Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

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Macmillan, Apr 13, 2010 - Nature - 272 pages
3 Reviews

"Read it, please. Straight through to the end. Whatever else you were planning to do next, nothing could be more important." —Barbara Kingsolver

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 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.


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EAARTH: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Stark, no-nonsense manifesto about global warming and its unstoppable effects.In accessible prose and a tone of wistfulness about the state of our planet, environmental activist McKibben (Fight Global ... Read full review

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2010-2011 Environmental Science student:
The book Eaarth was about how the planet’s environment is changing at a pace much faster than anticipated, so much so that it has actually transformed into
a completely different planet: Eaarth. This concept is nothing new, however, and I was worried that when I first started reading Eaarth would be another statistic filled book to scare readers into reducing their consumption and recycling. I had already heard about how glaciers are melting and didn’t know how a book could belabor the topic anymore. I was pleasant surprised to find that the author was not only able to say that the glaciers were melting, but also explain how this process affected other processes like rising ocean levels and taught me a lot more about the entire warming process. He included humor and analogies too so that even the most difficult topics were easy to understand. Eaarth is also a good choice because since it does not limit its topic to one specific area of the environment, the author talks about a myriad of different environmental topics: hurricanes, farming, oceans, forests. So if you like learning about multiple things instead of one in-depth topic, this is the book for you. 


1 A New World
2 High Tide
3 Backing Off
4 Lightly Carefully Gracefully

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About the author (2010)

Bill McKibben is the author of The End of Nature, Deep Economy, Enough, Fight Global Warming Now, The Bill McKibben Reader, and numerous other books. He is the founder of the environmental organizations Step It Up and 350.org, and was among the first to warn of the dangers of global warming. In 2010 The Boston Globe called him "probably the nation's leading environmentalist," and Time magazine has called him "the world's best green journalist." He studied at Harvard, and started his writing career as a staff writer at The New Yorker. The End of Nature, his first book, was published in 1989 and was regarded as the first book on climate change for a general audience.

He is a frequent contributor to magazines and newspapers including the New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Orion Magazine, Mother Jones, The New York Review of Books, Granta, Rolling Stone, and Outside. He has been awarded Guggenheim Fellowship and won the Lannan Prize for nonfiction writing in 2000. He is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College and lives in Vermont with his wife, the writer Sue Halpern, and their daughter.

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