The author seems to be actually anticipating a time when energy sources are exhausted so that we can go happily back to the nice world of auld, where people would be born, live and die in the same hamlet and would plough the earth with oxen and be happy with it.
He therefore bends all data so that it seems inevitable that we get there. So the book in the end is neither enjoyable, because of the slanted views fo the author, nor even informative, because it is definitely not an objective review of hard facts.
It's about useless arithmetic, but I think it is a pretty useless book too... I personally found it very boring and repetitive.
The concept in a nutshell is: don't trust mathematical models for complex systems, they can be twisted and bent to produce pretty much any result you want them to produce. Politics often gets in the way. In itself, not a bad topic altogether, but the examples it provides are dealt with ineffectively, with the same concepts repeated on and on and a lot of irrlevant material making things worse.
The authors also claim that less sophisticated models, which provide "qualitative" rather than "quantitative" predictions are better than complex ones and more useful. I have a hard time agreeing with this statement. Being an engineer, I've seen plenty of oversimplified models which simply could not capture the essence of certain phenomena and in the end completely failed to reproduce reality, even at the "qualitative" level.
Even though some interesting information is present in this book, it is buried within a lot of redundant and often irrelevant material and in the end there is no really useful recommendation that comes out of this book, except for a generic caveat againts making important decision based on mathematical "models" that can be wrong or misleading for a number of reasons.
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