whose worldview is shaped by this assumption, it is completely rational that they would choose to worship and make offerings to these supernatural powers in the hopes of gaining rewards and avoiding wrath or misfortune.

Moreover, by participating in religious practice, people also surround themselves with other believers who make the rationality of supernatural choices even more plausible. According to Stark, the rewards people desire most intensely are often scarce or not available at all, such as an end to suffering or eternal life. Consequently, when such rewards cannot be attained through direct means, humans will create and exchange compensators. These are promises or IOUs of a reward at an unspecified future date, along with an explanation of how they can be acquired.

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Stark argues that rewards such as these are so monumental and scarce that they can only be provided through a supernatural source. This is why religious belief persists. In other words, a person must believe that a supernatural power exists which is capable of providing this reward in order to rationally believe that it is attainable. In this sense, religious belief and practice are rational choices humans make to get the most coveted rewards regarding human existence.

Religious organizations function to provide compensators for these rewards by claiming to provide access to supernatural powers or deities. For Stark, this is the root of why religion continues to exist in the modern world, and why it will continue to persist. By using a positivist approach, Stark creates a theory where every proposition, including this one, can in principle be tested. The proposition above could be verified by examining the number of gods and their powers in the religions of small, traditional societies and comparing that to the number of gods worshipped in more established, modern ones.

In reality however, many of the propositions are difficult to test because the concepts he uses are hard to measure or compare between religions. How does one empirically quantify the scope of a certain god and compare it to that of an unrelated god from a different religion? His theory has also been critiqued for having an inherent bias towards monotheistic and particularly Protestant Christian measures of religion Carroll, In other words, he places higher value on measures of religiosity that fit the Protestant model, such as belief and adherence to doctrine, over those that better describe other religions, such as the ritual aspects of Hinduism or Catholicism.

His work may then implicitly suggest that Protestants are more religious than the others based on these skewed measures of religiousness. Feminist theories of religion analyze and critique the ways in which sacred texts and religious practices portray and subordinate—or empower—women, femininity, and female sexuality Zwissler, The crucial insight into religion that forms the basis for feminist research is the gendered nature of religion Erikson, Feminists therefore argue that questions about gender are essential for a meaningful analysis and explanation of religion.

In one line of inquiry, feminist theorists of religion have analyzed the representation of women within sacred religious texts, identifying and critiquing the way women are portrayed. For example, the gender of the deity is an issue for women, particularly in the monotheistic Abrahamic religions such as Christianity, Islam, and Judaism Zwissler, God, within these religious beliefs, is usually understood as male.

The question this raises is whether religion is therefore the direct cause of misogyny —the aversion or distaste for people of the female sex, including belittling, sexual objectification, sexual violence, and discrimination against women—or whether male-dominated religious practices are the product of broader gendered inequalities and societal norms outside of religion Zwissler, ?

A second line of inquiry focuses on why power relationships within religious institutions are typically gendered Erikson, Feminist theorists note that women are frequently prevented from holding positions of power within religious practice.

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Ministers, imams, rabbis, buddhas, and Brahmin priests are positions within religious hierarchies which have traditionally excluded women. Despite this, cross-culturally women are proportionately more religious than men. This can be seen as a paradox within feminist religious studies. Placed along two axes see Figure The challenges faced by women are different within each religion, and therefore the strategies women of faith use to change or work within their respective religion may vary.

Being an interdisciplinary perspective, feminism brings a diversity of voices into the discussion, illuminating important issues of inequality, oppression, and power imbalance, all of which are of great importance to the study of sociology. Through analysis of the gender structures within religious practices worldwide, a deeper understanding of how different cultures and traditions function is revealed.

The understanding that women frequently do not identify as being oppressed by their religion is an important insight in trying to fully understand the nature of gendered religious practice on a global scale. Religion has historically been a major impetus to social change. In early Europe, the translation of sacred texts into everyday, non-scholarly language empowered people to shape their religions. Disagreements between religious groups and instances of religious persecution have led to mass resettlement, war, and even genocide. To some degree, the modern sovereign state system and international law might be seen as products of the conflict between religious beliefs as these were founded in Europe by the Treaty of Westphalia , which ended the Thirty Years War.

As outlined below, Canada is no stranger to religion as an agent of social change. Nevertheless debate continues in sociology concerning the nature of religion and social change particularly in three areas: secularization, religious diversity, and new religious movements. Secularization refers to the decline of religiosity as a result of the modernization of society.

This is a large increase from the , Canadians who claimed no religious affiliation in the Statistics Canada census Statistics Canada, Sociologists suggest that it is important to distinguish between three different types of secularization: societal secularization, organizational secularization, and individual secularization. The move to ordinate female ministers to reflect the growing gender equality in society or the use of commercial marketing techniques to attract congregations are examples. Individual secularization is the decline in involvement in churches and denominations or the decline in belief and practice of individual members.

