by Bill McKibben
published by Times Books
© 2010 by Bill McKibben
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From Publishers Weekly
The world as we know it has ended forever: that's the melancholy message
of this nonetheless cautiously optimistic assessment of the planet's
future by McKibben, whose The
End of Nature first warned of global warming's inevitable impact
20 years ago. Twelve books later, the committed environmentalist concedes
that the earth has lost the climatic stability that marked all of human
civilization. His litany of damage done by a carbon-fueled world economy
is by now familiar: in some places rainfall is dramatically heavier,
while Australia and the American Southwest face a permanent drought;
polar ice is vanishing, glaciers everywhere are melting, typhoons and
hurricanes are fiercer, and the oceans are more acidic; food yields
are dropping as temperatures rise and mosquitoes in expanding tropical
zones are delivering deadly disease to millions. McKibben's prescription
for coping on our new earth is to adopt maintenance as our mantra, to
think locally not globally, and to learn to live lightly, carefully,
gracefully -- a glass-half-full attitude that might strike some as Pollyannaish
or merely insufficient. But for others McKibben's refusal to abandon
hope may restore faith in the future.
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