#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The Uninhabitable Earth hits you like a comet, with an overflow of insanely lyrical prose about our pending Armageddon.”—Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon
It is worse, much worse, than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible. In California, wildfires now rage year-round, destroying thousands of homes. Across the US, “500-year” storms pummel communities month after month, and floods displace tens of millions annually.
This is only a preview of the changes to come. And they are coming fast. Without a revolution in how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth could become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century.
In his travelogue of our near future, David Wallace-Wells brings into stark relief the climate troubles that await—food shortages, refugee emergencies, and other crises that will reshape the globe. But the world will be remade by warming in more profound ways as well, transforming our politics, our culture, our relationship to technology, and our sense of history. It will be all-encompassing, shaping and distorting nearly every aspect of human life as it is lived today.
Like An Inconvenient Truth and Silent Spring before it, The Uninhabitable Earth is both a meditation on the devastation we have brought upon ourselves and an impassioned call to action. For just as the world was brought to the brink of catastrophe within the span of a lifetime, the responsibility to avoid it now belongs to a single generation.
Praise for The Uninhabitable Earth
“The Uninhabitable Earth is the most terrifying book I have ever read. Its subject is climate change, and its method is scientific, but its mode is Old Testament. The book is a meticulously documented, white-knuckled tour through the cascading catastrophes that will soon engulf our warming planet.”—Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times
“Riveting. . . . Some readers will find Mr. Wallace-Wells’s outline of possible futures alarmist. He is indeed alarmed. You should be, too.”—The Economist
Customer ReviewsSee All
Poorly written. I finished the book because I believe the topic is of paramount importance and was hoping to glean something insightful. Nothing. Condescending, a meandering rant.
It's very seldom that I put a book down before finishing it, but I couldn't take anymore after getting about halfway through "The Climate Kaleidoscope" section. Here's my advice for those wanting to learn more about climate change: get your hands on the author's notes and read whatever you want from those books and articles. "The Uninhabitable Earth" is just a summary of the science the author has gleaned, accompanied by his ranting, raving, contradictions, and endless condescensions. The "Cascades" section is sheer torture -- artificial, absolutely horribly written prose. If you're still determined to read this, I'll go ahead and give you a preview of what you will learn: the author hates Santa Barbara for some reason ("with its Mission-style impasto of infinite-seeming wealth"); he also hates the wealthy and ambitious, especially those who live in the western world ("gathering in those new megalopolises like moths to a flame"); and he must find the word "quotidian" stimulating in some way considering how many times he uses it. Honestly, that's what you're in for.