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Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?

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Thirty years ago Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about climate change. Now he broadens the warning: the entire human game, he suggests, has begun to play itself out. Bill McKibben’s groundbreaking book The End of Nature -- issued in dozens of languages and long regarded as a classic -- was the first book to alert us to global warming. But the danger is br Thirty years ago Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about climate change. Now he broadens the warning: the entire human game, he suggests, has begun to play itself out. Bill McKibben’s groundbreaking book The End of Nature -- issued in dozens of languages and long regarded as a classic -- was the first book to alert us to global warming. But the danger is broader than that: even as climate change shrinks the space where our civilization can exist, new technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics threaten to bleach away the variety of human experience. Falter tells the story of these converging trends and of the ideological fervor that keeps us from bringing them under control. And then, drawing on McKibben’s experience in building 350.org, the first truly global citizens movement to combat climate change, it offers some possible ways out of the trap. We’re at a bleak moment in human history -- and we’ll either confront that bleakness or watch the civilization our forebears built slip away. Falter is a powerful and sobering call to arms, to save not only our planet but also our humanity.


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Thirty years ago Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about climate change. Now he broadens the warning: the entire human game, he suggests, has begun to play itself out. Bill McKibben’s groundbreaking book The End of Nature -- issued in dozens of languages and long regarded as a classic -- was the first book to alert us to global warming. But the danger is br Thirty years ago Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about climate change. Now he broadens the warning: the entire human game, he suggests, has begun to play itself out. Bill McKibben’s groundbreaking book The End of Nature -- issued in dozens of languages and long regarded as a classic -- was the first book to alert us to global warming. But the danger is broader than that: even as climate change shrinks the space where our civilization can exist, new technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics threaten to bleach away the variety of human experience. Falter tells the story of these converging trends and of the ideological fervor that keeps us from bringing them under control. And then, drawing on McKibben’s experience in building 350.org, the first truly global citizens movement to combat climate change, it offers some possible ways out of the trap. We’re at a bleak moment in human history -- and we’ll either confront that bleakness or watch the civilization our forebears built slip away. Falter is a powerful and sobering call to arms, to save not only our planet but also our humanity.

30 review for Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?

  1. 5 out of 5

    David Wineberg

    America is being held hostage by a curmudgeonly few who insist there is no man-made climate change. Meanwhile, the vast majority of both citizens and scientists seethes. To that, Bill McKibben’s Falter proposes two solutions: solar panels everywhere, and forcing a cultural shift using nonviolent organizing. He doesn’t tackle the huge overpopulation issue, forcing gas and diesel vehicles off the road, mass extinctions, or even what to be aware of in the coming years. It is rather odd for an envir America is being held hostage by a curmudgeonly few who insist there is no man-made climate change. Meanwhile, the vast majority of both citizens and scientists seethes. To that, Bill McKibben’s Falter proposes two solutions: solar panels everywhere, and forcing a cultural shift using nonviolent organizing. He doesn’t tackle the huge overpopulation issue, forcing gas and diesel vehicles off the road, mass extinctions, or even what to be aware of in the coming years. It is rather odd for an environmentalist’s book. The first 200 pages all seem to be tangents. He talks at length about the invention of gene splicing, Ray Kurtzweil’s drugs, gene editing, inequality, artificial intelligence and libertarianism. And Ayn Rand. Lots of Ayn Rand. She keeps coming back, again and again, because of her religion of selfishness. It has spread to the political and commercial leadership of the country, and is a main cause for the country turning its back on climate change and pollution, he thinks. There is a special emphasis on Silicon Valley’s obsession with beating death. McKibben finds all kinds of tech billionaires putting investment dollars and purchases in having themselves frozen, or their heads frozen, or just plain planning to be around forever. That Google’s investment arm is focusing on such efforts should rightly infuriate the world. The “Don’t Be Evil” gang is wasting its resources on inhuman self-preservation, not exactly improving the planet. Not that it can possibly succeed anyway, if the human race is decimated by climate change, which seems all but a sure bet. Much surer, at any rate, than finding a way to live forever on Earth. Pulling salient environmental points out of Falter is not easy, but I’ve collected these: -Everyone should slow down, take stock and make repairs. Consider where we want to be. -Past history no longer applies to our future. We’re entering unknown territory, with no way out. The future is far from bright; it is totally uncertain. -Business is so anti-government it had to dismiss climate change, because it would require strong action by government. -A team of economists says there’s a 35% chance the UN’s worst case scenario is too optimistic -The amount of heat prevented from leaving the Earth by all the CO2 is the equivalent of four Hiroshima atomic bombs - every second. -Just 100 firms account for 70% of the world’s emissions -We are now able to put some real numbers to climate change. There are several surprises, all of them negative. Oceans are heating faster, and acidifying more than models predicted. Ice melt is proceeding at several times the rate predicted. For example, the Greenland ice sheet is melting from below as well from above, as the underlying rock heats up. It is only in the final 50 pages that McKibben swings into action on his opening premises. Solar will help immensely, if we would just deploy it. But it has two things going against it: the fossil fuel industry, which will be hurt by it and can find no profitability in it, and that it is mathematically impossible for solar and wind to replace much more than a fraction of our energy consumption (Though McKibben doesn’t point that out). As for nonviolent actions, he talks about the first Earth Day in 1970, when, he says, 20 million came out in support. That was 10% of the population. Today, there are similar marches all over Europe in support of the Earth, but the USA is dormant, ruled by the minority. The whole book is framed by what McKibben calls the human game. He looks at the effects of various factors by how much or little they might affect the human game. There are three great existential threats to the human game: nuclear war, destroying the ozone layer and climate change. Gene editing and artificial intelligence: a lot, space travel: not so much. From all his cited factors, there is one glaring absence that quickly became obvious and was never explored. What we really need is a functioning democracy. David Wineberg

  2. 4 out of 5

    Radiantflux

    57th book for 2019. I would like to find nice things to say about this book, as I am sure McKibben's heart is in the right place, but this book is a hot mess. McKibben's basic contention is that the human dream—whatever that is—is 'faltering'. We are rushing at high speed into climate change, designer babies and AI superlords, and this all has to do with the 1% having been weened on the cold dry objectivist nipples of Ayn Rand. His solution, which isn't really spelt out in any detail, is solar pa 57th book for 2019. I would like to find nice things to say about this book, as I am sure McKibben's heart is in the right place, but this book is a hot mess. McKibben's basic contention is that the human dream—whatever that is—is 'faltering'. We are rushing at high speed into climate change, designer babies and AI superlords, and this all has to do with the 1% having been weened on the cold dry objectivist nipples of Ayn Rand. His solution, which isn't really spelt out in any detail, is solar panels and collective action. Mixing in designer babies and AI super-intelligence as worries with global warming does a real disservice tackling the existential threat that is climate change. His proposed solutions are unfortunately presented so superficially to have the weight of a bumper sticker. 2-stars.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Peter Mcloughlin

