on 7 July 2010
I will admit that I am not in any way a Climate Change Sceptic. I bought into the concept as a child when CFC gasses were first correctly banned from products. I have always believed that we needed to change our way to preserve the earth for future generations. I had never considered, however, that we may have already moved past a point where we can do that, that all we've done already has changed the world irrevocably and the life I have become accustomed to is mostly supported by practices that are detrimental to the Earth's well being.
And all of that sounds very negative but the book doesn't read like a haranguing lecture at all. It actually left me feeling hopeful and eager to recommend this read to others.
Whether you're a sceptic or a fully fledged card holding believer this is something you should read.
on 20 May 2012
This book has no redeeming merits whatsoever. It is a diatribe against human progress from the lofty height of a US environmentalist, secure in his own affluence and wealth, but hateful of anyone who dissents from his creed. So he is opposed to DDT, despite the fact that it helped clear malaria from many countries of the world (including his own) and especially now, to GM technology, which holds the hope of dragging millions of people from starvation and poverty. McKibben sees carbon dioxide as an evil gas helping to throttle the planet and cause runaway global warming, but despite the dire predictions of the IPCC, the world remains intact and, indeed, thriving. Coal, oil and gas are helping two nations in particular to bring prosperity to their peoples, through electricity generation. Does he really resent their march out of poverty? And where is the "end to nature"? The plant and animal kingdoms are thriving, and attempts by Greenpeace to show the opposite are wrong. Such charities point to the apparent demise of the Polar Bear, but the species is actually growing as far as one can tell The Inuit are the best witnesses to this fact). Environmentalists like McKibben should descend from the lofty pedestals and discuss their problems with ordinary men and women, who see no such disaster awaiting them. Their cause is even now being deserted by their high priests, such as James Lovelock of Gaia fame, who now admits "he was wrong" about global warming (the earth is currently in a cooling phase). Avoid this book for its fanaticism.