I read this as a Nook eBook.
The global climate is changing and the ice caps are melting. Civil liberties are eroding. Romney is rising in the polls.
There are a lot of reasons to be pessimistic about the state of the world. If you are inclined that way, this book is a useful corrective.
I can’t say that a whole lot of this book was new to me, since I follow many of these topics already. He brings in the exponential growth curves that Ray Kurzweil has popularized (think Moore’s Law, but applied to a lot more than just transistors on silicon). And a key concept he brings in is that energy is very close to being abundant, cheap, and clean. We are within just a few years of solar voltaic electricity being cheaper than what you are buying right now from your utility. As Dana Blankenhorn likes to say “There is no energy shortage. The sun shines, the wind blows, the tides roll, we live on a molten rock.” This one factor alone is going to make for radical change soon.
Another factor he points to is what he calls “the rising billions”. People themselves are a resource, and we are creating the technology to empower them without even intending to do so. Even the poor now have access to the Internet through cell phones. So the future is going to be radically different.