Policy Press

Publishing with Purpose

The Age of Low-Tech

Towards a Technologically Sustainable Civilisation

By Philippe Bihouix

Published

21 Oct 2020

Page count

194 pages

ISBN

978-1529213270

Dimensions

216 x 148 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press
£19.99 £15.99You save £4.00 (20%) Pre-order

Published

21 Oct 2020

Page count

194 pages

ISBN

978-1529213263

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press
£75.00 £60.00You save £15.00 (20%) Pre-order

Published

21 Oct 2020

Page count

194 pages

ISBN

978-1529213287

Dimensions

Imprint

Bristol University Press
£19.99 £15.99You save £4.00 (20%)
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    People often believe that we can overcome the profound environmental and climate crises we face by smart systems, green innovations and more recycling. However, the quest for complex technological solutions, which rely on increasingly exotic and scarce materials, makes this unlikely.

    A best-seller in France, this English language edition introduces readers to an alternative perspective on how we should be marshalling our resources to preserve the planet and secure our future. Bihouix skilfully goes against the grain to argue that ‘high’ technology will not solve global problems and envisages a different approach to build a more resilient and sustainable society.

    "Every engineer needs to read this book, the world can’t transition without us having a clear perspective. " Susan Krumdieck, Heriot-Watt University, Scotland

    "This book brings to life the ideas of appropriate technology for our future - full of global threats and opportunities” Ian Roderick, The Schumacher Institute

    “Crystal clear in its message, analyses many new technologies and explains the difficulties for an effective recycling of their components…. rigorous, fun and easy to read.” Antonio Valero, Author of Thanatia: The destiny of Earth Mineral Resources. World Sci. (2014)

    “Provides us with ideas on how to be prepared for a future that depends on a problem caused by the squandering in a few centuries of mineral resources accumulated over billions of years. Bihouix highlights how we can maintain civilization if we are more careful with how we use and recycle those resources. “ Ugo Bardi, University of Florence

    “Technology will not get humanity out of the situation it is putting itself in: Bihouix offers an important yet imperfect critique of techno-optimism as well as offering a vision of a future that is worth looking forward to. I wish I had written it.” Steve Evans, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge

    Philippe Bihouix is an independent author and engineer. He worked for 25 years in various industrial sectors including construction, energy, chemicals, transport, telecommunications and aerospace, in Europe and Africa.

    He is a member of the Institut Momentum, a French think-tank on the Anthropocene, ecological overshoot and transition.

    Prologue ~ The crazy waltz of the shrimps;

    Part I ~ The rise and fall of ‘engineering miracle-workers’;

    Part II ~ The principles of simple technologies;

    Part III ~ Daily life in the era of simple technologies;

    Part IV ~ Is ‘transition’ possible?;

    Epilogue ~ A dream if there ever was one.