    Bill McKibben goes after much more than climate change in this book. He goes after the posthuman movement, libertarians, and the far right, oil companies, Ayn Rand, Ronald Reagan. This book takes in the sweeping panorama of the moment which is on the precipice and addresses most of the major players on the political stage at the moment. McKibben is an environmentalist so he knows things are dire but his analysis of what got us here is some of the best political writing of the American scene and Bill McKibben goes after much more than climate change in this book. He goes after the posthuman movement, libertarians, and the far right, oil companies, Ayn Rand, Ronald Reagan. This book takes in the sweeping panorama of the moment which is on the precipice and addresses most of the major players on the political stage at the moment. McKibben is an environmentalist so he knows things are dire but his analysis of what got us here is some of the best political writing of the American scene and his portrayal of major players and many of the fatally flawed visions is critiqued here. Even if you don't read environmental books this one does a good job of explaining much more than the environmental crisis but the crisis of capitalism itself. recommended. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAAUb...

  4. 5 out of 5

    howl of minerva

    A cri-de-coeur for the planet. All the things we work on and worry about will be brought to naught if these existential concerns are not addressed. The simultaneously worst and best thing is that the solutions exist and are feasible... The clock is running down...

  5. 4 out of 5

    jeremy

    if greed warps your life, you assume it must warp everyone's. if bill mckibben's prescient warnings had been heeded some thirty years ago, perhaps his new book wouldn't be so urgent and grievous. presuming the question asked in falter's subtitle isn't a rhetorical one, has the human game begun to play itself out?, a preponderance of the evidence seems to offer a resounding, unequivocal 'yes' in reply. the 350.0rg founder's writing remains incisive and engaging, but falter isn't likely to find m if greed warps your life, you assume it must warp everyone's. if bill mckibben's prescient warnings had been heeded some thirty years ago, perhaps his new book wouldn't be so urgent and grievous. presuming the question asked in falter's subtitle isn't a rhetorical one, has the human game begun to play itself out?, a preponderance of the evidence seems to offer a resounding, unequivocal 'yes' in reply. the 350.0rg founder's writing remains incisive and engaging, but falter isn't likely to find many readers among the audience for whom it would be most necessary. broadening the scope of existential threats beyond climate change, mckibben also considers the increasing dangers of gene editing/germline engineering and artificial intelligence. in all, falter is a deeply unsettling book and mckibben doesn't mince words when writing about the very real possibility that it's too late for our species to make the changes necessary to ensure our survival. that is not to say, however, that he is without hope, for the whole last part of the book is titled "an outside chance." falter is fascinating, falter is frightening, but, perhaps most importantly, it's unflinching in its observations of the present human moment — and the growing likelihood of a dark future waiting ahead. the extra heat that we trap near the planet because of the carbon dioxide we've spewed is equivalent to the heat from 400,000 hiroshima-size bombs ever day, or four each second.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Annie Rosewood

    This book presents a good overview of what McKibben refers to as the human game - human life and our responsibility to the planet as well as future generations, and the factors that are shaping the present moment and threatening our future: climate change, AI, corporate greed, gene modification. McKibben makes some excellent critiques and his writing is engaging enough that it kept me interested throughout. I particularly liked the notion of the "game," even if it does seem rather romantic. What This book presents a good overview of what McKibben refers to as the human game - human life and our responsibility to the planet as well as future generations, and the factors that are shaping the present moment and threatening our future: climate change, AI, corporate greed, gene modification. McKibben makes some excellent critiques and his writing is engaging enough that it kept me interested throughout. I particularly liked the notion of the "game," even if it does seem rather romantic. What is the objective of our game? Can we agree to the rules collectively?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This book should be required reading for everyone—it is by turns sobering, infuriating and eye-opening and written throughout in clear, conversational (and even at times humorous) prose that manages to make a scientific study read like a page turner. Bill McKibben begins Falter with a survey of the symptoms of climate change that are currently threatening our planet; although I was familiar with these issues on some level already, he marshals so many frightening examples and statistics that the This book should be required reading for everyone—it is by turns sobering, infuriating and eye-opening and written throughout in clear, conversational (and even at times humorous) prose that manages to make a scientific study read like a page turner. Bill McKibben begins Falter with a survey of the symptoms of climate change that are currently threatening our planet; although I was familiar with these issues on some level already, he marshals so many frightening examples and statistics that the urgency of the situation hit me like never before. Part 2 is a look at how we got here (the infuriating part), detailing the missed opportunities and—more insidious—the deliberate misinformation and misdirection on the part of corporations and politicians that squandered 50 years during which we might have forestalled the devastating effects of climate change we are living with now. McKibben then shifts from environmental threats to a discussion of more existential threats to our very humanity itself, such as genetic engineering and artificial intelligence (AI). This turned out to be the most fascinating part of the book for me—I was particularly riveted by anecdotes from Silicon Valley that would be risible were they not so frightening. Having laid out the problems in the bulk of the book, McKibben injects a (muted) note of optimism with a final section of proposed solutions such as solar panels and non-violent political action. As I said, everyone, regardless of their politics, should read this book (although I do wish McKibben had resisted a few political comments which—while I am in complete agreement—might alienate some readers). Not an easy topic, but a necessary discussion. Thank you to NetGalley and Henry Holt for providing me with an ARC of this title in return for my honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Conor

