Veteran Journalist Predicts Industrial Crash, Says Sustainable Living Could Save Us

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In his new book Brace for Impact: Surviving the Crash of the Industrial Age by Sustainable Living, Thomas A. Lewis analyzes the gathering threats to our society's life-support systems, and the inability of our political and economic institutions to save us. With chapters on food, water, oil, electricity, politics and finance, he makes a convincing case that we can't win the race against catastrophe. What sets Brace for Impact apart is that after it faces the conclusion from which others shrink -- that industrial society cannot survive -- it then shows how easily individual families and communities can weather the coming collapse through sustainable living.

a superb writer, with a startling command of the historian's art.

A new book from nationally recognized author Thomas A. Lewis offers a fresh and startling perspective on the problems afflicting modern industrial society, and on the increasingly urgent need for sustainable living. In Brace for Impact: Surviving the Crash of the Industrial Age by Sustainable Living, Lewis argues that industry's relentless, decades-long search for economies of scale has caused equally enormous concentrations of risks, which now threaten the continued existence of every industrial-scale enterprise supplying essential human needs.

Brace for Impact begins with chapters on the mounting failures of industrial agriculture. "Losing Ground" chronicles the destruction wrought by the way agribusiness grows crops, and "Fat of the Land" the horrors -- and dangers -- of the way it raises animals. With subsequent chapters on water (dwindling supplies and worsening pollution), imminent oil shortages (peak oil, in fact, may already have arrived) and rampant problems in the electrical grid (for which the solution is not a "smart" grid, but no grid at all), the book offers an exhaustive catalog of the rising threats to our supplies of food, water and energy. Then, after examining the political and financial institutions that refuse to recognize the dangers, let alone move to counter them, Brace for Impact faces the inevitable conclusion: industrial society is about to crash, and cannot be saved.

But Lewis argues that while it is not possible to save everyone from the crash, it is entirely possible, indeed relatively simple, for any individual, family or community that embraces sustainable living to avoid the worst consequences. In a final chapter, "Sanctuary," Lewis points the way toward security and prosperity in the ruins of an age destroyed by greed.

Lewis is a veteran journalist (for six years he wrote the "EQ Index," an annual survey of the environment of the United States, for National Wildlife Magazine and the World Almanac), author (The Shenandoah in Flames, The Guns of Cedar Creek, The Wildlife of North America, For King and Country, West from Shenandoah) and editor (he was the Series Editor of "Planet Earth," a 16-book series on the earth sciences from Time-Life Books, and is a former editor and publisher of Civil War Magazine). He lives on his own sanctuary-in-progress, a 20-acre farm in West Virginia, and is artist in residence at the Department of Mass Communication at Frostburg State University in Maryland. He maintains a blog relating the principles of the book to the news of the day at

Lewis's writing has won praise across the country. The New York Times called his Guns of Cedar Creek "rich in political and military significance for our times." The Los Angeles Times, reviewing For King and Country, called him "a superb writer, with a startling command of the historian's art." The New Republic Magazine described his work as "realistic and tough-minded," adding: "his pace is fast and energetic, his tone detached and ironic without being cynical."

Brace for Impact, published by Outskirts Press of Denver, Colorado, is available through bookstores nationwide, on and Barnes and More information about the book, including excerpts and reviews, along with an opportunity to buy it, can be found at


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