As we saw earlier in the chapter, the equation of secularization with modernity has been the view of many important sociologists including Marx, Durkheim, and Weber. But in more recent years there has been a growing number of sociologists who question the universality of the process of secularization and propose that contemporary society is going through a period of religious revitalization. Similarly, Fink and Stark have argued that Americans, at least, actually became more religious as American society modernized.

Even in Europe, where church attendance is very low, they suggest that religious practice is stable rather than in long term decline and that people still hold religious beliefs like the belief in God or life after death. However, Canada, like most of Europe, appears to be an exception to the trend of religious resurgence, meaning there has been less of an emergence of new and revived religious groups, as opposed to the U. Prior to the s Canada was a more religious nation than the United States, now it is much less religious by any standard measure.

Rather than a progressive and continuous process of secularization, Bibby argues that there have been three consecutive trends in Canada since the s: secularization, revitalization and polarization. After a period of steady secularization between the s and measured by levels of church attendance , Bibby presents evidence of revitalization in the s including small increases in weekly or monthly attendance for different age groups.

He also notes the four fold increase of non-Christians Muslims, Buddhists, Jews in Canada since the s, the high level of spiritual belief among people who do not attend church, the way that many people retain connections with churches for special occasions, and surveys that report that many would consider attending regularly if organizational or personal factors could be addressed.

Since the s, Bibby describes a third trend of polarization, with the public increasingly divided into opposite poles of the highly religious and the non-religious. Overall it can be said that understanding secularization and desecularization is an essential part of the sociological analysis of religion. Knowing the relationship between modernity and religion provides insight into the complex dynamics of the late modern world and allows sociologists to predict what is to come for religion in the future.

The question is whether secularization necessarily accompanies modernization or whether there is a cyclical process between secularization and religious revivalism. Are secular or non-secular societies the exceptions to the dominant trend of modern society? In other words, in modern societies there is neither a steady one-way process of secularization nor a religious revitalization, but a growing diversity of belief systems and practices.

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The practice of religion in Canada is ever changing and has recently become increasingly diverse. Religious diversity can be defined as a condition in which a multiplicity of religions and faiths co-exist in a given society Robinson, Because of religious diversity, many speculate that Canada is turning into a Post-Christian society , in the sense that Christianity has increasingly become just one among many religious beliefs, including the beliefs of a large number of people who claim no religion. For those who report having a Christian heritage, only a minority can articulate the basic elements of Christian doctrine or read the bible on a regular basis.

To an ever greater extent, Christianity no longer provides the basic moral foundation for Canadian values and practices. Canada appears to moving towards a much more religiously plural society. This is not without its problems however. Religious diversity in Canada has accelerated in the last twenty years due to globalization and immigration. There were only a handful of members from the other main world religions.

Other religions during this time such as Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus only made up a negligible percentage of the population. With the opening up of immigration to non-Europeans in the s, this began to change. If solar and wind are actually that much cheaper they would be decommissioning all their old plants and putting up renewables. But in fact, everywhere on the planet renewables increase as a share of energy production energy prices skyrocket. Brian B: In Australia the energy companies make more money out of renewables due to government subsidies.

This has resulted in many coal fired generators being closed down or blown up as in one stupid South Australian piece of political madness. Because the way we do nuclear in the U. See the French idea, above comments. Because weather is the result of a vast complex of interlocking feedback loops, it is not easy to correlate weather with climate. But to me the most convincing evidence for the greenhouse hypothesis is the melting of long-term ice. I have seen this happening in the far north, at Svinajokull, and in the deep south at Franz Josef Glacier. The US could lead in getting to zero net carbon emission by And the only way to do so in a country with large cities and heavy industries is to go nuclear.

Alan Gore: Have a read of some papers from the s talking about the loss of sea ice in the arctic. They are talking about a post modern world. I cannot keep them all straight. Snell: noted that article was written 30 years ago! The Greens are still banging the same drum today. Eventually they will be right but we may have to wait until our sun goes nova or a large meteor strikes and sends it out of orbit. Through the law of unintended consequences that results from the emotion inherent in years of unrestrained hyperbole.

One reason for that is that wood heating went from a commonplace to a niche over that period of time. Not just birds and bats as in the article but unprecedented destruction of rainforests has occured on the altar of global warming. Why are rainforests dwindling? In the Amazon, mainly because cattle owners are expanding and even get subsidies to plant grass instead of maintaining those rich forests, in SE Asia, it is the expansion of the oilpalm plantations. These processes simply are going on and on, I wonder whether there is any influence of climate change programs or manifests, though, investments in oilpalm for biofuel could be a factor and this would be a big shame, unbelievable, unpardonable.

Doctor Locketopus, Wow is that ever true.

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Without fossil fuels the environmental devastation from the cutting of trees would have been overwhelming. As early as AD, the UK was mining coal on a large scale to save its forests that was the practical effect of coal production, not the intent. In Switzerland, the cutting of trees was moving to progressively steeper slopes in the 19th century.

