on 2 August 2010
This is an outstanding book because it is so up-to-date, both with climate science and through telling personal observations of how our environment and the natural world are changing. The author doesn't flinch from telling it like it is, yet the writing is fast-paced, hip and good-humored. I read the first half of the book in almost one sitting, because it was "un-put-downable". The second half of the book addresses localizing solutions - this is more limited (specifically to the New England area of America, by way of example) and not quite as exciting as the global tour through EAARTH. Well worth purchasing.
on 13 November 2012
McKibben changes the terms of the climate change debate. He presents an overwhelming argument that it is already too late to stop catastrophic global change. The catastrophe is already here. He further argues that all the feedback loops of global warming lead the wrong way. The melting ice caps lead to greater heat retention by a dark ocean surface. The melting tundra releases vast quantities of methane. The mass death of trees further intensifies the heat and aridity. I thought that increased CO2 would at least stimulate plant growth, but McKibben claims that overheated plants consume less CO2.
Somehow, the unstinting depiction of a planetary train wreak is handled with wit and even entertainment value. Then the discussion of adjustment strategies is practical, realistic and conversational. It's mostly stories about practical efforts by real, quite ordinary people. McKibben's own story of activism seems quite modest. His trial and error steps seem doable by most anyone with a computer. Like the Arab Spring's leaders, he puts great faith in the Internet as a tool for neighbors to connect.
on 22 January 2014
A mind opener for anyone wondering whether climate change has anything to do with us humans. It does and it's already too late to reverse our damage. That does NOT mean we can be complacent. Urgent action is needed by us all. My critisism is that a number of the author's points are somewhat laboured and repetitive. This though is no excuse not to read this very important book. And if, like me, you find it a tad 'boring' after a while, it may be worth asking the question, 'am I really bored, or am I finding this so painful that I'm trying to blanket this feeling'?