    In some ways, this is the scariest book I have ever read. McKibben's object is questioning whether humans--because of natural limits or the consequences of our actions--are doomed to plateau, regress, or die out. McKibben takes a panoramic view of the poor choices we have made and the various precipices we have driven ourselves off of as a species. In the same way that Yuval Hariri (whom he name drops multiple times in this short book) chronicles all of the ways in which humans may be progressing In some ways, this is the scariest book I have ever read. McKibben's object is questioning whether humans--because of natural limits or the consequences of our actions--are doomed to plateau, regress, or die out. McKibben takes a panoramic view of the poor choices we have made and the various precipices we have driven ourselves off of as a species. In the same way that Yuval Hariri (whom he name drops multiple times in this short book) chronicles all of the ways in which humans may be progressing, McKibben gives us an oddly lighthearted survey of the dangers we face yet refuse to recognize. It's scariest and most effective as an accounting of how utterly we have fucked ourselves, by way of fucking our planet, our only home and source of resources. McKibben's goal of scaring his reader was so complete that when he started to introduce solutions, I wasn't even receptive to his suggestions. They seemed too much like half-measures. Massive solar panel banks? Nonviolent resistance? What in the world would make him think that such things are sufficient, given the knowledge we already have about how irreversible the damage we have done is? Instead, when he trots out ideas like "we have to genetically engineer subsequent generations to be more empathetic, to understand that the consequences of their actions accumulate and are difficult to chart out" my thought was not "atrocious! we must not sacrifice our principles!" but instead "yeah, we must just be flawed as a species to have gotten to this place; let's just change the entire paradigm." Probably not the goal he intended, but an evocative book nonetheless. An important read in this day and age.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Randall Wallace

    Scientists believe the end of the Cretaceous period came with a “rock larger than Mt. Everest traveling twenty times faster than a bullet” slammed into the Gulf of Mexico leading to a 1,000ft tall tsunami and a “blizzard of meteorites”. Scientists believe the end of the Cretinous period, will when Americans stop believing in endless growth on a finite planet. A barrel of oil is equal today to 23,000 hours of human labor. Unburned methane that escapes to air, traps heat 80x more efficiently than Scientists believe the end of the Cretaceous period came with a “rock larger than Mt. Everest traveling twenty times faster than a bullet” slammed into the Gulf of Mexico leading to a 1,000ft tall tsunami and a “blizzard of meteorites”. Scientists believe the end of the Cretinous period, will when Americans stop believing in endless growth on a finite planet. A barrel of oil is equal today to 23,000 hours of human labor. Unburned methane that escapes to air, traps heat 80x more efficiently than carbon dioxide. 270,000 sharks are killed every day. Without the oceans to cool the heat, the temperature on the planet since 1955 would have risen a whopping 97 degrees Fahrenheit. Bill says of Obama that “He was elected to run a political system based on endless growth.” Ten years before Hansen’s report, Exxon knew it was destroying the planet. Their public affairs manager released in a secret memo, “Emphasize the uncertainty”. That disinformation campaign costs us ten vital years to try to save the planet. The cool new term for that greedy stuff is “predatory delay”. When you fight a right-wing Ayn Rand fan, ask if they know that she was scathing about Christianity. Donald Trump said Ayn Rand’s “Fountainhead” is his favorite book - yes, right after “Stuart Little”. Bill very coolly reduces the entire American Right’s and Ayn Rand’s mindset into: “If greed warps your life, you assume it must warp everyone’s”. Then Bill goes AWOL for five chapters (15-19) and he starts speculating how many humans will become genetically enhanced while regular people will be called “Naturals” and will work as our servants. How this will somehow happen after a global total financial collapse worse than the Great Depression, fishery collapse, electrical grid collapse, or routine extinction level events, Bill does not say. During the five-chapter blackout, Bill waxes on about AI and high-tech stuff that has no business being in this book. En route, will he dare mention that Silicon Valley has more Super Fund sites than anywhere else? No. On page 231, Bill dismisses the entire subject of scale in a single paragraph (will explain later). Thankfully he mentions the steady-state economy but only briefly and refuses to tell us about CASSE or Herman Daly or steady state thinking today. This book gave me more cool Jeopardy style answers to questions, than it made me think about our collective future. Two 2019 much better books, by Dahr Jamail and David Wells, took far more risks than this book did. Last cool fact in this book: spaceflights are risky for so many reasons, but you may have a bigger chance of cancer by cosmic radiation bombardment while you are up there than dying by a flight accident. Wow. But more important for Jeopardy than saving a carbon-constrained planet. Bill McKibben was the Climate Change Voice #1, whatever happened? In 2008, Pat Murphy’s book “Plan C” had it all: 90% reduction in energy use by all us in the west was needed immediately, end of subject. Does Bill talk here about needing 90% reduction in our profligate energy lifestyles? No. Does Bill see our future problem as critically compounded by overpopulation, inequality, the end of growth, upcoming collapse, capitalism, permanent war, industrial agriculture, or failure of BOTH parties, -no. He mentions none of these. Evidently Naomi Klein’s anti-capitalism’s stance is far to the Left of Bill. Will he even remind his many rich followers of the costs to the planet of their plane rides and explain why Greta takes the train? –no Bill won’t. And how can Bill write this book and not mention the obvious elephant in the room: Green energy cannot save us because it CANNOT be scaled up sufficiently. Whether you read Ozzie Zehner’s book, “Green Illusions” or Derrick Jensen’s unpublished book on the Myth being saved by green energy, the answer is clear. You cannot scale green energy up to the scale of industrial civilization – Bill apparently cannot conceive of the role of scale in our green future. Green energy requires fossil fuels for their manufacture. Rare earth and elements will disappear if you really scale up green energy. Energy intensive to make, turbine blades need maintenance and replacement. Some say, ramping up solar to just 10% uses up all the silver in the world. Try doing that to every element needed and scaled up for a Green Economy. Then do the math and/or envision the actual mining. Bill ignores the Peak movements (running out of) in this book which we are experiencing right now: Peak Water, Peak Sand, Peak Oil, Peak Soil, Peak Resources, and the list goes on. But, will Bill mention any of them in this book? No. It is wildly irresponsible for Bill not to mention that all of us must strive to live to lower our energy footprint (90%), as well as the footprint of our all-consuming capitalist nation. Bill Richardson and Jimmy Carter were destroyed for suggesting Americans self-sacrifice but that is what the future demands of us, so why doesn’t Bill McKibben stand up here and say so as well? And why not write in 2019 about climate change like Naomi Klein, by attacking the #1 culprit: Industrial Capitalism? I thought Bill knew there was no green future without at least 90% reduction, without addressing structural inequality, and that green tech can’t save us. Oh well. I had high hopes for this book, but honestly, I don’t even know its point; apparently it was to fulfill a publishing contract and keep his name out there.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rita

