I listened to an audiobook edition of The Uninhabitable Earth.
Genre: Non-fiction, Environment
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd.
Originally published: February 19th, 2019
Pages: 336 (paperback)
Audiobook length: 9 hrs
Synopsis by the publisher:
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 nightmare.
I was equally intrigued as I was terrified of diving into this book. Being very environmentally aware and being told upfront that it’s even worse than we think, that’s enough to get my pulse rising.
But scared or not, I think it is so important to keep ourselves educated on what is going on around us, and climate change is happening to every one of us, everywhere on the planet. And even though some like to deny it (I’m not going to mention names, but I’m pretty sure certain famous faces pops into most people’s head when I mention this) we have come so far and know so much now that it seems like complete ignorance to face the other way. And after reading/listening to this book, the knowledge of what has already happened, and what the worst-case scenario might be in the future, ignoring climate change isn’t an option anymore.
The Uninhabitable earth is a very interesting read based on scientific research from multiple sources, and it is also terrifying! I like how Wallace-Wells tries to have a somewhat light tone to this heavy and dark subject because even though we are headed in a certain direction where even the best-case scenario looks pretty grim, there’s always hope. Hope and a possibility for change, but we have to acknowledge how big of a problem this actually is, and how much work that needs to be done for us to make it better.
I wish that this book would make it into school curriculums around the world. Exposing children to this kind of grim info might not be the way to go, but I think that young adults (and a lot of adults for that matter) could really benefit from having this knowledge when making the choices that they do in this world.
The Uninhabitable Earth is a book that needs to be read, and sooner rather than later! I will keep on recommending this book to everyone I know because I think it is such an important work of non-fiction that deserves and needs get more praise and attention!
If we are going to change the future we have to get as much knowledge of the past and the present as possible. It starts with knowing, and I think this book is one of many great options when it comes to acquiring knowledge about climate change and what it does.
Highly, highly recommend, even though it is an uncomfortable read!
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