Eaarth

  • by Bill McKibben
  • Narrated by Oliver Wyman
  • 9 hrs and 1 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Twenty years ago, with The End of Nature, Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about global warming. Those warnings went mostly unheeded; now, he insists, we need to acknowledge that we've waited too long and that massive change is not only unavoidable but already under way. Our old familiar globe is suddenly melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen. We've created, in very short order, a new planet, still recognizable but fundamentally different. We may as well call it Eaarth.
That new planet is filled with new binds and traps. A changing world costs large sums to defend—think of the money that went to repair New Orleans, or the trillions it will take to transform our energy systems. But the endless economic growth that could underwrite such largesse depends on the stable planet we've managed to damage and degrade. We can't rely on old habits any longer. Our hope depends, McKibben argues, on scaling back—on building the kind of societies and economies that can hunker down, concentrate on essentials, and create the type of community (in the neighborhood, but also on the Internet) that will allow us to weather trouble on an unprecedented scale. Change—fundamental change—is our best hope on a planet suddenly and violently out of balance.

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What the Critics Say

"Read it, please. Straight through to the end. Whatever else you were planning to do next, nothing could be more important." (Barbara Kingsolver)
"What distinguishes McKibben as an environmental writer beyond his literary finesse and firm grasp of the complexities of science and society is his generous pragmatism, informed vision of small-scale solutions to our food and energy needs, and belief that Eaarth will remain a nurturing planet if we face facts, jettison destructive habits, and pursue new ways of living with creativity and conscience." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A very important and interesting read

This is a must read for anyone and everyone that lives on this little rock that we call Earth. It is well researched, and for me has opened up my thinking to a few practical yet very important facts concerning our carbon problems. One idea that I was not aware of is the importants of localisation when it came to food production and energy. The author makes it clear that much harm has been already done to our Earth. This is why he refers to this small rock in space as Eaarth. What he does is not ring his hands, but show what can be done on Eaarth as it is today. Much can be done! All should read this book.
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- Ira "I will soon be eighty one years young. I have had a very interesting life learning from it as well as enjoying it. I just published a book."

You'll get by with a lot of help from your friends

Bill McKibben seems to be convinced that catastrophic global warming is coming, there's nothing you can do about it, so you better start getting self-sufficient. After getting the number of 350 ppm of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as the upper safe limit from climate science expert James Hansen, he tells us we are past that now and have no realistic chance of getting back to it.

The first part of the book is a collection of the ways Earth has changed because of the global warming that has already occurred. He chose the title Eaarth to make a statement that we aren't living on the Earth we think we know, but a different planet "Eaarth." These changes are quite stunning all laid out one after another.

The second half of the book is very muddled -- as though he couldn't decide what to say about how to fix it. Maybe he knows we can't. He quickly waves off nuclear power and I don't recall a mention of geoengineering at all. Instead, he talks about how great his Vermont farmers market co-op is. The second half is odd -- as though he has decided we're all screwed and need to find small communities to survive with, but doesn't have the heart to come right out and say it.
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- David

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-13-2010
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio