The World *WE* Made

The World *WE* Made

Although The World We Made describes several dismal turning points, such as the Great Famine and the Age of Wars, Porritt presents an optimistic solution to our current problems. Throughout the chapters, Porritt uses illustrations, doodles, and the story of Alex McKay to outline various inventions that helped us overcome climate change. Even though these inventions are ambitious, none of them seem outright impossible.

However, I believe that Porritt forgot an integral part in his novel: people and their significance (i.e. the We in The World We Made). As we’ve discussed several times in class throughout the semester, our current environmental crises are no longer technological crises. Instead, the combination of politics, economics, and other social factors are preventing us from adequately responding to climate change, biodiversity loss, poverty, food shortages, etc…

Besides the death of Alex’s father and the interactions with his students, I feel like Porritt completely ignores the social aspect of our future. For example, when talking about the Great Famine, he merely mentions that 10 million people died, which “was not exactly unexpected” (pg. 31). Based on the current status of our society, these 10 million people were most likely poor, uneducated, and otherwise disadvantaged. By glossing over this staggering statistic, Porritt effectively avoids addressing the numerous environmental/social justice issues that plague our world today.


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