Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

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Bill McKibben
Times Books; First Edition edition (April 13, 2010)

Amazon.com Book Description:

Twenty years ago, with The End of Nature, Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about global warming. Those warnings went mostly unheeded; now, he insists, we need to acknowledge that we’ve waited too long, and that massive change is not only unavoidable but already under way. Our old familiar globe is suddenly melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen. We’ve created, in very short order, a new planet, still recognizable but fundamentally different. We may as well call it Eaarth.

That new planet is filled with new binds and traps. A changing world costs large sums to defend—think of the money that went to repair New Orleans, or the trillions it will take to transform our energy systems. But the endless economic growth that could underwrite such largesse depends on the stable planet we’ve managed to damage and degrade. We can’t rely on old habits any longer.

Our hope depends, McKibben argues, on scaling back—on building the kind of societies and economies that can hunker down, concentrate on essentials, and create the type of community (in the neighborhood, but also on the Internet) that will allow us to weather trouble on an unprecedented scale. Change—fundamental change—is our best hope on a planet suddenly and violently out of balance. 

Praise for “Eaarth”:

“What I have to say about this book is very simple: Read it, please. Straight through to the end. Whatever else you were planning to do next, nothing could be more important.”— Barbara Kingsolver, author of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

“The terrifying premise with which this book begins is that … climate change is already here, but Bill McKibben doesn’t stop with the bad news. He tours the best responses that are also already here, and these visions of a practical scientific solution are also sketches of a better, richer, more democratic civil society and everyday life. Eaarth is an astonishingly important book that will knock you down and pick you up.” —Rebecca Solnit, author of “A Paradise Built in Hell

Pick up a copy at Amazon.com to see for yourself if this book lives up to its hype and delivers its crucial message.

To learn more about the book you can visit Bill McKibben’s website at http://www.billmckibben.com/. or visit 350.org to learn more about 350, the global movement against climate change that Bill McKibben founded in 2007.



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  1. Alison Schroeder says:

    If the choice had been left up to me I would have never picked up the book eaarth because the environment is one subject I am not personally passionate about. Though, after having read the book I can honestly say I actually possess an opinion now on aspects of our world such as deforestation and global warming. I always knew that humans were hurting the environment but until I read this book I did not know the magnitude of the offense. Bill McKibben, the author of eaarth, presented some well-thought out arguments about how people are contributing to this vicious cycle that is slowly killing the earth we know (hence why he calls it eaarth and not earth). While the words he writes are a very good call to action they lack the ability of granting optimism. While it is always hard to hear the blunt truth the public need a beacon of hope to hold onto and McKibben’s pessimistic attitude makes the reader feel as though nothing we do will help reverse the situation. Besides his pessimistic view on global issues his writing style made it difficult for me to want to continue reading. Personally, it is easier to read when I have time to collect my thoughts after each new concept; in normal books each chapter provides the necessary reprieve. McKibben has a total of four chapters spaced over 218 pages. That means every chapter is averaging over 50 pages. It took me an especially long to read this book mainly because of its long-chapter approach which then made me disinterested from the books content. Before reading eaarth I was not environmentally conscious and though not much has changed I am now more aware of my effect on the planet and try to do better by the world. While the issues the author writes about are crucial in today’s society and he delivers good arguments the book was uninteresting and I would not recommend it to anyone else to read.

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  2. Jose Chacon says:

    I think it is very important for people to read this book. People need to understand how the Earth is changing and what is affecting those changes. Good book

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    • Jose Chacon says:

      McKibben was one of the first people to write a book about global warming for the general public. Because of this it actually helps people who do not know much about what is going on in the world actually understand. People need to understand that these effects are irreversible, and that at this rate this Eaarth will not be the place to live in that it once was. Some of the things that he has told us are that the changes in rainfall patterns have caused droughts in Australia and the American Southwest. The increasing temperature is also causing the polar ice caps to melt. This is also leading to the raise in ocean acidity. All of these points and many others are important for people to know. People should know about this Eaarth and the way that it is and how it changes.

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