Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

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Knopf Canada, Apr 13, 2010 - 272 pages
3 Reviews
The bestselling author of Deep Economy shows that we're living on a fundamentally altered planet - and opens our eyes to the kind of change we'll need in order to make our civilization endure. Twenty years ago, with The End of Nature , Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about global warming. Those warnings went mostly unheeded; now, he insists, we need to acknowledge that we've waited too long, and that massive change is not only unavoidable but already under way. Our old familiar globe is suddenly melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen. We've created, in very short order, a new planet, still recognizable but fundamentally different. We may as well call it Eaarth. That new planet is filled with new binds and traps. A changing world costs large sums to defend - think of the money that went to repair New Orleans, or the trillions of dollars it will take to transform our energy systems. But the endless economic growth that could underwrite such largesse depends on the stable planet we've managed to damage and degrade. We can't rely on old habits any longer. Our hope depends, McKibben argues, on scaling back - on building the kind of societies and economies that can hunker down, concentrate on essentials, and create the type of community (in the neighborhood, but also on the Internet) that will allow us to weather trouble on an unprecedented scale. Change - fundamental change - is our best hope on a planet suddenly and violently out of balance. From the Hardcover edition.

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I have been fearful of climate change for about 3 decades now. Somehow, in the back of my mind, I always thought-perhaps hoped is the better word-that things had not reached a tipping point of no return. It appears that I was wrong.
This is a frightening book. If I had read it 40 years ago, I would not have brought children into this world. I fear greatly for the my kids and grandkids-they will be facing, in a very short time-a world so very different than the one they are used to that they will end up asking themselves over and over-How could they (my generation, and my parents generation) have ever let this happen.
This book is full of truths that have been hidden from us, or at the very least downplayed. It is too late for the planet that we know and love. Irreversible changes have been sent in motion, and they have acquired a momentum far beyond our ability to influence the outcome.
It is a strange thing to feel-or say-but I am glad that I shall not live long enough to have to answer the questions from the younger generations-or see the havoc that we have unleashed.
 

Review: Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

User Review  - Steve - Goodreads

Enormously compelling and persuasive in its diagnosis of what we've done to the planet and of how nature now and in the future will, because of our own actions, be much harsher generally than in the ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Bill McKibben grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts. He was president of the Harvard Crimson newspaper in college. Immediately after college he joined the New Yorker magazine as a staff writer, and wrote much of the "Talk of the Town" column from 1982 to early 1987. After quitting this job, he soon moved to the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. His first book, The End of Nature, was published in 1989 by Random House after being serialized in the New Yorker. It is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has been printed in more than 20 languages. Several editions have come out in the United States, including an updated version published in 2006. His next book, The Age of Missing Information, was published in 1992. It is an account of an experiment: McKibben collected everything that came across the 100 channels of cable tv on the Fairfax, Virginia system (at the time among the nation's largest) for a single day. He spent a year watching the 2,400 hours of videotape, and then compared it to a day spent on the mountaintop near his home. This book has been widely used in colleges and high schools, and was reissued in 2006. McKibben's latest book is entitled, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet. Bill currently resides with his wife, writer Sue Halpern, and his daughter, Sophie in Ripton, Vermont. He is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College. 030

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