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.
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