They knew that cutting trees on steep slopes would result in devastating erosion. As it turns out, the Swiss eco-catastrophe never happened. Switzerland found that it could import coal from Germany and the USA instead. The forests of Switzerland were saved. However, they were saved by fossil fuels later Switzerland dammed its rivers for power.

The State of Vermont retired its only nuclear reactor several years ago. Bernie and the usual suspect cheered. The plan was to replace nuclear with wind. It would take 59 wind farms to generate the same electricity as the retired nuclear plant once generated. And retiring the nuclear plant has resulted in higher CO2 emissions and higher electricity prices. So in the name of saving the planet, the citizens of Vermont are killing bears, emitting more CO2 and paying higher energy bills. Fly over the vast areas littered with windmills or solar cells and ask how that is possibly good for the environment.

Australia could smarten up immediately by repealing the ban on nuclear energy and properly assess its low emissions options. Most of the construction cost is due to government regulations over the fears they instilled in the citizenry. Maybe, but the fact that each U. The industry needs to focus on their small modular reactor technology, that will allow faster return on investment and more grid compatibility through flexible capacity and supply.

The reason nuclear energy is so expensive is because of all the opposition from anti-nuclear environmentalists. As a nuclear-trained engineer no longer working in the industry, I can attest that the majority of nuclear plant construction costs and operating costs are regulatory-driven. None of these regulations improve safety, but have been imposed through the years as a sacrifice to the anti-nuclear activists. Smarter regulation i. As a side note, nuclear waste is a problem in the US but not France or Switzerland because Jimmy Carter banned the reprocessing of spent fuel.

This increases the volume of waste by orders of magnitude. Good article. There are downsides for sure. But it is unclear how limited the author wants renewables to be. Clearly, there is no one solution and even with Nuclear energy. Saying no PV is as nonsensical as saying no nukes. I heard an interview with Mike. He noted that the best grid would be nuclear and hydro only. That would be a daft point of view for anyone who realizes that electricity consumption during daytime is much higher than at night.

The shale revolution is the best thing to happen to the US in decades. Cheap energy, economic growth and lower CO2 emissions. New York state sits on top of vast reserves that could be tapped. But the politicians say no. No to fracking, no to pipelines. Instead these green geniuses are encouraging freezing residents to stay warm by burning wood. He brings up good points. But the article is low in actual evidence. We have built massive amounts of infrastructure — so why is putting down solar farms all of a sudden such a massive no-no?

Imagine if you are in country near the equator where sun shows its face regularly… how is sticking solar panels to produce electricity is all that harmful to animals. US might not have such large-scale energy problems but many countries do. Sure, in some places like UK, wind farms can only go so far.

Desserts are not good locations for solar farms. Too much dust, which has to be cleaned from the panels on a regular basis, which requires lots of water and energy. All energy technology has downsides. We need to do cost benefit analysis and chose the best options. Nuclear is the best option. Solar and wind are wasteful distractions. I would not count batteries out. There has been great progress in reducing their cost, and there is no reason that this progress will not continue in the future. Every nuclear project runs into horrendous cost overruns.

There are two half built nuclear plants abandoned when their contractor, Westinghouse, went bankrupt over the overruns. This is not just an American problem, projects in Great Britain and Finland have run into the same issue. Further, look at how lithium is gathered for lithium-ion batteries. Argentina and Chile are the two other major producers of salt-flat produced lithium. Australia is a top producer using conventional strip mining. The process requires the salt plain to be flooded, but this is an arid area with little water — mm 5.

It takes approximately , gallons of water per tonne of lithium. Extraction vehicles cut horizontally through the salt crust to expose the lithium and other minerals found mixed in a salty mud sitting. To extract it, mining equipment pump the brine into massive ponds, where it is left to evaporate for months.

Then a series of chemical processes, for example using lime and hydrochloric acid, are performed to separate the minerals and refine the lithium. For export it needs to be transported miles to the nearest port. This is the next gotcha; Bolivia wants to be the centre of battery production too. Most batteries are presently manufactured in East Asia and the US. Two other key battery ingredients, cobalt and nickel, also pose a significant risk of creating a bottleneck in the move towards electrifying everything.

Cobalt is found almost exclusively in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is very toxic. Ironically, the environmentalists now complain about the destruction of the salt plain and the pollution created as well as how cobalt miners are poisoning themselves and their land. All these problems may be overcome, but will it happen in the 12 years before the climate irrecoverably changes and we, together with the planet, all die? Batteries also wear out. They have a limited life span, so after paying up hugely for them it needs to be spent again.

And again, And again…forever. And what to do with those batteries? Few have stopped to consider the scale that a battery reserve of grid-scale power would have to be. All of the batteries made in the world last year would not store enough to power a single state for a day. Cost is still not competitive for general purpose, but quite viable in many applications already.