    Easy-to-read, full of witty moments, and full of SOME information, I enjoyed reading this book, especially the weird science stuff. There're parts about billionaires wanting to freeze their bodies, other billionaires who can't wait for nanotechnology and gene-tweaking, so they can live forever. Also, infuriatingly: there's the Princeton professor, Lee Silver, who runs GenePeeks, who unashamedly says "all aspects of the economy, the media, the entertainment industry, and the knowledge industry wi Easy-to-read, full of witty moments, and full of SOME information, I enjoyed reading this book, especially the weird science stuff. There're parts about billionaires wanting to freeze their bodies, other billionaires who can't wait for nanotechnology and gene-tweaking, so they can live forever. Also, infuriatingly: there's the Princeton professor, Lee Silver, who runs GenePeeks, who unashamedly says "all aspects of the economy, the media, the entertainment industry, and the knowledge industry will be controlled by members of the GenRich class." Meanwhile, "Naturals" will work "as low - paid service providers or laborers." p. 153 He's referring to the class of Humans that will be gene-edited as embryos, into super humans. As to all the money being put into AI and robotics, that will eventually take away most jobs, Tyler Cowen, "America's hottest economist" (Business Newsweek) and proprietor of the country's most widely read economics blog, had some advice for young people: develop a skill that can't be automated, and that can be sold to the remaining high earners: be a maid, a personal trainer, a private tutor, a classy sex worker. p.155. But here's the surprising thing about this book about human's causing so much damage and pollution to the planet that we may not be around much longer: this author did not bring up more than two sentences about animal agriculture, what some estimate as being responsible for 65% of climate abuse and change. "We also need to eat lower on the food chain..." p.211. "...just as raising cows and cutting forests contribute to climate damage alongside power plants." p.216 That's it. So either Mckibben is a "meat" eater who recognizes he is a hypocrite, or he's been threatened by BigBoys in animal agriculture. Also, Alex Steffen, an environmental writer, coined the term 'predatory delay,' "the blocking or slowing of needed change, in order to make money off unsustainable, unjust systems in the meantime" p.79. Libertarian money is responsible for a huge amount of destruction to the planet. The Koch brothers wanted no regulations standing in the way of them making obscene amounts of money from oil. [Libertarians'] "emotional core, channeled perfectly by [Ayn] Rand, is simple: government is bad. Selfishness is good. Watch out for yourself. Solidarity is a trap. Taxes are theft. You're not the boss of me." p.91 Are you pissed off yet? I'm sorry, my children.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Heather Walker

    What a weird book. Starts of with what is happening (which we know at least reasonably well and are expecting to read). Followed by the selfish multi-billionaire crowd who still worship Ayn Rand...never a good idea. Planning for immortality and genetically modified babies...what??! Really. Several totally increasinngly bad ideas along with toxic levels of entitlement. Those new babies will be perfect. Or not. Or no longer human. Or will be the overlords. Well at that point - okay please go for i What a weird book. Starts of with what is happening (which we know at least reasonably well and are expecting to read). Followed by the selfish multi-billionaire crowd who still worship Ayn Rand...never a good idea. Planning for immortality and genetically modified babies...what??! Really. Several totally increasinngly bad ideas along with toxic levels of entitlement. Those new babies will be perfect. Or not. Or no longer human. Or will be the overlords. Well at that point - okay please go for it and freeze your heads until they can be thawed and very indispensible you can go on with your immortality. So much for ideas that might have some impact on existing problems. Then solar panels. Which are good things. Except according to those who know much more than I do about what is needed to keep the world functional - solar energy isn't enough. No doubt there are way too many of us and too little ability to deal with the problem of inequality. So some (few) are okay and everyone else not. Unless those panels actually can even it all out. The epilogue at least reminds us that the earth is better and more wonderful and beautiful than anywhere else we've been able to see so far. Plus space travel isn't looking likely to save all those highly entitled and wealthy ones to move off earth and start again. High brain power or not. Nowhere to go (after all light years are very very long) - and the cosmic rays are lethal and nothing remotably habitable within reach. So save what we have. If we actually decide to do it. End of the book. And if its the end of the often mentioned "human game" - well that's our fault and if we become extinct (the destiny of all species apparently anyway) better we do that than destroy every other life form along with us. .

  12. 5 out of 5

    Leif

    Surprisingly - or not - it turns out that Bill McKibben is much more than a one-note piano. Pursuing his contention that the "game" of humanity is going to be played much differently - and on a "smaller board" - in the future, McKibben wonders about climate change, designer genetics, and AI. He is certainly qualified to talk about the first subject, but as the latter two subjects continued, my attention wandered as my trust waned. Perhaps naively, I had believed this to be environmentally focuse Surprisingly - or not - it turns out that Bill McKibben is much more than a one-note piano. Pursuing his contention that the "game" of humanity is going to be played much differently - and on a "smaller board" - in the future, McKibben wonders about climate change, designer genetics, and AI. He is certainly qualified to talk about the first subject, but as the latter two subjects continued, my attention wandered as my trust waned. Perhaps naively, I had believed this to be environmentally focused, but as the number of topics increased, the metaphor of the "game" played itself out. Now, I'm not saying I'm looking for single-mindedness, but I suppose I would have qualified this book as one concerned with "futurity" and not simply "climate change" if I were to be honest. In fairness, the cover suggests little either way. I would raise a worry that the idea of the human game is pretty radically insufficient to theorizing life, but there we have it. Regarding the text itself (the major subject!), McKibben is very engaging and alive as he describes his subjects. He is ready with a fact and deeply inspired by a sense of human dignity, and across chapter after chapter ideas like Barack Obama's support for fracking to genetic inequality and beyond jump off the page. There's much to like here, especially for a generalist, or perhaps someone new to futurism as a genre.

