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 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 Glacier in Bolivia. Those living downstream, dependent on that glacier for their water supply, will certainly care. Since 1980, the tropics have expanded worldwide by 2 degrees north and south. Over 8 million more square miles of land are now tropical, with 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 over $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 chemicals and fertilizer. Eliminate the middlemen, like advertising and transport, and put more money in the farmer’s pocket. Along with local agriculture, consider local power generation.
This is a really 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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