The Uninhabitable Earth
Life After Warming
he simplicity of its first line says almost everything you need to know: “It is worse, much worse, than you think.” Listening to The Uninhabitable Earth was a one of the definitive “there’s no going back” moments of global warming contemplateion for me. I actually listened to it twice. It terrified and radicalized me. It felt like nothing short of our generation’s Silent Spring. I stopped worrying about sounding like a kook and began sounding the alarm.
he year I hiked the PCT was anamolous for the few forest fires that impacted the thru-hiking season. We were all expecting to have our hikes interrupted by the world on fire as it burned closer to us. It probably won’t happen again. Reading this on the trail felt like a memento mori. Every step felt like a gift, but also like a step towards eventual confrontation with this crisis.
I would recommend this book to people who somehow don’t feel urgency about this crisis, or who somehow need validation that their fears are real.
- Crown (2020), 386 pages
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The Uninhabitable Earth hits you like a comet, with an overflow of insanely lyrical prose about our pending Armageddon.”—Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon With a new afterword It is worse, much worse, than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible—food shortages, refugee emergencies, climate wars and economic devastation. An “epoch-defining book” (The Guardian) and “this generation’s Silent Spring” (The Washington Post), The Uninhabitable Earth is both a travelogue of the near future and a meditation on how that future will look to those living through it—the ways that warming promises to transform global politics, the meaning of technology and nature in the modern world, the sustainability of capitalism and the trajectory of human progress. The Uninhabitable Earth is also an impassioned call to action. For just as the world was brought to the brink of catastrophe within the span of a lifetime, the responsibility to avoid it now belongs to a single generation—today’s. Praise for The Uninhabitable Earth “The Uninhabitable Earth is the most terrifying book I have ever read. Its subject is climate change, and its method is scientific, but its mode is Old Testament. The book is a meticulously documented, white-knuckled tour through the cascading catastrophes that will soon engulf our warming planet.”—Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times “Riveting. . . . Some readers will find Mr. Wallace-Wells’s outline of possible futures alarmist. He is indeed alarmed. You should be, too.”—The Economist “Potent and evocative. . . . Wallace-Wells has resolved to offer something other than the standard narrative of climate change. . . . He avoids the ‘eerily banal language of climatology’ in favor of lush, rolling prose.”—Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times “The book has potential to be this generation’s Silent Spring.”—The Washington Post “The Uninhabitable Earth, which has become a best seller, taps into the underlying emotion of the day: fear. . . . I encourage people to read this book.”—Alan Weisman, The New York Review of Books (Publisher’s Description)