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Eaarth : Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
by Bill McKibben

Overview -

"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.  Read more...


 
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More About Eaarth by Bill McKibben
 
 
 
Overview

"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.

Bill McKibben is the author of "The End of Nature," "Deep Economy," 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. He is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College and lives in Vermont with his wife, the writer Sue Halpern, and their daughter. 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 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. "Bill McKibben may be the world's best green journalist . . . What really sets "Eaarth" apart from other green books is McKibben's prescription for survival. This won't be just a matter of replacing a few lightbulbs; McKibben is calling for a more local existence lived 'lightly, carefully, gently.' It's a future unimaginable to most of us--but it may be the only way to survive."--"Time" ""Eaarth" is the name McKibben has decided to assign both to his new book and to the planet formerly known as Earth. His point is a fresh one that brings the reader uncomfortably close to climate change . . . Unlike many writers on environmental cataclysm, McKibben is actually a writer, and a very good one at that. He is smart enough to know that the reader needs a dark chuckle of a bone thrown at him now and then to keep plowing through the bad news."--Paul Greenberg, "The New York Times Book Review " "Bill McKibben may be the world's best green journalist . . . What really sets "Eaarth" apart from other green books is McKibben's prescription for survival. This won't be just a matter of replacing a few lightbulbs; McKibben is calling for a more local existence lived 'lightly, carefully, gently.' It's a future unimaginable to most of us--but it may be the only way to survive."--"Time" "Superbly written . . . McKibben is at his best when offering an elegant tour of what is already going wrong and likely to get even worse. . . . "Eaarth" is a manifesto for radical measures."--"The National Interest" "A valuable slice of acid-tongued reality."--"San Francisco Chronicle" "This book must be read and his message must be understood clearly in Congress and in the streets. Indeed, throughout the world."--"The Capitol Times" (Madison, Wis.) "Sounds a clarion at a time when the findings of climate scientists have been all but drowned out by skeptics and right-wing bombast. McKibben, however, does not doubt that facts will trump ideology. . . . McKibben is an eloquent advocate."--"The Oregonian" (Portland)
"With clarity, eloquence, deep knowledge, and even deeper compassion for both planet and people, Bill McKibben guides us to the brink of a new, uncharted era. This monumental book, probably his greatest, may restore your faith in the future, with us in it."--Alan Weisman, author of "The World Without Us" "The terrifying premise with which this book begins is that we have, as in the old science fiction films and tales of half a century ago, landed on a harsh and unpredictable planet, all six billion of us. Climate change is already here, but Bill McKibben doesn't stop with the bad news. He tours the best responses that are also already here, and these visions of a practical scientific solution are also sketches of a better, richer, more democratic civil society and everyday life. "Eaarth" is an as

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780805090567
  • ISBN-10: 0805090568
  • Publisher: Times Books
  • Publish Date: April 2010
  • Page Count: 253


Related Categories

Books > Nature > Environmental Conservation & Protection - General
Books > House & Home > Sustainable Living
Books > Science > Environmental Science

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 50.
  • Review Date: 2009-12-21
  • Reviewer: Staff

The world as we know it has ended forever: that's the melancholy message of this nonetheless cautiously optimistic assessment of the planet's future by McKibben, whose The End of Nature first warned of global warming's inevitable impact 20 years ago. Twelve books later, the committed environmentalist concedes that the earth has lost “the climatic stability that marked all of human civilization.” His litany of damage done by a carbon-fueled world economy is by now familiar: in some places rainfall is dramatically heavier, while Australia and the American Southwest face a permanent drought; polar ice is vanishing, glaciers everywhere are melting, typhoons and hurricanes are fiercer, and the oceans are more acidic; food yields are dropping as temperatures rise and mosquitoes in expanding tropical zones are delivering deadly disease to millions. McKibben's prescription for coping on our new earth is to adopt “maintenance as our mantra,” to think locally not globally, and to learn to live “lightly, carefully, gracefully”—a glass-half-full attitude that might strike some as Pollyannaish or merely insufficient. But for others McKibben's refusal to abandon hope may restore faith in the future. (Apr.)

 
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