Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth about Climate Change

Front Cover
Earthscan, 2010 - Nature - 286 pages
17 Reviews
`Listen to this Requiem and weep, if it helps. False hope is as dangerous as despair. But don't get mired in helplessness. Above all, Requiem is a call to arms; to the urgent task of overhauling democracy in pursuit of survival. At stake, the biggest prize of all: our own humanity.' Tim Jackson, author of Prosperity Without Growth

`I am afraid Clive Hamilton has it right about climate change - deeply afraid. Requiem is a brave and searingly honest book by a brilliant scholar. Ignoring it will only make a bad situation worse, so, please, read this book now.' James Gustave Speth, author of The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability and Dean Emeritus, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

`When future generations look out on a planet ravaged by climate change, they will ask of our generation "When you knew what was happening - surely the greatest debacle since we came out of our caves - why didn't you stop it?" Clive Hamilton proposes the problem lies with "the perversity of our institutions, our psychological dispositions, our strange obsessions, our penchant for avoiding facts, and, especially, our hubris." It all makes for a riveting read because, alas, it is all too true - just like Greek tragedy.' Norman Myers, 21st Century School, University of Oxford

`Clive Hamilton investigates - in real time - our society's choice not to act to protect ourselves from devastating climate change. We know the science, but "scientific facts are fighting against more powerful forces" - power, money, bureaucratic inertia and our innate desire to ignore what we don't want to believe. "It's too late," he says. "Humanity failed." That past tense is devastating.' Fred Pearce, writer and author of The Last Generation: How Nature Will Take Her Revenge for Climate Change

`Requiem for a Species magnificently captures the idea that, by and large, none of us want to believe that climate change is real. It explains our inability to seriously weigh the evidence of climate change, and to take appropriate action to ensure our own survival.' Tim Costello, CEO, World Vision Australia

`Hamilton's book presents a powerful statement of the problems confronting us - not just the problem of climate change itself, but the tendency to wish the problem away by denial. Read this book. `Professor Lord May OM AC FRS, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford

This book does not set out once more to raise the alarm to encourage us to take radical measures to head off climate chaos. There have been any number of books and reports in recent years explaining just how dire the future looks and how little time we have left to act.

This book is about why we have ignored those warnings, and why it is now too late. It is a book about the frailties of the human species as expressed in both the institutions we built and the psychological dispositions that have led us on the path of self-destruction. It is about our strange obsessions, our hubris, and our penchant for avoiding the facts. It is the story of a battle within us between the forces that should have caused us to protect the Earth - our capacity to reason and our connection to Nature - and those that, in the end, have won out - our greed, materialism and alienation from Nature. And it is about the 21st century consequences of these failures.
  

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Review: Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth about Climate Change

User Review  - Andrew - Goodreads

It is hard to disentangle my experience of this book from my general pessimism concerning humanity's response to climate change. This is certainly heightened by the recent work showing that it is in ... Read full review

Review: Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth about Climate Change

User Review  - Carmel - Goodreads

As I said, I give up. Incredibly boring, laden with statistics, and no hope for us all. I tried twice to read it and gave up after 10 pages. Normally I am a prolific reader, but this one has me stumped. I will try again, maybe. But I doubt I would change my rating. Read full review

Contents

Chapter 1 No escaping thescience
1
Chapter 2 Growth fetishism
32
Chapter 3 The consumer self
66
Chapter 4 Many forms of denial
95
Chapter 5 Disconnection from Nature
134
Chapter 6 Is there a way out?
159
Chapter 7 The fourdegree world
190
Chapter 8 Reconstructing a future
209
Greenhouse gases
227
Notes
230
Index
274
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Clive Hamilton is professor of public ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics based at the Australian National University. For 14 years until early 2008 he was the executive director of Australia's foremost progressive think tank. He has held visiting academic positions at the University of Cambridge and Yale University, and is author of the bestselling Affluenza and Growth Fetish, Scorcher and most recently The Freedom Paradox.

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