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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet » User review

Very eye-opening book

  • Jun 23, 2010
Rating:
+5
Mankind has irreparably changed the Earth's climate and weather conditions. This book gives the details on tells how to survive on this new planet.

The Earth that mankind knew, and grew up on, is gone. A new planet needs a new name; hence Eaarth. It is a place where the ice caps at the poles are severely reduced, or gone. It is a place where the oceans are becoming more acid, because of more carbon being absorbed into the water, not to mention the toxic chemicals and other pollutants being dumped into it. It is a place of more extreme weather patterns.

The average person might not care if an entire glacier completely melts away, like the Chacaltaya Galcier in Bolivia. Those living downstream, dependent on that glacier for their drinking water, will certainly care. Since 1980, the tropics have expanded worldwide by 2 degrees of latitude north and south. Over 8 million more square miles of land are now tropical, with the dry subtropics pushing ahead of them. The chances of Lake Mead, which is behind Hoover Dam, running dry in the next 10 years have reached 50 percent. The residents of an oceanside town in North Carolina are spending up to $30,000 each to place large sandbags in front of their homes to keep the ocean at bay.

The times when America, or the world, can simply grow its way out of its financial problems are gone forever. Building enough nuclear power plants to get rid of even a tenth of the climate change problem will cost at least $8 trillion. According to one estimate, America needs to spend at least $200 billion a year for decades, just on infrastructure, to avoid the kind of gridlock that will collapse the economy. A small village in Alaska is being evacuated, because of rising sea levels, at a cost of $400,000 per person. There is not enough money on Earth to evacuate everyone threatened by rising sea levels.

What to do? Some people are taking another look at small-scale agriculture, getting away from a dependence on artificial fertilizers and chemicals. Eliminate the middleman, like advertising, packaging and transport costs, and put more money back in the farmer's pocket. Along with local agriculture, consider local power generation.

This is a very eye-opening book. The first half is pretty bleak, showing just how bad things have gotten. But, there is plenty of hope in the second half of the book. It is very much recommended.

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review by . December 16, 2010
Mankind has irreparably changed the Earth’s climate and weather conditions. This book gives the details, and tells how to survive on this new world. The Earth that mankind knew, and grew up on, is gone. A new planet needs a new name; hence Eaarth. It is a place of poles where the ice caps are severely reduced, or gone. It is a place where the oceans are becoming more acid, because of excess carbon absorbed into the water, not to mention the toxic chemicals and other pollutants being dumped …
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Paul Lappen ()
Ranked #70
I am in my early 50s, single and live in Connecticut. I am a lifelong very, very avid reader and am a freelance book reviewer with my ownblog (http://www.deadtreesreview.blogspot.com). Please visit. It … more
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Wiki

Amazon Best Books of the Month, April 2010: Since he first heralded our era of environmental collapse in 1989'sThe End of Nature,Bill McKibbenhas raised a series of eloquent alarms. InEaarth, he leads readers to the devastatingly comprehensive conclusion that we no longer inhabit the world in which we've flourished for most of human history: we've passed the tipping point for dramatic climate change, and even if we could stop emissions yesterday, our world will keep warming, triggering more extreme storms, droughts, and other erratic catastrophes, for centuries to come. This is not just our grandchildren's problem, or our children's--we're living through the effects of climate change now, and it's time for us to get creative about our survival. McKibben pulls no punches, and swaths of this book can feel bleak, but his dry wit and pragmatic optimism refuse to yield to despair. Focusing our attention on inspiring communities of "functional independence" arising around the world, he offers galvanizing possibilities for keeping our humanity intact as the world we've known breaks down. --Mari Malcolm
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Details

ISBN-10: 0805090568
ISBN-13: 978-0805090567
Author: Bill McKibben
Genre: Outdoors & Nature
Publisher: Times Books
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