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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.
Written and read by David Wallace-Wells, The Uninhabitable Earth is a powerful examination of the world we find ourselves in.
© David Wallace-Wells 2019 (P) Penguin Audio 2019
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
David Wallace-Wells' book achieves the unnerving feat of putting the facts of climate change in their proper perspective—and therefore inducing alarm, not quashing it. Each chapter of The Uninhabitable Earth is a fresh hell backed by scientific research, explaining in great detail what will probably happen to this planet by the end of the century. As the author narrates, giving this the engaging feel of a deep-dive podcast, it becomes clear that his goal is to inspire action. There’s an underlying sense of hope to the many-headed disasters looming on the temporal horizon; humans are doing this, and humans can undo it.