There are many downsides for sure. It is unclear how limited the author wishes renewables to be. Clearly, there is no one solution to the world energy needs, even with Nuclear. I hope someone has by now corrected the disinformation that atomic powered is so many times more expensive that alternatives. It is not more expensive. This price more than adequate to repay construction and investment costs and amortize the capital investment according to relevant acceptable accounting standards. My understanding is that molten-salt reactors may possibly hold the key to dissipating the arguments regarding cost, size, meltdown risk and storage of nuclear waste.

Or false hopes, like solar and wind. Funny that none of these folk mention the FACT that even if the US switched to using renewables ONLY for the next 60 years, even their over-egged climate models predict it would make an unnoticeable 0. S, Please show us the conspiracy ideation. I hear you saying that the current climate change discussion has an element of hysteria that is designed, not to solve the coming problems, but to push a specific political agenda. Alternative solutions are pushed out of the discussion.

Even if nuclear power is a faster, cheaper, better, and safer source of carbon-neutral electricity than solar and wind, fission fails to solve all our problems. For one thing the supply of uranium is limited—it may last till the end of the century at the present rate of consumption—less as we use more. And true, there are fixes for that too — breeder reactors, thorium reactors etc. But whether we use sun, wind, nuclear, coal, gas, bullshit, or nothing, there is LESS in our future than we will like. There is no magic energy supply. We will produce waste which will refuse to disappear, and no matter what, we can not supply any amount of goods to an ever-growing population.

Less people, less energy, less production, less consumption, less waste. Less is not more, and it will be all we will get. Stepping off the whizzy carousel of consumption will be a terribly jolting experience, but if we stay on it, the merry-go-round will eventually fly apart, and that will be worse than merely terrible. More resources are just awaiting to be found. Nobody knows what is all out there. Waste can be minimized and controlled. Safely and environmentally soundly. It turned out as expected. We passed peak oil maybe… 2 or 3 decades ago.

The curve of the trailing edge of oil extraction resembles the leading edge. We probably have a century of oil supply that is obtainable at less energy than the oil itself contains. After we have drawn that out of the earth, oil will remain in the ground but it will not be worth the energy expenditure to pull it up, because the extraction energy will exceed the energy of the oil obtained, never mind cost in dollars. The more difficult shale oil is extracted by fracking when the price of oil is high enough to justify the added cost.

As for uranium, it has never been an abundant element, and it takes about 27 tons of refined uranium a year for a megawatt power plant. The science is settled. I now kowtow. New hydrocarbon reserves are being found continually,all over the world. Screw, No, peak oil did not turn out as expected at all. Just like the gresg fraudster, Ehrlich, it was a false prediction. Your defending it by repearing the deceitful platitudes and claptrap of eventually blah blah does not make you look brighter.

Uh huh, sure. So how did that declaration turn out? It is working out the way they said it would when it was predicted about 30 or 40 years ago. The profile of oil production is more or less a normal distribution. The leading and trailing profile are similar. It took years to go from zero to peak production a couple decades ago , and it will take another years to go from peak production to zero. We will reach zero production when the oil left in the ground is too difficult to extract — that is, it will take more energy to get it out than the oil itself contains.

In the post-peak meantime, oil production will decline over the coming century, everything else being equal. Again, everything else being equal, the price of oil will tend to rise. You will not need a leader because the cliff will come to you. Material deprivation will not be optional…. Not sure that leads to the Malthusian scenario so many since him have long anticipated. Bill Gates reactor design uses urainium for start up, but can burn existing waste, weapons etc. Thorium can also be used which is quite abundant.

Get serious, if you want to have a reasonable discourse. Or geology. So your crystal ball has told you that all that can be found has been found.

96 Dystopian Science Fiction Books - The Best Sci Fi Books

I conceed. You win. You should be able to become a millionaire in the market now. There are 4. No one bothers, because mined uranium is cheaper. But it will be there when we need it. Less energy. Billions of poor people live in energy poverty. Perhaps we should just exterminate them less they try to escape poverty and consume more energy. Helps out with question no. Less consumption. Less consumption is a trojan horse for less freedom.

Difficult to achieve other than by authoritarian means. Do you actually think reducing the population necessarily requires tyranny and mass murder, or do you just prefer silly strawmen arguments to reasonable debate? If the former, perhaps you should look into the trend towards reduced fertility in developed nations. Ellsd S Yawn.

They keep having kids even when they have no idea how to feed them. Let me guess. But, there is certainly no looming shortage in the next few centuries. And the supply is extractable at affordable prices. No, I agree with you that fertility rates reduce when poor people get wealthier. A necessary condition for that to happen is cheap, abundant reliable energy. If you want to ban all the sources of energy that have been proven to work like the Green New Deal contemplates , you will get the opposite result — increased poverty and higher population growth.

