Could you keep on living, and how, as the sole survivor of all your family? Would you bring a child into a world in which it would live without any means of modern civilization, in misery and isolation – knowing that would never change? If you could never see either your husband or your son ever again, who would you choose? Harnessing Altruism is about the world in the mid twenty-first century and beyond, in which the very existence of humanity is threatened by an unbearably hot climate and shortages of essential resources due to the long-term insatiable greed of modern civilization. The Turnbull family struggles to survive under increasingly harsh conditions in the war-torn world, in miserable refugee camps and in underground sanctuaries having nothing else but minimal rations of food and water. In the process, from childhood to older age, Ed must keep learning where the balance is between his primal instinct for survival and desire to maintain his own essential traits of humanity, how to handle the "every man for himself' situations while facing the risk of imminent death, and what is that one thing for which he would do anything in the world. Answering all these and other questions is made monumentally hard by the helplessness of people in a world in which they influence nothing and do not know who decides about the life and death of the irreversibly and progressively shrinking human population.