The Uninhabitable Earth
Life After WarmingBook - 2019
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New Yorker * The New York Times Book Review * Time * NPR * The Economist * The Paris Review * Toronto Star * GQ * The Times Literary Supplement * The New York Public Library * Kirkus Reviews
It is worse, much worse, than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible--food shortages, refugee emergencies, climate wars and economic devastation.
An "epoch-defining book" ( The Guardian ) and "this generation's Silent Spring " ( The Washington Post ), The Uninhabitable Earth is both a travelogue of the near future and a meditation on how that future will look to those living through it--the ways that warming promises to transform global politics, the meaning of technology and nature in the modern world, the sustainability of capitalism and the trajectory of human progress.
The Uninhabitable Earth is also an impassioned call to action. For just as the world was brought to the brink of catastrophe within the span of a lifetime, the responsibility to avoid it now belongs to a single generation--today's.
LONGLISTED FOR THE PEN/E.O. WILSON LITERARY SCIENCE WRITING AWARD
"The Uninhabitable Earth is the most terrifying book I have ever read. Its subject is climate change, and its method is scientific, but its mode is Old Testament. The book is a meticulously documented, white-knuckled tour through the cascading catastrophes that will soon engulf our warming planet." --Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times
"Riveting. . . . Some readers will find Mr. Wallace-Wells's outline of possible futures alarmist. He is indeed alarmed. You should be, too." -- The Economist
"Potent and evocative. . . . Wallace-Wells has resolved to offer something other than the standard narrative of climate change. . . . He avoids the 'eerily banal language of climatology' in favor of lush, rolling prose." --Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times
"The book has potential to be this generation's Silent Spring ." --The Washington Post
" The Uninhabitable Earth, which has become a best seller, taps into the underlying emotion of the day: fear. . . . I encourage people to read this book." --Alan Weisman, The New York Review of Books
From Library Staff
LPL_ShirleyB Jun 19, 2020
Recommended by Trish
LPL_ShirleyB Aug 30, 2019
Recommended by Jake
From the critics
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The science of global atmospheric warming has been thoroughly studied and accepted; and the anticipated consequences have been estimated and described. The only uncertainty, the author contends, is the choice made by humanity and our politicians either to continue business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions (and adapt to a harsh future); or to transition to a low-carbon global economy (in order to minimize the looming consequences of climate destabilization). After an introductory chapter on the supine politics of global warming, the author examines in detail twelve impacts of climate destabilization. This book has extensive endnotes but no bibliography.
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"... Western liberals have comforted themselves by contorting their own consumption patterns into performances of moral or environmental purity - less beef, more Teslas, fewer trans-Atlantic flights. But the climate calculus is such that individual lifestyle choices do not add up to much, unless they are scaled by politics. ... that scaling should not be impossible, once we understand the stakes." (p. 34)
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