Saturday, March 30, 2019

Review: The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Uninhabitable Earth was my non-fiction read for March 2019.

I first heard about this book on PBS News Hour, when Hari Sreenivasan described the book as gripping non-fiction. Having blogged for years about climate on another venue, I was drawn to the book. What would life after warming be like? Wallace-Wells has painted a picture that is frightening but not without hope. Comprising all aspects of global warming- from heat death to hunger to drowning, wildfires, freshwater (potable) loss to dying oceans, the impact of air pollution, plagues of tropical diseases, economic collapse and the immigrant conflicts of climate refugees, we gain a broad view of the impact of climate change and the certainty that much as it is human-caused, the solutions, or more accurately, the staying of further change, are in human hands, as well.

Addressing issues as vast as capitalism's culpability and saving graces to answers to the Fermi paradox from an industrialized civilization paradigm, The Uninhabitable Earth should be on every responsible citizen of this planet's reading list. While Swedish teen political activist Greta Thunberg isn't wrong about realizing your house is on fire, David Wallace-Wells wants this, our near future, to be humanity's finest hour. The political will of major world powers is the essential component to his future view veering from disaster.

Don't avoid this book from fear and thinking it's a negative take. It's a pragmatic take about where we need to focus our efforts. The same approach as the Manhattan Project, focused on climate, could literally save this pale blue dot. Read this book and shout about it.

- Astrophysicist and philosopher Carl Sagan's famous quote,
looking at an image caught by Voyager I as it left our solar system,
and cast a final glance back toward Earth, our home.

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