It is not going to be reduced in the lifetime of anyone reading this article. Moreover, some leading environmentalists are on record as saying the world should have no more than 2 billion people. There is no way to get to that number without Pol Pot-like tactics. Less people. Who decides which of us gets to live. The enlightened ones like you I imagine. There are whole populations with no economic basis for their own survival, who live wholly off of foreign charity. Stop subsidizing them, and blam… a big chunk of the human population vanishes in a few years. Just stop giving them money.

There are whole populations with no economic basis for their survival, who are wholly supported by foreign charity. If you want fewer people, simply stop giving them money. Now they might not be the big polluters, but if you want fewer people just stop giving them money and a massive chunk of the human population will disappear in a few years.

The poorest countries on earth have the highest birth rates. Whether or not foreign aid does more harm than good is open to debate, but the idea that you can starve off billions of people is ludicrous. Increased poverty will lead to higher birth rates. Perhaps you missed that there have been successful demonstrations of extracting uranium from seawater.

They have made yellowcake from seawater. The supply is many times that from land mining. Where there is a will there is a way. Human ingenuity is our greatest resource. Some reservoirs are considered as cost prohibitive and are not considered in oil supply calculations. Coal gasification could become cost efficient. Fossil fuels are utilized not because oil companies are evil but because they are the most reliable, cost efficient energy source available.

Nuclear power may supplant fossil fuels for electricity production. From any point in time it always looks like we are running out of something. Have you noticed that weird capacity humans have to figure out solutions to problems? Remember when we were going to run out of food? The answer is to boldly move forward using the most cost effective fuels we can at the present time and adapt as needed. We must ignore false fears of running out of resources, of ruining the planet.

The world is not full of evil people wanting to ruin the planet. It is full of people who want to live and live fuller lives and are willing to work hard for that possibility. Sounds great! Now all we have to do bring them back to Earth and burn them! We can use this to refill all our hydrogen-powered cars!

No one has mentioned the real solution to our energy problem. The answer in three words: Fusion, Fusion, Fusion. We need to be fast tracking the development of a workable fusion reactor. Fusion reactors have minimal nuclear waste and are fail safe in case of an earthquake. It is my understanding that the fusion reactor stops working if the plasma hits the reactor wall. Why is an industry safer than wind have high regulatory costs? And all that regulation focuses on solving to the regulation rather than improving performance.


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A market never got established so competing ideas and novel solutions that only occur under liberty, not central planning. The tides. If the united states invested in the development of tidal power stations it could provide consistent renewable energy to its costal states. Incidentally California, Florida, Texas and new York, the 4 most populous states are coastal.

The Central Valley of California is below sea level. Death Valley is feet below sea level. Oh, please. Even the most extreme predictions by actual scientists, not by Internet communists estimate something like a six inch rise over the course of a century. As New York City drowns, ….

As a result, long-planned low-elevation reservoirs, designed to store water during exceptionally wet years, were considered all but useless and thus were never built. Then, in and , California received record snow and rainfall — and the windfall of millions of acre-feet of runoff was mostly let out to sea.

Nothing since has been learned. They will be, by the way, to toss a fit when their electricity bills triple and demand other people pay it. Nor do they cause the press to show any skepticism about the latest doomsday predictions. Current worst case projections are for sea levels to rise around 10 feet in the next century.

Mid level predictions are roughly 3 feet. Jwatts The average elevation of Florida is 6 feet, at a three foot increase that is roughly a quarter of the state underwater within the century. Not exactly an end to coasts but likely dangerous for a number of coastal cities. Jimmy I agree. The the potential of energy from the ocean is enormous. Transportation of the energy is the problem. Most of the population of many countries is concentrated on the coasts. And due to the article mentioning California already sends power to other states the infrastructure is likely already in place to serve many more inland communities.

Indeed, most big business is around ports. And those wishing for a single magical solution should give it a rest and realize it will be a suite of solutions just as we have a suite of solutions for energy today. Two quibbles with the article: The wind mills I have seen are generally sited in the middle of fields with a small margin around each mast.

Granted, solar takes up more space. Transmission wires? No matter what form of generation is used, there will be — there must be — transmission lines from source to user, and interconnecting lines to even out supply and demand. It may be too late to avoid worse consequences. In which case, sic transit gloria mundi. The more distributed the sources, the more power lines necessary.

Think of several hundred wind turbines replacing one power station. They will also require a comprehensive switching and distribution system for capacity control and isolation. I believe the author is making the point that generating all or even a significant amount of the national requirement will require the commandeering of an area of land which most people would find unacceptable. This applies to both wind and solar. We can also use the power from other sources to fill in the gaps.

The vast majority of these problems were forecast long before Every single bullet point is false except the one on proliferation. Either we will achieve some energy miracle this century like fusion or cheap energy storage or we will massively scale up fission power or we will see CO2 in the atmosphere continue to rise rapidly. To oppose fission is to gamble on a miracle. Nuclear or otherwise. Because of transmission costs, nuclear typically is near where it is used, and that means near people.

