At Work in the Ruins Finding Our Place in the Time of Science, Climate Change, Pandemics and All the Other Emergencies
Dougald Hine, a social thinker and writer, has spent most of his life in university classrooms, think tank seminars, government offices, and on theatre stages around the world talking about climate change. And then on one sunny afternoon in the second year of the pandemic, he realized he had nothing left to say. Why would someone who cares so deeply about ecological change want to stop talking about it now? At Work in the Ruins is the book that grew out of Dougald’s attempt to answer that question. He delves deeply into what he discovered during the globally shared, isolating Covid moment; why the virus and the measures taken against it drove so many of us to despair; and how we can refind our bearings if the pandemic is not the big event that changes everything but simply one in a chain of emergencies that are bringing about the end of the world as we knew it. At Work in the Ruins explores the role science is playing in shaping public policy and how this is deteriorating our appreciation for the natural world, our capacity for short and long-term problem-solving, which results in the erosion of our freedom. Dougald questions our seemingly unbreakable attachment to modernity and how it blinds us to the numbing effects of relentless emergencies, including climate change and the pandemic. At Work in the Ruins is a book for anyone who has found themselves needing to make sense of what we’ve been through, what is ending, and how we learn to talk about it. Only then can we choose to face the problems that really matter so that we can find solace at work in the ruins.