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Articles

The Uninhabitable Earth


2020/01/07


Author David Wallace-Wells is a deputy editor at New York magazine. Two years ago (2017) he published an article on climate change that, in 7,000 words, bluntly laid out the calamitous costs of doing nothing, or doing something but not enough, to address climate change.

This book revisits that approach, expanding his portrait of the planetary nightmare that will soon make major changes to life as we know it. He includes plenty of science in the book, but writes that the book “is about what warming means to the way we live on this planet.”

Well’s book is a bid to bring to our attention the causes and dire consequences of our greenhouse gas emissions, like Rachel Carson’s 1962 book Silent Spring did on the dangers and future disastrous consequences of our relentless use of pesticides, specifically DDT. Wells goes a step further than Carson, in not only predicting what we stand to lose, but also in pointing out what we have already lost, and how our actions to cope with a warming planet are exacerbating the problem. “Some of the technology we rely on to make the effects of climate change more bearable, like air-conditioning, also worsens them. The harms of global warming tend to fall disproportionately on poorer people and poorer countries, but the ‘cascades’ already set in motion will eventually grow so enormous and indiscriminate that not even the rich will be” able to escape them. [source: NY Times book review]

“There is no better, more readable look at the consequences of the climate change that will unfold in the span of the next human lifetime. You owe it to yourself to actually understand what’s happening and what can be done to try to mitigate the outcome.” — Eric McDaniel, editor, The NPR Politics Podcast

Read Wells’ 2017 article here: http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2017/07/climate-change-earth-too-hot-for-humans.html
 
Read more about this book at:

NPR review: https://apps.npr.org/best-books/#year=2019&book=65

NY Times review: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/06/books/review-uninhabitable-earth-life-after-warming-david-wallace-wells.html

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