  13. 5 out of 5

    John Kaufmann

    A little reminiscent of Yuval Noah Harari's excellent books about humanity's near-future (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century) - perhaps a little less cerebral and a little more empathetic than Harari. McKibben is one of our most astute voices on the climate crisis, and he has put his body on the line fighting for change/action. This book focuses on four major forces that threaten the human prospect in the coming years/decad A little reminiscent of Yuval Noah Harari's excellent books about humanity's near-future (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century) - perhaps a little less cerebral and a little more empathetic than Harari. McKibben is one of our most astute voices on the climate crisis, and he has put his body on the line fighting for change/action. This book focuses on four major forces that threaten the human prospect in the coming years/decades -- climate change, radical individualism, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence. Thought-provoking.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Roger Gloss

    McKibben’s new book is far-ranging and deeply philosophical. Who would have expected him to get deeply into artificial intelligence and genetic engineering (besides, of course, climate change), and then tie it all together? I wish I could say I feel better now, having read Falter, but I don’t. Nor was that McKibben’s intent, to make us feel better. The house is, indeed, on fire.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    Everyone, please read this one.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    Fifteen years ago I first read Bill McKiobben's book "Enough" and loved it. In that work he explored how we could stay human in an engineered age (as the subtitle said.) The 15 years since have not improved his mood, as this work explores whether we are coming to the end of humanity. He thinks we are. He argues that we have lost our chance to deal with global warming without catastrophic consequences, that genetic engineering will make super babies and that the development of AI will end up maki Fifteen years ago I first read Bill McKiobben's book "Enough" and loved it. In that work he explored how we could stay human in an engineered age (as the subtitle said.) The 15 years since have not improved his mood, as this work explores whether we are coming to the end of humanity. He thinks we are. He argues that we have lost our chance to deal with global warming without catastrophic consequences, that genetic engineering will make super babies and that the development of AI will end up making a machine that turns all the earth into something like paper clips (his actual example). Not only is the book paralyzingly negative, he sees things totally in black and white. (While writing about a company that thought it could turn every home in Arizona to solar power, he then castigates the power company for instituting fees to keep the grid up and running, even though he admits that sometimes his solar powered home in VT needs to get back on the grid. Somehow he thinks it will be there for him when he needs it without him paying to keep it there.) Parts of this work are simply "Enough" rewritten with updated examples. McKibben may be right and our technology may destroy us. There is no way to tell. But he sees no hope anywhere and if it turns out that his take as a modern day Casandra comes true, reading this book will not make you better able to face the apocalypse.

  17. 5 out of 5

    KaylaRahaman

    This book runs parallel to the late Hans Rosling's "Factfulness". Whereas "Factfulness" reveals that, relative to the history of human socioeconomic conditions, many (though not all) of the once-perceived global humanitarian crises are on course to becoming obsolete, McKibben's "Falter" elaborates on the road yet ahead. New threats surge which threaten the existence not of humanity, but of ALL life on this wonderful planet Earth. Climate Change is an existential crises; germline engineering pose This book runs parallel to the late Hans Rosling's "Factfulness". Whereas "Factfulness" reveals that, relative to the history of human socioeconomic conditions, many (though not all) of the once-perceived global humanitarian crises are on course to becoming obsolete, McKibben's "Falter" elaborates on the road yet ahead. New threats surge which threaten the existence not of humanity, but of ALL life on this wonderful planet Earth. Climate Change is an existential crises; germline engineering poses an exacerbation of the already-felt disparity of social classes; artificial intelligence calls into question the role of humanity in the future (indeed, if there is much of one); and government corruption, ideological fallacies, and greed from the very top of the wealth ladder all stand in the way of our ability to take the aforementioned challenges head-on. Whether we were prepared or not (evidently, not.), the introduction of the steam engine roughly 200 years ago has brought us into a new age. Our lives, the lives of our descendants, and the presence of life and society as we know it are at stake. Now is not the time for division, nor for selfishness. Now is the time for energy innovation. Now is the time for regaining strength and humanity. Now is the time to reach across international borders and come together to fight the hard war against the monsters we created. To do anything less is to wholly submit to inevitable doom. It's hard to believe we live in what may well be the greatest challenge humanity has and ever will face. If we fail to accomplish the task set before us, whether created by chance of the natural course of physics or by some Divine Plan, we will simply be no more--but if we succeed, we will have realized for the rest of the human game the power that the nations of 7 billion people hold when we join in a collective goal. That power--the power of 7 billion people--rests in your hands. History tells time and again that individuals may lead, but the EFFORT comes from the nameless many. What can you do? Read this book and other material like it. For Truth is a weapon that resists even the mightiest bombs and tanks, and in our digital age, anyone who wishes to wield it may. Look into your soul and realize than any large-scale change is really a collection of individuals who started with themselves. So start with yourself. Be sustainability-conscious in what you buy, use, eat, and support. Be willing to lend an ear to the opinions of others, and approach sharing your message with others as a gift, not a burden. If you can, switch to renewable energy sources, which is becoming ever-more affordable to the public. Pay attention to the affairs of Government. This is not to say keep up with tweets and petty name-calling. Know the laws you will be called to vote on, don't settle for politicians who have no plan for the people and only ambitions of their own, and if democracy is failing where you live, protest nonviolently. McKibben praises the peaceful protest as a great invention of the 20th century. It is welcoming, it is stubborn, and, as Gandhi, Suffragists, African Americans, and all the other great movements of the past show, it has the potential to create seismic social change. Some may walk away from "Falter" with a newfound pessimism for the world, believing there is simply nothing to be done; the human race will hardly be human, and by that time life on Earth will see the sixth mass extinction in geological history. But let us not forget that it was only a century ago that many were just as profusely frustrated by the prospect of nuclear war (which still looms somewhat heavily), when Mankind was suddenly capable of wiping itself out with a few bomb drops. Since that time, most countries in the world have collectively realized the responsibility of NOT tapping into that capability, and as a result, this planet has not seen nuclear warfare (fingers crossed). Likewise, the fight for our existence--our MEANINGFUL existence--on this planet is in the interest of every person, from the private citizens whose net-worth is greater than the GDP of dozens of nations to the innocent children with distended stomachs and broken homes. We must be ready to take action. We must be willing to apply our greatest energies to the pursuit of tomorrow. We have everything to gain, but we may also have everything to lose.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    To start off, this is the 4th book of McKibben's that I read this year, and all I've read. So far this one I've liked the least. Maybe I cherry picked better books? I don't know, but certainly after reading this one I'm not too inclined to run out and read more of his oeuvre. This book feels like McKibben is just railing against us humans, and with some specifics towards certain people (current president, republicans, Koch brothers, etc.). Diatribe is what comes to mind. And there are tangents o To start off, this is the 4th book of McKibben's that I read this year, and all I've read. So far this one I've liked the least. Maybe I cherry picked better books? I don't know, but certainly after reading this one I'm not too inclined to run out and read more of his oeuvre. This book feels like McKibben is just railing against us humans, and with some specifics towards certain people (current president, republicans, Koch brothers, etc.). Diatribe is what comes to mind. And there are tangents of other ways we as humans may be falling into not fully natural humans, with gene editing and potentially post-human with a blend of computer and biology. McKibben certainly will not go there, and desperately wishes we wouldn't. The book isn't just about climate change, although that is a big part of the book. His solution is solar, about how much that makes sense. And it does, especially, and particularly in countries without all the energy infrastructure right now. But we need it in the modern west as well. I do agree with McKibben's general outlook and what he is trying to do, but writing this book I don't think gets us any closer. There is serious doubt in my mind that the people whose minds need to change will read this book. Will people on the fence about climate change, pick up this book? Probably not. Yet, I'm still glad he wrote it. McKibben has a way of being optimistic even when the outlook is grim. With this book I think he's turned a bit of a corner. Hopefully we, meaning in the west, and especially in the United States, will start to take this climate change more seriously and quickly change our ways. There isn't much time left. And that is perhaps why this book is so dire. Thanks to Henry Holt and Co. and NetGalley for an uncorrected electronic advance review copy of this book. Although I did have access to an early review copy, I listened to the audiobook version from my library.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Steve H

