- Buy this product and stream 90 days of Amazon Music Unlimited for free. E-mail after purchase. Conditions apply. Learn more
The Uninhabitable Earth: A Story of the Future Hardcover – 19 Feb 2019
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Special offers and product promotions
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
'Clear, engaging and often dazzling' (The Telegraph)
'A masterly analysis' (Nature)
Relentless, angry journalism of the highest order. Read it and, for the lack of any more useful response, weep. . . .The article was a sensation and the book will be, too. (Bryan Appleyard The Sunday Times)
The most terrifying book I have ever read . . . a meticulously documented, white-knuckled tour through the cascading catastrophes that will soon engulf our warming planet. (The New York Times)
Riveting . . . Some readers will find Mr Wallace-Wells's outline of possible futures alarmist. He is indeed alarmed. You should be, too. (The Economist)
Wallace-Wells is an extremely adept storyteller, simultaneously urgent and humane . . . [he] does a terrifyingly good job of moving between the specific and the abstract. (Slate)
Enough to induce an honest-to-God panic attack ... The margins of my review copy of the book are scrawled with expressions of terror and despair, declining in articulacy as the pages proceed, until it's all just cartoon sad faces and swear words ... To read The Uninhabitable Earth is to understand the collapse of the distinction between alarmism and plain realism (Mark O'Connell The Guardian)
There is much to learn from this book. From media and scientific reports of the past decade, Wallace-Wells sifts key predictions and conveys them in vivid prose. (David George Haskell The Observer)
Not since Bill McKibben's "The End of Nature" 30 years ago have we been told what climate change will mean in such vivid terms. (Fred Pearce The Washington Post)
Everyone should stop what they're doing and read The Uninhabitable Earth by @dwallacewells. This is our future if we don't act now. (Johann Hari Twitter)
From the Inside Flap
'A profound book, which simultaneously makes me terrified and hopeful about the future' Jonathan Safran Foer A Times and FT Most Anticipated Book 2019 It is worse, much worse, than you think. The slowness of climate change is a fairy tale, perhaps as pernicious as the one that says it isn't happening at all, and if your anxiety about it is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible, even within the lifetime of a teenager today. Over the past decades, the term "Anthropocene" has climbed into the popular imagination - a name given to the geologic era we live in now, one defined by human intervention in the life of the planet. But however sanguine you might be about the proposition that we have ravaged the natural world, which we surely have, it is another thing entirely to consider the possibility that we have only provoked it, engineering first in ignorance and then in denial a climate system that will now go to war with us for many centuries, perhaps until it destroys us. In the meantime, it will remake us, transforming every aspect of the way we live-the planet no longer nurturing a dream of abundance, but a living nightmareSee all Product description
Customers who bought this item also bought
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The first impression of this book is of starkness. The front cover is plain, with the book’s title, its subtitle and author on a plain off-white background. The only decoration is a small picture of a bee at the bottom of the cover. The bee looks inactive, probably dead. Inside the book is text. There are no charts, no illustrations, no maps, just text. The small picture of the author on the back inside cover is in black and white, and he is not smiling. The contents are equally stark (2). However, after the author David Wallace-Wells has made the reader look into the mouth of Hell, he then pulls you back and shows that redemption is still possible through prompt actions.
The author is a journalist, not a scientist. The book is readable. The book is well researched. The contents are disturbing. Everyone should read this book. Hurry up please. It’s time.
(1) There is a long history of doomsday predictions. For Climate Change, Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth is the most recent and most famous. Earlier, there was Paul R. Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb and The Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth. However, just because we are still here does not mean these books were wrong.
(2) The book is divided into sections titled: I Cascades, II Elements of Chaos, III The Climate Kaleidoscope, IV The Anthropic Principle, Acknowledgments, Notes, Index.
The first section, Cascades, is a single chapter of over 30 pages. It serves as a general introduction. The title comes from climate cascades, where multiple climate events occur. Towards the end of the section (page 35), the following section, “Elements of Chaos” is introduced as “The science that makes up the following twelve chapters has been culled from interviews from dozens of expert, and from hundreds of papers published in the best academic journals over the previous decade or so. Since it is science, it is tentative, ever-evolving, and some of the predictions that follow will surely not come to pass”.
Elements of Chaos - The chapters are: Heat Death, Hunger, Drowning, Wildfire, Disasters No Longer Natural, Freshwater Drain, Dying Oceans, Unbreathable Air, Economic Collapse, Climate Conflict, “Systems”.
Having survived the horrors of the chapters in “Elements of Chaos”, the next section, “Climate Kaleidoscope” is more discursive and thoughtful. It asks what stories we will tell ourselves when climate change is undeniable and can no longer be ignored. How will business react? What about Silicon Valley? If we really think that we are moving towards the end of days, what will happen to our belief systems?
The Climate Kaleidoscope - The chapters are: Storytelling, Crisis Capitalism, The Church of Technology, Politics of Consumption, History After Progress, Ethics at the End of the World.
The last section is “The Anthropic Principle”. This is a single chapter of ten pages that acts as a conclusion to the book. The science of climate change is persuasive, but there is still much to understand. The complexity of climate may contain feedback loops that we have not considered. The solutions to climate change are available to us, but we have to start implementing them in earnest. We have to start thinking like a planet. There is no second chance and no second planet.
In July 2017 David Wallace-Wells wrote a long article for New York magazine that outlined a worse case scenario for the planet based on global warming. This is a book-length expansion of his original article.
This is an extremely important book that deserves a wide readership even if it makes for deeply distressing reading.
Since my teenage years I have tried to keep myself informed and also supported organisations such as Friends of the Earth, even though it has often seemed an uphill battle including seeking to control wildlife crime. Yet somehow the bigger, more serious issue of global warming has seemingly passed me by.
Wallace-Wells states in his owning section, ‘Cascades’, that in the following chapters he is not discussing the “tragic fate of animals” but instead concentrating on the costs to human lives. I found that I was relieved by this focus away from nature as I feared that I would feel overwhelmed.
However, he writes: “Any one of these twelve chapters contains, by rights, enough horror to induce a panic attack in even the most optimistic of those considering it. But you are not merely considering it; you are about to embark on living it. In many cases, in many places, we already are.”
Climate terror. Climate depression. Environmental grief. It was easy to feel all of these while reading and so I rationed myself and read only a few chapters each day. If I wasn’t reading and reviewing for an upcoming publication date I probably would have taken more time to absorb the material. Still, I don’t think any amount of time would have lessened the feeling of despair.
It is a very fact based work accompanied by copious notes at the end detailing his sources and allowing for further reading.
Thankfully although a very bleak picture, Wallace-Wells also writes: “I think you have to do everything you can to make the world accommodate dignified and flourishing life, rather than giving up early, before the fight has been lost or won, and acclimating yourself to a dreary future brought into being by others less concerned..”
A message to take to heart as the news almost daily recounts the reality of climate change and global warming. I feel that it is a book that I will be thinking a great deal about.
I hope to see it discussed widely and find a place in schools and libraries. Hopefully the message will also reach those who are in denial.
(And before anyone accuses me of being a climate change denier - I very much believe in it and our need to do something it about it immediately, but this book will not help the cause)