Fear mongering or forewarning, a book that illuminates as it educates.
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.
Heather S.’ review
The uninviting cover of this book features a plain white background with a dead bee under the black title. Not a book that I would immediately pick up, but it was on the New York Times best seller list for several weeks and the topic is one that will be of importance to all global citizens. Perhaps even more urgent for Canadians and especially for the up-coming federal election so I chose to read this timely non-fiction book.
This is the first book for the author as David Wallace-Wells is a journalist and deputy editor for New York magazine. The book is a “follow-up” to a previous article that he wrote in 2008 which went viral.
It was a depressing read with lots of North American and global facts and statistics about the devastating effects of climate warming. The book was well organized with 12 specific chapters for the deadliest effects of climate change. Although the last sections required a knowledge of current authors and there was a somewhat naturally American point of view, it was an excellent book. Well worth the effort it took to get through it. There were tons of interesting and exceptionally well documented facts. A definite requirement for anyone who wants to know more about our future. Some environmentalist feel it evokes panic, but perhaps it is better to be forewarned than to go into the future blind.