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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 4 April 2014
Much has been said critising the unusal layout of this punchy polemic - but it was intended to have impact and it does. The tone is so fatalistic it detracts from the message - it's so pessimistic that it makes it easy for climate change deniers to ignore it as "hysterical". It makes you think, and should provoke debate, but I would like to have seen some more positive suggestions for action. Several possible solutions are teasingly mentioned, then cynically dismissed as "that won't happen". Tell us more, maybe we can make change happen even if you've given up Stephen. In the meanwhile I've no intention of enroling my daughter in a gun club. But I'm none the wiser as to what to teach her instead.
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on 22 May 2017
A very impressive book indeed about the fact that humankind will go on being 'human'
to provide for BILLIONS and BILLIONS MORE of us !! It's a DYSTOPIAN DILEMMA
to BEAT ALL dystopian dilemmas !! It should be NOTED by everyone, but WONT BE!
It makes one feel deeply sorry for the newborn and children that we see every day now!
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on 6 March 2017
Great book however I feel like the author is far too negative. When I finished this over a year ago I had a feeling of disgust in my stomach...one year on we're still alive and I am reading constant news regarding innovations and policies to curb pollution and promote a healthier planet. I feel the author needs to read some 'happier' news too.
Whilst the book provides some great information and insights I feel the tone on which it ended was far too bleak. Still worth a read...just watch a comedy afterwards.
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on 18 May 2017
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on 12 June 2017
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on 16 December 2014
Yes, it is frightening. And yes, there doesn't seem to be a way out of the mess homo sapiens have created for themselves.
Dr. Emmott speaks with authority and lays fact over the instinctive fears sensitive people have had for many decades about the downward spiral we're in. The book puts the flesh on the bones of our anxiety and joins the dots. Everything is interconnected and, before we interfered, was in balance. This book doesn't lie. It's not fiction. As the title suggests, everything points to overpopulation as being the largest nail in our coffin. And yet, what government would dare go near the question? Even environmental groups like Friends of the Earth steer clear of it. Unless we stop reproducing like there was no tomorrow,there will be no tomorrow. This book should be mandatory reading in every school, in every country in the world.
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on 7 September 2013
If you read one book this year,ensure this is it. It's almost frighteningly revealing. It is a call to arms,but I doubt the world's leading politicians and governments will take it up, as Emmot makes clear himself at the end: " I think we are all f****d"
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on 21 August 2013
I was compelled to write a review for this book for two reasons:
1) The topic should be hugely relevant and important to every single human being on the planet
2) To counter some of the poor reviews left by others regarding the size of font and usage of space

I have always had an interest in the climate change debate and generally worry about the future of our planet. This book succinctly spells out the main problems, backed up with graphical evidence and offers various solutions that may or may not be feasible. I think those that are criticising the book for using too many pages or writing with too large a font are missing the point. Cutting some pages out of the millions of books printed would save some trees, maybe... but its just a drop in the ocean compared to the real problems. Take the example of how much energy and real cost is involved with making a car. Then work out how many cars are being produced. Do you really think cutting some pages from the book is even in the same league?

All those little actions you've been told you can do to save the world - taking a 2 minute shower instead of a 3 minute shower, turning lights off, driving a hybrid car - none of it actually matters unless the entire world collaborates together to tackle the problems at hand. The message I got from the book was one of pure pessimism, and I think he's probably right. People can pretend that everything is going to be ok because that's the easiest thing to do, but we need to be preparing ourselves for what happens if everything doesn't turn out ok.

I think he has deliberately styled the book the way he has to make the message STAND OUT. Clear, simple, short sentences make an incredibly easy to read book and leave you with distinct memorable points. He's not here to get in to the big debate, you can read other books or discuss online if you want to do that. This book is just here to get a message across....
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on 16 July 2013
This very short book predicts doom. It is not clear whether the lack of balance is for sensationalism or out of ignorance. Emmott's Wikipedia entry does not mention any obviously relevant past academic experience. It is difficult not to conclude that some of his statements are deliberately misleading. Global fertility rates have fallen year on year for fifty years. He does not mention that. There are better books.
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on 21 June 2015
When I started this book I thought it was just more politically motivated bias and opinionated rhetoric; but the evidence presented demonstrates this view as simplistic and convincingly argues that runaway human population and consumption is more deeply entwined in all the problems facing the biosphere than most of us ever imagined.

Before reading this book I was sceptical of the role humans play in climate change, and now accept that it would be short-sighted to believe we do not make a significant contribution. However, regardless of the root cause of climate change, whether that be fluctuations in solar energy output or direct human cause & affect, the primary concern must be to acknowledge the climate is changing and that failure to adapt will be catastrophic for life on the planet. The author, who is a credible UK scientist and academic, does a good job of showing that human population is integral to the problems faced by the biosphere and that if we stand any chance to reverse the bleak path we are on, then we must radically change our behaviour. After a summary of the futile efforts that governments and green energy campaigns have come up with, the blunt truth is we either all need to take our head out the sand NOW and grasp a last slim chance to avert a disaster for our species and life on the planet; or continue oblivious and face the consequences.

This is a short book that can be read in one sitting, with sometimes only a short paragraph on each page. However, it does the job admirably, conveying all necessary information in a straight-forward and concise manner - any more would just be superfluous. While I wasn't too happy with the layout at first, thinking it a bit odd, in hindsight I think it was a good choice.

Yes, this is doom & gloom, probably won't cheer you up after reading it, and may well follow the lead of some contemporary pessimists and politically motivated doom-mongers like Al Gore; but only an idiot could completely deny that the detrimental human impact on the health of the planet is not sustainable for much longer.
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