Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
"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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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.
After reading this, the blinkers are definitely off. We DO need to put politics aside and take action now.