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The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming (2019)

by David Wallace-Wells

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9494317,218 (3.99)22
"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. In California, wildfires now rage year-round, destroying thousands of homes. Across the US, "500-year" storms pummel communities month after month, and floods displace tens of millions annually. This is only a preview of the changes to come. And they are coming fast. Without a revolution in how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth could become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century. In his travelogue of our near future, David Wallace-Wells brings into stark relief the climate troubles that await--food shortages, refugee emergencies, and other crises that will reshape the globe. But the world will be remade by warming in more profound ways as well, transforming our politics, our culture, our relationship to technology, and our sense of history. It will be all-encompassing, shaping and distorting nearly every aspect of human life as it is lived today. Like An Inconvenient Truth and Silent Spring before it, The Uninhabitable Earth is both a meditation on the devastation we have brought upon ourselves and 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"--… (more)
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English (40)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (43)
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
Central idea of the book is climate change and global warming. Author reviews and cites hundreds of collected documents. Goes through major incidents which happened in the past due to climate change and envisions what could have happened. The book is good as a reference of past events, but doesn't provide any insights or suggestions how to fix existing problems. ( )
  zenlot | Sep 21, 2021 |
DNF at page 131 (read aloud sections to Ian through page 119). Excellent book but I couldn't stand any more
  suzannetangerine | Sep 1, 2021 |
shelved in HT Green Library - by Reception - Monograph Library (R)
  HT.LibraryBooks | Jul 21, 2021 |
This book led me down the path to an existential crisis. Between this book and The End of Ice by Dahr Jamail, I did just that, lapsed into a crisis. Why bother to keep on living? Why care about the environment? It's all going to end with an uninhabitable planet, so recycling aluminum cans and plastic just seems like a big waste.

I'm not kidding when I say that it caused me to think of life as a complete waste of time, and that it was perfectly acceptable to just end it all.

Fortunately that did not happen. My general underlying positive viewpoint fought back. I did not want to see my beautiful wife lapse into this "we have ruined the planet and humans deserve to die off" mindset. I kept reading. And I found a couple of books that saved my sanity.

One was The End of Doom by Ronald Bailey.

The other was Apocalypse Never by Michael Shellenberger.

Those books literally saved my life.

This isn't about being a so-called 'climate change denier' or whatever label you want to sling out. This is about approaching science with a bit of healthy skepticism, about rejecting the concept of consensus as it has *no place* anywhere near the idea of science. It is about regaining hope. It is about learning to care for the earth and our legacy on this planet. ( )
  donblanco | Jan 4, 2021 |
Summary: We are royally fucked. 50 years from now, the survivors will be incredulous at how stupid the planet got ( )
  bermandog | Dec 11, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
“The Uninhabitable Earth” by David Wallace-Wells 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: death by water, death by heat, death by hunger, death by thirst, death by disease, death by asphyxiation, death by political and civilizational collapse.
added by melmore | editNew York Times, Farhad Manjoo (Feb 13, 2019)
 
 
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For Risa and Rocca, My mother and father
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It is worse, much worse, than you think.
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"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. In California, wildfires now rage year-round, destroying thousands of homes. Across the US, "500-year" storms pummel communities month after month, and floods displace tens of millions annually. This is only a preview of the changes to come. And they are coming fast. Without a revolution in how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth could become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century. In his travelogue of our near future, David Wallace-Wells brings into stark relief the climate troubles that await--food shortages, refugee emergencies, and other crises that will reshape the globe. But the world will be remade by warming in more profound ways as well, transforming our politics, our culture, our relationship to technology, and our sense of history. It will be all-encompassing, shaping and distorting nearly every aspect of human life as it is lived today. Like An Inconvenient Truth and Silent Spring before it, The Uninhabitable Earth is both a meditation on the devastation we have brought upon ourselves and 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"--

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Contents:
I. Cascades -- II. Elements of chaos. Heat death ; Hunger ; Drowning ; Wildfire ; Disasters no longer natural ; Freshwater drain ; Dying oceans ; Unbreathable air ; Plagues of warming ; Economic collapse ; Climate conflict ; "Systems" -- III. The climate kaleidoscope. Storytelling ; Crisis capitalism ; The church of technology ; Politics of consumption ; History after progress ; Ethics at the end of the world -- IV. The anthropic principle.
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