We must leave the old left/right, liberal/conservative paradigm behind us. Smaller government under local control-as will be the case in the Renewal communities-could actually be considered a "conservative" idea....We are creating a new tomorrow from what will soon become antiquity; we are not rehashing petty divisions or reaffirming old prejudices.
I can't remember exactly how I met Mike Byron, but we encountered each other online a few years ago and immediately sensed that we were intellectual and political allies. Mike generously wrote an endorsement for the back of my book U.S. History Uncensored: What Your High School Textbook Didn't Tell You, and shortly thereafter, he sent me a copy of his first book, Infinity's Rainbow. After finishing it, as I recommended it and attempted to describe it, I found that I could best do so by calling it a catalog of the planetary emergency in which the earth community finds itself. Then Mike requested an endorsement from me for his next book, The Path Through Infinity's Rainbow which I was delighted to provide because it takes Infinity's Rainbow many steps further and offers options for individuals and communities in the wake of civilization's collapse.
Lest the reader erroneously infer from the words "infinity's rainbow" that either of these books are pieces of abstract, airy-fairy fluff, I hasten to assure you that they are not. Mike Byron is a professor of political science and history and in my opinion, has critically analyzed the complex relationships between the monumental issues of our time: Peak Oil, climate chaos, and the economic sea changes that "a world gone mad" is forcing us to address. In his words, The Path Through Infinity's Rainbow offers a guide to: "Navigating the coming years of crisis; surviving and transforming our world; and participating in the creation of a new, sustainable economy."
In this review, I'd like to share how the book skillfully does this along with my experience of immersing myself in the pages of its sobering information and compassionate wisdom. Dedicated to his wife and partner, Ramona, her presence enhances the book with several stories which provide a delightful right-brain complement to Mike's analytical research and commentary.
The Path Through Infinity's Rainbow is a blending of reality and vision. While it's true that the first page of the introduction states that "...the patient effort of five hundred human generations and the struggles of ten momentous millennia are in the process of being obliterated forever, as though they never occurred," it is also true that the very first paragraph states:
This book is intended to empower you to navigate through the coming years of crisis, to survive and transform, and to participate in the creation of a new and sustainable political economy. It is a guide for thoughtful, knowledge-based action. (xiii)
Fortunately, Mike doesn't convey any feel-good "hopeful, happy endings" but rather encourages the reader to seize her own opportunities for empowerment in the face of what some like Bill McKibben have called "the end of nature".