And it is no fun to live next to. I have. I like nuclear fine — but not near me. I was very happy when it closed. Wind can be put offshore to save all the bats and most of the birds, and all of the land. Maybe solar as well. Solar can be put in space. But it would have to built there and not carried up. Load leveling is a real issue. Nuclear takes days to start up. It is useless for supplying the variable daily load. And renewable is almost just as useless, because it is unreliable.

Coal is probably the best of the bunch,in terms of ability to supply what is demanded, at reasonable cost.

The Shadow Commander

And we used to use it a ton literally. But it is very much in the environmentalist doghouse with the nuclear. Even though it is possible to clean a fair amount of it now. There are no perfect answers. I imagine it was probably ugly, but were there other reasons? I imagine it was ugly, but were there other reasons? During such evolution in the case of a carrier the other reactor carries the load.

So thats not much of a strong point. If you take down one plant we have the other carry the load. Which is highly achievable in a commercial atmosphere. This is patent nonsense. Nuclear plants produce electricity, which is routinely and with high transmission efficiency used many hundreds of miles away from where it is generated. There are plenty of birds offshore. Sea ducks; seabirds such as gannets, auks, petrels, shearwaters, and albatrosses; migrating sandpipers, plovers, gulls, terns, and jaegers.

Many of these are already declining due to overfishing or habitat destruction on their breeding grounds. I believe the most important step would be to lower our need for electricity in the first place. Not sure where the world is heading by consuming so much energy for little useful activities. Yeah you go first, KK. We all seem to be doing our best to ensure that the people of the developing world have MORE electricity, not less. Are you serious Morgan? You may say, why shouldn,t they have the same rich life as we have! But, isn,t that a little bit old fashioned, out moded, is it the idea that we all go together soon some 10 or 12 billion faster and faster towards the apocalypse??

This is the logic of the green movement no matter how much they might profess to care about the poor and the most vulnerable. I have worked 10 yrs of my life in development projects meaning: more mechanisation, electricity, irrigation, import of inputs, transports, in short, much more fuel and CO2 emission , and long thought that this was the only way to take as a Hegelian. Funny thing always: we did that not because we were asked by the people or the politicians, but because of something else, missionary ideology I think it was, and western finance available for the purpose. The people themselves often told us: why run so fast, put everything in an agenda, talk so succinct on thechnical details, plant crops in rows with fertilizer etc etc.

There you are so right Karthik, all these completely useless though comfortable activities: very common here, premises heating their terrraces, even where it is just above or below zero, doors open allday even at freezing, etc etc. Where is this ending?? Life, health, education are all up.

Famine, disease, destruction are all down. Energy increase correlates directly to better life. The elephant in the room is the social mania obsessed either sciencey sounding apocalyptic claptrap. Crush the claptrap. I remember my first trip to the desert too, after growing up in a large urban area. There were plants and birds and rocks and things and sand and hills. It was really hot and the ground was dry, but it felt good to be out of the rain. Thank goodness for this article. Or the same weight as an empty Coke can?

A full Coke can? The yearly electricity requirements of a family of four are such that, if generated using coal, would require a stack of coal crates totaling the size of about four full-size refrigerators. In terms of enriched uranium, it would be two pellets, each the size and dimension of a mechanical pencil eraser. The visual discrepancy between the two was stunning. There are essentially none. Think about that for a minute. The problem with nuclear plants is consequences of dispersing nuclear technology. There are bad guys in the world who would make terrible use of their power if they had a nuclear bomb.

But as far as the developed, politically stable countries go — especially those who already have nuclear technology — build them power plants! Slash carbon emissions! Make energy cheaper, safer, and more reliable! This is a solution to the problem, and one in which the trade-off is worth it.

I truly am not trying to be mean or flippant, but this has been obvious for over 50 years. It been evident for a long time that renewables would only make up a small portion of the solution and that they would carry with them their own unintended negative consequences — especially as they were scaled to economic viability. They rely heavily on battery technology which continues to progress incrementally with indications that this is just the nature of power storage. On an actuarial assessment of damage per kilowatt nuclear outperforms renewables by a wide margin. It is sad that the emotional responses and fears so far out-weigh the facts.

Though people work only two hours per day, they live tedious, vacuous lives. A nameless son and father wander a landscape blasted by an unspecified cataclysm that has destroyed most of civilization and, in the intervening years, almost all life on Earth. The Sleeper Awakes is about a man who sleeps for years, waking up in a completely transformed London, where, because of compound interest on his bank accounts, he has become the richest man in the world.

But Sleeper Graham has other ideas and becomes a Socialist messiah to the oppressed. The Tube Riders is an indie self-published young-adult page-turner that reviews applaud for being imaginative and exciting. Mega Britain in is a dangerous place. A man known as the Governor rules the country with an iron hand, but within the towering perimeter walls of London Greater Urban Area, anarchy spreads unchecked through the streets.