    In 1989 Bill McKibben wrote "The End of Nature" in which he warned of the dangers of global warming and other ways humans were screwing up the Earth and life on Earth. Now, thirty years later, he's written this book that explains how we got here, what the future might hold, and a few possible glimmers of hope. Unlike David Wallace-Wells' "The Uninhabitable Earth," which lays out our dystopian future catastrophe by catastrophe, McKibben's Falter takes a broader view and draws a possible impending In 1989 Bill McKibben wrote "The End of Nature" in which he warned of the dangers of global warming and other ways humans were screwing up the Earth and life on Earth. Now, thirty years later, he's written this book that explains how we got here, what the future might hold, and a few possible glimmers of hope. Unlike David Wallace-Wells' "The Uninhabitable Earth," which lays out our dystopian future catastrophe by catastrophe, McKibben's Falter takes a broader view and draws a possible impending end of the "human game" on Earth. He then focuses on a few choice traitors to civilization and life on Earth who have over the last 30 or 40 years focused on monetary gain, consolidating power, and trying to distract people from the truth they've known about all along. He moves on to some strategies for keeping civilization or some form of the human game in play. These range from billionaires who allow most people to perish while they continue in protected compounds or floating communities, to people who think they can have their frozen brains thawed and revived in the future, to those who think they can have their consciousnesses uploaded to some form of computer network. McKibben points out the flaws in these plans and then suggests a couple of solutions that might benefit a larger number of humans, like non-violent protest and locally distributed power generation. Unfortunately, the problems that humans created are too big to be solved simply by non-violent actions and solar panels. Entire systems that we have become reliant on for hundreds of years need to change dramatically in the span of only a decade or two. I'm pretty sure McKibben is aware of that, and I'm somewhat perplexed why he doesn't go there in his book, unless it's to prevent his readers from losing hope and just metaphorically flipping over the board of the human game.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Much like his previous book Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age, this was not my favorite of McKibben's work. About a quarter of the book is related to climate change: its causes, its sorrows, and its solutions. Another quarter relates to oligarchy: the pernicious influence of Ayn Rand, the machinations of the Kochs, the Walton family, Exxon, etc. The final quarter relates to possible solutions to the difficulties we have created for ourselves--solar panels, mass non-violent movements, an Much like his previous book Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age, this was not my favorite of McKibben's work. About a quarter of the book is related to climate change: its causes, its sorrows, and its solutions. Another quarter relates to oligarchy: the pernicious influence of Ayn Rand, the machinations of the Kochs, the Walton family, Exxon, etc. The final quarter relates to possible solutions to the difficulties we have created for ourselves--solar panels, mass non-violent movements, and community. All good, all true, and all thought-provoking. It is that other quarter of the book that I found less compelling. McKibben--who I think is a great human being, a good writer, and an affable man--is deeply concerned about the excesses of technology as it relates to 'trans-humanism': manipulating genetics, for example, or attempting to extend life through technology. As I write this, just two days ago, scientists managed to reanimate dead pig brains in some rudimentary way. A few months ago, a Chinese scientist gene-edited two babies. This stuff is real; it's not science fiction any more. I am not wise enough to know if these changes are good things or bad things. Will they alleviate suffering? Will they allow our species to live longer, and more healthily? Or will they lead to a dystopian future? I can't say, but I am not as opposed to walking down that path as the author is. Note I wrote 'walking': slowly, thoughtfully, carefully. So, good book. Nothing really new here. I love Bill McKibben, and I'll read everything he ever writes.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Falter is one of those books that will, I'm sure, provide a never-ending source of frustration for me. It fits into the category of important books, books that need a thorough reading by virtually everyone, and that will be, unfortunately, not read by those who need its insights the most. Granted, the topics under discussion are not the easiest to wrap ones head around, nor is the scenario constructed by the author, one which will be comforting or reassuring. In Falter, Bill McKibben tackles the Falter is one of those books that will, I'm sure, provide a never-ending source of frustration for me. It fits into the category of important books, books that need a thorough reading by virtually everyone, and that will be, unfortunately, not read by those who need its insights the most. Granted, the topics under discussion are not the easiest to wrap ones head around, nor is the scenario constructed by the author, one which will be comforting or reassuring. In Falter, Bill McKibben tackles the biggest threats currently facing humanity and our lovely garden planet. Topping the list, of course, is climate-change. The author lays out all the horrifying detail of the path we're on. He also spends a good deal of time explaining the fossil fuel industry's complicity in obscuring and concealing the scale and nature of the problems from which they were busily profiting. (Spoiler alert: Thanks to their 30 year campaign to confuse the issue, we've already passed the point at which we can avoid the ecological results. The only thing we can do now is mitigate.) A second threat, as McKibben sees it, connected to the first, is the issue of wealth distribution and the ever-increasing disparity between the haves and the have-nots. The third looming crisis relates to our headlong, and some would say unthinking, rush toward technological advance. AI, genetic tinkering, and automation, all come in for close (and disturbing) scrutiny. Thankfully, the author serves up some (extremely guarded) optimism in his closing chapters. The good news is that there are ways we can mitigate and deflect the existential threat we have created for ourselves. The bad news is that the window of opportunity in which we can act is rapidly closing.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Catie

