The uninhabitable earth Life after warming

David Wallace-Wells

Book - 2019

"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 b...illions 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"--

Saved in:

2nd Floor Show me where

304.28/Wallace-Wells
6 / 6 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 304.28/Wallace-Wells Checked In
2nd Floor 304.28/Wallace-Wells Checked In
2nd Floor 304.28/Wallace-Wells Checked In
2nd Floor 304.28/Wallace-Wells Checked In
2nd Floor 304.28/Wallace-Wells Checked In
2nd Floor 304.28/Wallace-Wells Checked In
Subjects
Published
New York : Tim Duggan Books [2019]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
310 pages ; 25 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages [233]-299) and index.
ISBN
9780525576709
0525576703
Main Author
David Wallace-Wells (author)
  • 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.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Wallace-Wells is not a scientist or an environmentalist; he is a journalist who, as he explains, "began collecting stories of climate change, many of them terrifying, gripping, uncanny narratives." He warns: "It is worse, much worse, than you think." Wallace-Wells explains why in a bracing, well-organized, fully sourced, powerfully composed survey of the planetary changes happening now at shockingly rapid rates and their dire human consequences. Wallace-Wells tracks the cascading human costs of the rising sea levels threatening coastal cities. He also describes how flooding rivers, heat, drought, and the loss of topsoil and pollinators are decimating crop yields and warming ocean temperatures are endangering marine life while the human population and its need for food continue to increase.The litany of interconnected global-warming disasters is pummeling. There's the epic damage wrought by more frequent and more ferocious storms and wildfires, and the insidious harm of air pollution, including the reduction of cognitive abilities. Wallace-Wells also casts light on the link between capitalism and environmental catastrophes, and how climate change is instigating wars and mass exoduses of refugees, crises that will grow more severe. This clarion and necessary overview takes its place on a long list of similarly eloquent cautionary treatises by Bill McKibben, Al Gore, James Hansen, Elizabeth Kolbert, Naomi Klein, and many more. Yet after decades of warnings, we have done nothing to reduce our burning of fossil fuels. Wallace-Wells makes it personal: "Every year, the average American emits enough carbon to melt 10,000 tons of ice in the Antarctic ice sheets—enough to add 10,000 cubic meters of water to the ocean. Every minute, each of us adds five gallons." But for all the overwhelming information so compellingly presented here, Wallace-Wells is adamant in his assertion that there are solutions and that it is not too late to implement them. A rise in climate-change consciousness is finally underway, and we must now, at long last, learn to think and act as one global community, "one people, whose fate is shared by all." Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Choice Reviews

When an author congratulates a reader for her/his getting to page 138, one can safely assume that the information in the book is terrifying. The titles of the first 11 chapters of The Uninhabitable Earth are "Heat Death," "Hunger," "Drowning," "Wildfire," "Disasters No Longer Natural," "Freshwater Drain," "Dying Oceans," "Unbreathable Air," "Plagues of Warming," and "Economic Collapse." The title of the twelfth and last chapter, "Systems," refers to global disruption including wars and forced migration—a projected one-billion climate migrants on the planet by 2050. To date the responses to global warming have been denial (both major political parties in the US are guilty of this) and simply looking away instead of acknowledging the climate debt owed by the wealthy nations of the West who created the Anthropocene in one generation. The next generation has the task of reengineering a world not based on fossil fuels. Accomplishing this will not rely on the actions of well-meaning individuals who recycle or do not use plastic straws (though these are responsible behaviors); rather, the political will for a livable planet must be created by voting for responsible leaders. The world, as one, must respond to the call for action. We have only one planet to call home. Summing Up: Essential. All readers.--P. A. Murphy, emerita, University of ToledoPatricia A. Murphyemerita, University of Toledo Patricia A. Murphy Choice Reviews 57:01 September 2019 Copyright 2019 American Library Association.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Wallace-Wells, deputy editor of New York magazine, takes on global warming's probable apocalyptic consequences in this depressing but must-read account. Wallace-Wells covers well-known threats, such as that rising sea levels will drown low-lying population centers, and alarming secondary effects, including the loss of ice, which, by reducing the Earth's capacity to reflect heat back into the atmosphere, would only accelerate global warming. Wallace-Wells considers cultural disruptions as well—for example, that rising temperatures could make the hajj to Mecca physically impossible. Wallace-Wells rigorously sources his contentions in detailed endnotes, making clear his gloominess is evidence-based. He also clarifies that his enumeration of calamities may only be the tip of the iceberg, as it is "a portrait of the future only as best it can be painted in the present." The cumulative effect is oppressive, and his brief references to remaining personally optimistic—because what humanity has done to the planet it can somehow undo—comes across as wishful thinking. At one point, he commends the reader for persisting in reading, observing that each chapter thus far has contained "enough horror to induce a panic attack in even the most optimistic." This statement stands as an apt summation of this intellectually rigorous, urgent, and often overwhelming look into a dire future. (Feb.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Examines the profound ways global warming will impact the Earth's ability to sustain human life and civilization, from food shortages to millions of environmental refugees, and elicits a plea for action to stop climate change.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"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 thousandsof 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"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The Uninhabitable Earth hits you like a comet, with an overflow of insanely lyrical prose about our pending Armageddon.”—Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday DemonNAMED 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 ReviewsIt 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