In the abandoned London Underground station of St. Cannerwells, a group of misfits calling themselves the Tube Riders seek to forget the chaos by playing a dangerous game with trains. The White Mountains is the first book in the young-adult Tripods trilogy, and the Amazon reviews are full of people who read the book when younger and loved it. Long ago, the Tripods—huge, three-legged machines—descended upon Earth and took control. The people have no control over their thoughts or their lives.

For Will, his time of freedom is about to end, unless he can escape to the White Mountains, where the possibility of freedom still exists. The story is set in a seemingly perfect global society. People are continually drugged by means of regular injections so that they can never realize their potential as human beings, but will remain satisfied and cooperative.

They are told where to live, when to eat, whom to marry, when to reproduce. Borrowing from Philip K. The narrator, Floyd Maquina, is a Seeker. Under the surface, Uglies speaks of high-profile government conspiracies and the danger of trusting the omnipresent Big Brother. While the underlying story condemns war and all the side effects thereof, the true thrust of the story is that individual freedoms are far more important than the need for uniformity and the elimination of personal will.

In America after the Second Civil War, the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life armies came to an agreement: The Bill of Life states that human life may not be touched from the moment of conception until a child reaches the age of thirteen. Now a common and accepted practice in society, troublesome or unwanted teens are able to easily be unwound. Or is he mad? What do you, the reader, think about this?

Which struck me as a properly anarchist solution. Slightly dated feminist sci-fi, Walk To the End of the World is the first book of the Holdfast Chronicles, a four-book series that took over twenty years to write. Superstitious belief had ascribed to the fems the guilt for the terrible Wasting that had destroyed the world. They were the ideal scapegoat. The truth was lost in death and decay and buried in history. It was going to be a long journey back….

War with the Newts is a satirical story and concerns the discovery in the Pacific of a sea-dwelling race, an intelligent breed of newts, who are initially enslaved and exploited. They acquire human knowledge and rebel, leading to a global war for supremacy. In the One State of the great Benefactor, there are no individuals, only numbers. Life is an ongoing process of mathematical precision, a perfectly balanced equation. Primitive passions and instincts have been subdued. Even nature has been defeated, banished behind the Green Wall.

But one frontier remains: outer space. Now, with the creation of the spaceship Integral, that frontier — and whatever alien species are to be found there — will be subjugated to the beneficent yoke of reason. One number, D, chief architect of the Integral, decides to record his thoughts in the final days before the launch for the benefit of less advanced societies. But a chance meeting with the beautiful I results in an unexpected discovery that threatens everything D believes about himself and the One State.

The discovery — or rediscovery — of inner space…and that disease the ancients called the soul. Wither falls short on world-building, but its intense character drama will likely please its targeted audience. A classic feminist novel and well-imagined sci-fi story, Woman on the Edge of Time features a narrator who may or may not be insane. Thirty-seven-year-old Hispanic woman Consuelo Connie Ramos, recently released from forced detention in a mental institution, begins to communicate with a figure that may or may not be imaginary: an androgynous young woman named Luciente.

She realizes that Luciente is from a future, utopian world in which a number of goals of the political and social agenda of the late sixties and early seventies radical movements have been fulfilled. In a ruined and toxic future, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. How did this book drop from the list? Hmm… Atwood..

Well, maybe not HA-HA funny…. Really good though. Most of us Sci-Fi fans who have piled up a few decades of varied reading have some we would toss into this list who arent there now. A story where the rulers of planets are drug addicts, where installer transportation is monopolised by a single corporation and where computers have been outlaw, just to name a FEW of the dystopic themes of this novel.

Would welcome anyone knowing author or title info. Good list. Keep Rand and Card on there, as both wrote influential seminal works. I particularly like the Jorj X. Yes, Butler did write dystopian works. You, in an innocent comment, have lead me right to it. You have no idea how long I have looked for this series. No one seemed to have ever heard of it. I understand what I stand for, and why, more thoroughly as a result. And now I have a list of more books to seek out. Seeing some of the entries brings back pleasant memories of my teen years when I had much more free time.

Great list! I have reached it looking for a certain book I read somewhat 25 years ago when I was a boy, but eventually read the whole thing. But maybe you could help me find the book in question. The government is replaced every couple of weeks and the streets become more and more chaotic and violent with every passing page, until the peak point, at the end of the book, when the girl herself join the chaos. Does it ring a bell? Found it! Does that sound familiar to anyone? I found you looking for the same thing.

I was thinking of Babel — 17 by Samuel Delany. Awesome book! Looking for a book about a future world where the children stand in front of a uv light because they stay indoors. Also, they travel by transporters. I read this during my childhood and it may have been a short story. I believe the narrator of the story is a young boy who decides to venture outdoors. Would like to revisit this story.

I was caught up by the story too in my childhood. Not sure about the transporters, but it does have the UV light because it rains all the time. Loved it. My daughter moved to Juneau, Alaska and it reminded her of the story since it is raining there alot. Great list. I got here looking for a book I read some years ago about a dystopian world were people were obligated to live under a dome because everyone thought outside the air was toxic and radioactive.

