What People Are Saying about "The Once and Future Ocean"



Notes Toward a New Hydraulic Society
by Peter Neill

With a foreword by Dr. Paul Mayewski, Director,
Climate Change Institute, University of Maine
398 Pages. Formats: Hardcover, Trade Paper, Mobipocket
and EPub. Hardcover: $24.95, Trade Paper: $18.95, EPub: $9.99.
ISBN 9780918172563




"We live on an ocean planet, though most of us rarely remember it; that blindness is one of the reasons we've stood by as the seas acidified, one of the great environmental crises in human history. This powerful book reminds us that our maritime identity is one important way we can start rebuilding a damaged planet.”   

~ Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth, Founder of 350.org

Once and Future Ocean by Peter Neill

“Neill offers a book that is broadly informed, passionate, and uncompromising in denouncing human “intrusion upon nature.” With candid disdain for “extractors and exploiters” and their defenders, he cites a list of depredations: extraction of fossil fuels, overfishing, pollution, agribusiness, “hard engineering” of coasts, obliviousness to global climate change, and, above all, failure to respect the central importance of water to society. Neill proposes a global “hydraulic society”; the concept’s technological, philosophical, and spiritual bases are in the oceans, defined as extending from "mountaintop to the abyssal plain." …The book helpfully includes 23 pages of references.

~ F. T. Manheim, George Mason University

Once and Future Ocean by Peter Neill
"I see this book as a kind of a Silent Spring for the ocean and fresh water resources, a wake-up call to the planet’s inhabitants that it is time for a radical shift and that we need to start now.  I recommended this book to all my friends and co-workers, no matter what their background; the book speaks to everyone and provides guidance on how we can take steps at home and in our workplace to start initiating this change. The book had a deep impact on me personally; I have started to do more to play my part and have included my son on our journey towards contributing to a new hydraulic society."
~ Mireille Chiasson, Regional Manager, Oceans Management & Ecosystem Management, Fisheries and Oceans, Moncton, New Brunswick, CANADA

Once and Future Ocean by Peter Neill

"This book represents an interesting and important contribution for a better public awareness of the great importance of the oceans--and water itself--for the survival of our planet. It is essential to change into a new development paradigm, based on the values of sustainability and democracy."

~ Mario Soares, Chair, Independent World Commission on the Future of the Oceans

Once and Future Ocean by Peter Neill

“…The Once and Future Ocean is not just a pleasure to read, it is a critical waypoint in our hoped-for passage into the climatically stressed future…In the spirit of Rachel Carson’s “The Sea Around Us”, Neill not only raises concern for our rapidly deteriorating marine environment, but also offer the concept of a “New hydraulic society” and its great potential for a world looking for an alternative solution.”

~ Dr. Paul Mayewski, Director of the Climate Change Institute, University of Maine

Once and Future Ocean by Peter Neill

"In his new book, Neill provides a strong foundation about the importance of water for all functions of society, not just today but going back centuries. His knowledge of innovations over time—to harness water, to purify it, to protect it—runs deep. Just as important are his descriptions of the cultural significance of the world’s oceans and the many threats posed by oil extraction, mining, and other economic drivers, including how these activities lead to environmental injustice. All of these pressures help Neil make his case for a “new hydraulic system,” one in which society must evolve around the sustainable use—and reuse—of water, one that starts by insisting on a revolutionary change in political will."

~ The Natural Resources Council of Maine

Once and Future Ocean by Peter Neill

"Sometimes it takes a look from a different direction to develop a fuller view of something you thought you knew well. Peter Neill’s new book has the potential to create a mental shift in its readers. Part philosophical musings on the relationship between humans and the ocean and the way ‘the sea connects all things’ and part rational prescription for putting water use and ocean health front and center in policies and management, Neill’s voice is a fresh new perspective on a set of problems that have been stewing for quite some time. For seasoned ocean professionals such as I, it is a jarring read – a wake up call that real change will only come from a new way of thinking about the water world.

Neill looks upon ocean issues with the eyes of someone who is neither an academic nor a conservationist nor a marine manager – but who encompasses all these perspectives and more. Much of the book is dedicated to important topics that are rarely if ever raised: the importance of empathy, the need to rethink what oceans mean to humanity, the suggestion that understanding the water cycle provides the foundation for a more holistic approach to addressing ocean issues. Neill questions the ideas and dogma behind the loudest voices in marine conservation and challenges us to think about our preconceived notions and put them aside. His book advocates for freeing our minds - creating the space for the truly creative ideas and disruptive solutions that can lead to the kind of change our ocean planet so urgently needs."

~ Tundi Agardy, Contributing Editor, MEAM (Marine Ecosystems And Management)