All too plausibly, it seems, popes and scientists are warning us of impending collapse – yet humanity and our fellow creatures could still be looking forward to a long and glorious future: at least a million years of peace and personal fulfilment, with abundant and diverse wildlife.
But to achieve this we need to re-think everything that we do and take for granted, from the day-to-day mundanities of growing and cooking to the economy and methods of governance, to the most arcane reaches of science and metaphysics.
It all amounts to nothing less than a Renaissance – a re-birth – and the Renaissance to come must be driven and led by us, ordinary Joes and Jos, because the oligarchy of governments, corporates, financiers, and their attendant intellectuals who now dominate the world have largely lost touch with the moral and ecological realities of life.
The transformation won't be easy but millions of grassroots initiatives of all kinds the world over are already moving in the right directions.
Preface: What is and what could be
Part I: The Nature of the Task
- What's the problem? The human condition and the state of the world
- Renaissance: an agenda for all humanity for the next million years
Part II: The Goal
- Can human beings really be convivial?
- A flourishing biosphere: Morality, Ecology, and a sense of the Sacred
Part III: Action
- Jobs, crafts, and robots
= The absolute importance of Enlightened Agriculture
- A new food culture: 'Plenty of plants, not much meat, and maximum variety'
Part IV: Infrastructure
- What's gone wrong with the way we run things?
- An economy fit for purpose
- The law of the land
Part V: Mindset
- Good for everyone: the universal morality
- Metaphysics:The essential ingredient that's gone missing
- The Arts
Part VI: The Future
- Where do we go from here?
"Colin Tudge excels in cracking open deadly belief systems so that we can see the new emerging-which is precisely what the world needs now."
– Frances Moore Lappé, Diet for a Small Planet, and a Right Livelihood Laureate
"Colin Tudge, one of our great rural thinkers, argues with eloquence, love and an extraordinary depth of knowledge for a better path, and, with inspirational hope, asserts that such a renaissance is do-able. Let's get on and do it."
– Guy Singh-Watson, organic farmer, Founder-creator of Riverford Organic Farmers
"The Great Re-Think is a beautiful blueprint for a new renaissance. It is a book of profound wisdom as well as a practical roadmap."
– Satish Kumar, Schumacher College, Editor Emeritus, Resurgence & Ecologist
"As governments the world over seek to put profit before both people and planet Colin Tudge offers us a realistic, just and humane alternative which could deliver a secure and convivial future."
– Tim Gorringe, Emeritus Professor of Theology, Exeter University and smallholder