If it sounds familiar tell me please! We by Yevgeny Zamyatin? The world outside is considered toxic and dangeours. And they were living under something like a glass dome. The best in literature and in prophecies. Great list, thank you! Too much more to read, just need to find the time! Great list and worthwhile comments and suggestions. Thanks all around for any help…. Looking for a short story from the late 60s or early 70s. May have been published in Playboy. Body modification has become wildly popular and stylish…the more extreme the better.

A plastic surgeon falls in love with one of his patients-an actress? She had been one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen. He reminds her there is no going back once she reaches a certain point but her fame grows with each surgery. The style suddenly changes and conventional beauty again reins. Any thoughts on the author or story? The storyline included a man and his friend that awoke the morning after hearing disturbing and thunderous sounds which continued throughout the night before, only to find that much of the population from some unknown worldly attack had turned people in the lower levels of buildings and in the streets to solid metals such as bronze and iron.

They soon discovered those people remained frozen as statues, whereas the more affluent people whom afforded high-rise living or were in the upper floors during the attack, were not turned to bronze or iron, such as the so called street people beneath them, and instead had been transformed into a silicone or crystal like being with rubber like joints and pads on their hands and feet and with cravings for oils and smaller metal bits. They traveled about and eventually discovered a cure or reversal of the effects which had converted them to their current state. Sounds like Invaders From Rigel by Fletcher Pratt, where many people have been either turned into either metal statues or if they were higher up robots with rubber fingertips that drink oil and absorb electricity.

War ensues. Looking for a book I read in high school but lacking on details. Futuristic for the time it was written , gangs, rather short paperback novel. Must have been pretty popular since I read it in English class. The main character ends up driving north to Canada to see if he could get away from it. In time, he decided to go back to the states to check up on family etc. In the meantime, there was a coup in the USSR because of this. At the end of the book, the Soviet Union collapsed.

On top of my head some very important works missed in this list: Greybeard by Aldiss. Looking backward by Bellami who forecasted the internet, amazon, credit cards in this book. The Long Walk by Stephen King. Walden Two by Skinner. Ecotopia by Callenbach. I would beg you to consider Mockingbird Walter Trevis I was totally enthralled with not only the society created for the story but the secret reasons behind it.

Or burning in Paris! The only thing I can remember is that the ending implies the main character was in a dream. Love this list. Given me many more books to seek out. I am plagued by memories of reading a book and cannot remember the title. Seem to recall a peaceful family travelling to an alien world on a spaceship.

The family had been misread and the aliens saw them as peaceful, intelligent etc. However, a lot of bad, bad prisoners had also been put aboard and they start to murder the hosts. I seem to recall the hosts took two forms, one of which was a big white bird? Looking for a book, post-apocalyptic?

Wild fire around the world? He barely makes it back inside to tell her that the sky was blue. She got thinking why would the sky be blue if the world is constantly at such a high temperature. Than she tries to figure out if the world outside the dome is really as bad as their government says it is or if it was the government burning people the moment they left.

Looking for a book. But I just remember a group of kids maybe 3 or 4 somehow being ripped from their everyday lives and into this other universe where it is a completely white room, there are some stairs. And I think at one end there is a toilet. But all I remember is them suddenly being ripped out of this white filled universe and a scientist telling them it was all an experiment that used them.

And the cover of the book was all white and there may have been a rabbit on it. I read this book when I was in middle school. It was such a shocking book to me at the time and I really would like to read it again. Sounds like House of Stairs by William Sleator. Is that right? So that film was my first notice of his story.

It was dystopian as the whole world was suffering from pervasive wide unemployment and slow crumbling of economic status. Numbers of cops increasing both as a Gov Job program and to control social mayhem is part of it, and a weird aspect from then was the presence of a generation of big headed super-smart young adults in authority all over the world. An unemployed drifter in the area is the hero; he gets involved in a revolutionary movement that spends lots of time camping and practising martial arts.

This ring any bells for anybody? Husband is looking for a book. He thinks it was published in the 70s. He comes back one time to find that another clone has space traveled to earth to kill him for something he made the clone do. Nebula Award Finalist: A prophetic look at the potential consequences of the escalating destruction of the Earth. In a near future, the air pollution is so bad that everyone wears gas masks. The infant mortality rate is soaring, and birth defects, new diseases, and physical ailments of all kinds abound.

Large corporations fighting over profits from gas masks, drinking water, and clean food tower over an ineffectual, corrupt government. Very prophetic. Read it when I was a teen back in the early 60s. Brings back a lot of good memories! They are living like their ancestors did with no way to defend themselves against modern technology but a neighboring planet full of some kind of radicalized Christians who are technologically advanced come to help them. Does anyone recognize this series of books? Hija, memories of a novel, early 80s, about US city that is protected by a wall, to keep the unwanted out.