    "Even in what seems like the very clinical world of environmentalism, mounds of research and data aren't ultimately decisive: the fight over climate change is ultimately not an argument about infrared absorption in the atmosphere, but about power and money and justice." "Science and economics have no real way to value the fact that people have lived for millennia in a certain rhythm, have eaten the food and sung the songs of certain places that are now disappearing." "Researchers estimated that tw "Even in what seems like the very clinical world of environmentalism, mounds of research and data aren't ultimately decisive: the fight over climate change is ultimately not an argument about infrared absorption in the atmosphere, but about power and money and justice." "Science and economics have no real way to value the fact that people have lived for millennia in a certain rhythm, have eaten the food and sung the songs of certain places that are now disappearing." "Researchers estimated that twelve million Americans might now be suffering from neglected tropical diseases such as hookworm across warm parts of the country." "They found that as inequality rose, so did the number of prisoners and school dropouts, the rate of teen pregnancy and drug use, the incidence of mental illness and obesity." "'There are now many studies of income inequality and health that compare countries, American states, and other large regions, and the majority of these studies show that more egalitarian societies tend to be healthier.'" "Once the Arctic melts, there's no way to freeze it back up again, not in human time. The particular politics of one country for one fifty-year period will have rewritten the geological history of the earth, and crimped the human game. That's what leverage looks like." "When we engineer and design, we turn people into a form of technology, and obsolescence is an utterly predictable feature of every technology we've ever seen. For a few years, you're more useful than any humans who've ever come before, and then you're more useless." "The randomness of our current genetic inheritance allows each of us a certain mental freedom from determinism, but that freedom disappears the day we understand ourselves to be, in essence, a product."

  23. 5 out of 5

    David

    I probably need to sit with this longer to form a coherent review but first reactions positive. As one might expect from the author, there is a detailed and convincing account of the devastating effects of climate change, an unsparing look at the cynical behavior of Exxon in covering up what they knew quite early in the process, and reverence for nature. what may be more unexpected is his linking this with a second major topic--the Artificial intelligence revolution, gene editing, cryogenics, tec I probably need to sit with this longer to form a coherent review but first reactions positive. As one might expect from the author, there is a detailed and convincing account of the devastating effects of climate change, an unsparing look at the cynical behavior of Exxon in covering up what they knew quite early in the process, and reverence for nature. what may be more unexpected is his linking this with a second major topic--the Artificial intelligence revolution, gene editing, cryogenics, tech entrepreneurs building rockets -- all indicators in his view of desperate efforts to get around our natural human and earthly limits. Throw in the much-discussed zombification of people as most of us stare at phones all day and become more depressed in the bargain, and he subsumes these trends as indicators of the "human game" playing out. but wait, there's still hope, most particularly in solar panels/alternative energy and in nonviolent resistance as a way to take back control of our destiny from selfish Ayn Rand-obsessed conservative politicians and rich people. Unifying theme, which reminded me a bit on global scale of his earlier book about having one child and the decision not to have another, of being able to choose not to do something even though we can. We can burn up the earth by continuing to use fossil fuel sources; we can strive for designer babies with higher IQ's; we can try to figure out how to live forever; but we can also affirmatively choose not to do any of that. some of the topic shifts felt a little random at times, but overall a provocative read from outstanding writer and thinker.

  24. 5 out of 5

    J A Graham

    A truly remarkable book that has done something few books have really done before. Given me a very different perspective, and fundamentally challenged my attitude and how I think about some of the most important global trends. A book I would recommend to anyone and everyone. The first chapter focuses on climate change, whilst a well trodden and well proven path, this book hits home with knock out punch after knock out punch. Never have I heard the impacts told in such an impassioned, and frankly A truly remarkable book that has done something few books have really done before. Given me a very different perspective, and fundamentally challenged my attitude and how I think about some of the most important global trends. A book I would recommend to anyone and everyone. The first chapter focuses on climate change, whilst a well trodden and well proven path, this book hits home with knock out punch after knock out punch. Never have I heard the impacts told in such an impassioned, and frankly terrifying manner (no sh1ts and giggles here I’m afraid). But then the author builds on this by articulating the political and societal leverage that fights to keep the imbalance and ignorance alive and well.... The latter chapters on the risks of AI or germ-line geneticism are slightly less powerful, set as they are more from a place of informed and thoughtful speculation, than years of proven science. But then again, so once was climate change..... The risks of these are technologies are clearly real, perhaps the fears here are overstated, perhaps not, and also clear that all such advancement has huge potential benefits as well as risks. But the argument that only action and careful consideration NOW can mitigate the potential risks given the pace of development is one that is brought to life clearly and intelligently. Anyway. If you were expecting to come out of a book with the strap line “has the human game begun to play itself out” chirpy and care free you picked up the wrong book. But if you wanted to come out of it stimulated, informed, and more likely to make informed choices and decisions then you’re on a winner.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Earl

    Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? is Bill McKibben's broad discussion of the things he believes to potentially represent the end of the "human game." This is not, nor does it really present itself as, a book strictly about climate change, though that is a major and consistent underlying concern. Because he ranges across so many topics there will be very few who agree with him on each and every concern he has. That said, he has many good points and presents them very well. This Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? is Bill McKibben's broad discussion of the things he believes to potentially represent the end of the "human game." This is not, nor does it really present itself as, a book strictly about climate change, though that is a major and consistent underlying concern. Because he ranges across so many topics there will be very few who agree with him on each and every concern he has. That said, he has many good points and presents them very well. This is not jargon-filled but rather intended for a popular readership. That isn't to say it is simplistic, it is just presented in a very accessible manner. Like many readers, I found his first couple of sections most compelling. This is probably because it seems to cover information he is more comfortable with. On other issues than climate change (and the associated harm of the ultra-rich and fossil fuel diehards) I probably disagreed as much as I agreed, but he also made some points I want to consider and do some research on, so in that respect he succeeded in broadening the discussion. I would recommend this to anyone concerned about the planet's future and whether humans will be around much longer. You won't agree with everything. That should be a reason to read it if you really want to consider the big picture from multiple perspectives. If you just want to read what you already believe, well, I don't know what to say to you, my friends all want to broaden their knowledge and perspectives so I don't usually have to deal with people like you. Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    Wow. I had been aware of these concerns. Climate change has been a topic I've studied pretty extensively, and I had recently read The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells, so I knew this material. Genetic modification via CRISPR I knew about from Radiolab pieces with Jennifer Doudna. And I'm a science fiction and futurist fan, and have read various books about AI "taking over the world" under various guises. What was new, for me, was the concept of the human "game", what it means to play i Wow. I had been aware of these concerns. Climate change has been a topic I've studied pretty extensively, and I had recently read The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells, so I knew this material. Genetic modification via CRISPR I knew about from Radiolab pieces with Jennifer Doudna. And I'm a science fiction and futurist fan, and have read various books about AI "taking over the world" under various guises. What was new, for me, was the concept of the human "game", what it means to play it well, and what it will mean if it "ends". As it happens, I disagree with him in some ways. I doubt it is actually feasible to limit CRISPR modifications to humans, because the genie is out of the bottle far more than he thinks - people _will_ make changes, because they _can_. But I think we will find that changes have far more unintended consequences than he imagines, because humans are complicated. When we discover that some changes vastly increase intelligence but vastly decrease longevity, which will people choose? People are uncomfortable EATING GMOs, let alone BEING GMOs. And, if AIs are able to help us reach the stars (I doubt it will be possible without them), and keep "the human game" running much longer, I think it will be worth the risk. McKibben's book provided me with exactly what I look for in this kind of book: making me think in ways that I hadn't before. And that's really valuable to me. If it is to you, read this book!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Richard S.

    ill McKibben is a great climate activist. He shows in this book that he also is a great writer. His premise is a bit odd. He states that humanity is a game The goal is to keep playing forever. To do that, to win, takes people joining together as a community. But Ayn Rand preached individualism and hatred of Government. Raegan, the Koch brothers, high-tech entrepreneurs, and now even Trump are believers in individualism, and that is causing mankind to lose the game. That mean humanity will die or ill McKibben is a great climate activist. He shows in this book that he also is a great writer. His premise is a bit odd. He states that humanity is a game The goal is to keep playing forever. To do that, to win, takes people joining together as a community. But Ayn Rand preached individualism and hatred of Government. Raegan, the Koch brothers, high-tech entrepreneurs, and now even Trump are believers in individualism, and that is causing mankind to lose the game. That mean humanity will die or be replaced. The individualists have some control over sentient AIs, human gene manipulation, and climate change, and can cause these to have us lose the game. McKibben starts with climate change. He presents the terrors it is doing and will increasingly do. This is very similar to what David Wallace-Wells did in his first 12 chapters of Uninhabitable Earth. McKibben does it better. He is scarier, but more readable. mostly because he puts his own personality into everything he writes. His descriptions of the AI and human gene modification fears are very thorough and very persuasive. McKibben ends on an upbeat note. He says we can and will join together as a community, but we may be too late. Overall, the book is very entertaining and informative, and Oliver Wyman reads it beautifully. This is e book everyone should read or listen to.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Douglas

    I wasn't going to read this book, because it didn't seem like anything new. I read The End of Nature years ago, and still haven't gotten over it. But this book is different, not just an update, because McKibben draws together many issues. Here's the sentence that made me read the book: "If you weigh the earth's terrestrial vertebrates, humans account for 30 percent of their total mass, and our farm animals for another 67 percent, meaning wild animals (all the moose and cheetahs and wombats combi I wasn't going to read this book, because it didn't seem like anything new. I read The End of Nature years ago, and still haven't gotten over it. But this book is different, not just an update, because McKibben draws together many issues. Here's the sentence that made me read the book: "If you weigh the earth's terrestrial vertebrates, humans account for 30 percent of their total mass, and our farm animals for another 67 percent, meaning wild animals (all the moose and cheetahs and wombats combined) total just 3 percent." That just blew me away. "Terrestrial vertebrates" would also include reptiles and birds, so if true, that's one crazy statistic. The book contains many other shocking statistics, as did The End of Nature. Subject-wise, it's all over the place, which makes it hard to come out the other end with a definable take-away message. Come to think of it, it sort of reminds me of the Green New Deal -- lots of good ideas smooshed up into a sincere but awkward package. I found it worth reading for the scientific update, cross-cultural insights, and hopeful messages about technology like solar panels. The book also does a good job of shining some light at the political obstacles to sensible action, something I find difficult to fathom but impossible to ignore.

  29. 4 out of 5

    The Conch

    Author Bill McKibben is a renowned environmentalist, author and journalist who has written extensively on the impact of global warming. He is a distinguished scholar at Middlebury College, USA. Climate change, saving water, drought, flood, sea level rise, Antarctic ice sheets melting etc. are cliche' today due to casual use. These terms are fast losing their meaning and can not influence world's citizen, politicians and corporate anymore. People will recklessly use AC, lavishly boast their SUVs, Author Bill McKibben is a renowned environmentalist, author and journalist who has written extensively on the impact of global warming. He is a distinguished scholar at Middlebury College, USA. Climate change, saving water, drought, flood, sea level rise, Antarctic ice sheets melting etc. are cliche' today due to casual use. These terms are fast losing their meaning and can not influence world's citizen, politicians and corporate anymore. People will recklessly use AC, lavishly boast their SUVs, uninhibitedly draw and pollute ground water so on and so forth. Probably we are not able to conceptualize the horror what future generation will face. Obviously it is not our business. Author grabs our hand and takes us through the scenario of future hell and it is scary. Grave danger for common people, not for rich, as money can buy comfort temporarily. However, author discusses other issues like rising and gradual domination of AI, gene editing and creation of designed baby, extension of life upto 500 years, mind uploading etc., politics of oil lobby, resistance in stopping use of renewable energy by giants like Exxon. I casually pick this book and it becomes unputdownable.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Peter O'Kelly

    Some related resources to consider: Reviews • https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/15/bo... • https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/b... • https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-re... • https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-... Interviews • https://www.scientificamerican.com/ar... • https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifest... • https://onezero.medium.com/how-ayn-ra... • https://www.resilience.org/stories/20... • https://www.macleans.ca/politics/onta... Excerpts/adaptations • https://www.rollingstone.com/politics. Some related resources to consider: Reviews • https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/15/bo... • https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/b... • https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-re... • https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-... Interviews • https://www.scientificamerican.com/ar... • https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifest... • https://onezero.medium.com/how-ayn-ra... • https://www.resilience.org/stories/20... • https://www.macleans.ca/politics/onta... Excerpts/adaptations • https://www.rollingstone.com/politics... • https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/20...

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