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The unnatural world : the race to remake civilization in Earth's newest age /

by Biello, David [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York, NY : Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2016.Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition.Description: 294 pages ; 24 cm.ISBN: 9781476743905; 1476743908.Subject(s): Human ecology | Nature and civilization | Global environmental change | Nature -- Effect of human beings on | Civilization, Modern -- 21st century | Civilization, Modern | Global environmental change | Human ecology | Nature and civilization | Nature -- Effect of human beings on | 2000-2099
Contents:
Alter Earth -- Iron rules -- Written in stone -- Terra incognita -- Ground work -- Big death -- The people's epoch -- A better anthropocene -- City folks -- The long thaw -- The final frontier.
Summary: An environmental journalist examines the world humanity has created through climate change and chronicles the scientists, billionaires, and ordinary people who are working toward saving the planet.
List(s) this item appears in: Earth Day
    average rating: 0.0 (0 votes)
Item type Home library Collection Shelving location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Books Books Altadena Main Library
Adult Collection Adult NonFiction 304.2 BIE (Browse shelf) Available 39270004543538

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

A Science Friday and Smithsonian Magazine Best Science Book of the Year

A brilliant young environmental journalist argues that we must innovate and adapt to save planet Earth in this enlightening "trip around the world to meet people working out new ways for humanity to live as well as survive" ( The New York Times Book Review ).

With the historical perspective of The Song of the Dodo and the urgency of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth , The Unnatural World chronicles a disparate band of unlikely heroes: an effervescent mad scientist who would fertilize the seas; a pigeon obsessive bent on bringing back the extinct; a low-level government functionary in China doing his best to clean up his city, and more. These scientists, billionaires, and ordinary people are all working toward saving the best home humanity is ever likely to have.

What is the threat? It is us. In a time when a species dies out every ten minutes, when summers are getting hotter, winters colder, and oceans higher, some people still deny mankind's effect on the Earth. But all of our impacts on the planet have ushered in what qualifies as a new geologic epoch, thanks to global warming, mass extinction, and such technologies as nuclear weapons or plastics.

"A futurist ray of hope amid the usual denial and despair" ( Esquire ), The Unnatural World examines the world we have created and analyzes the glimmers of light emerging from the efforts of incredible individuals seeking to change our future. Instead of a world without us, this history of the future shows how to become good gardeners, helping people thrive along with an abundance of plants, animals, all the exuberant profusion of life on Earth--a better world with us. The current era of humans need not be the end of the world--and "Biello describes both what we have done to alter our planet and what we should do in the future to ensure its habitability" ( Scientific American ).

Includes bibliographical references (pages 271-275) and index.

Alter Earth -- Iron rules -- Written in stone -- Terra incognita -- Ground work -- Big death -- The people's epoch -- A better anthropocene -- City folks -- The long thaw -- The final frontier.

An environmental journalist examines the world humanity has created through climate change and chronicles the scientists, billionaires, and ordinary people who are working toward saving the planet.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • The Overview (p. 1)
  • Part I Alter Earth (p. 9)
  • Chapter 1 Iron Rules (p. 11)
  • Chapter 2 Written in Stone (p. 39)
  • Part II Terra Incognita (p. 67)
  • Chapter 3 Ground Work (p. 69)
  • Chapter 4 Big Death (p. 97)
  • Chapter 5 The People's Epoch (p. 131)
  • Part III A Better Anthropocene (p. 163)
  • Chapter 6 City Folks (p. 165)
  • Chapter 7 The Long Thaw (p. 201)
  • Chapter 8 The Final Frontier (p. 232)
  • Acknowledgments (p. 267)
  • Selected Notes and Further Reading (p. 271)
  • Index (p. 277)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

The effects of steadily increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere seem to be everywhere: rapidly shrinking glaciers, warmer and more acidic oceans, thawing permafrost, rising sea levels, and higher temperatures. Journalist Biello (Scientific American and other publications) examines the viability of technologies for reducing carbon dioxide levels. These "technofixes" include ocean fertilization to create plankton blooms that suck up carbon dioxide, energy sources that don't burn fossil fuels (solar, wind, nuclear power), biodigesters (mechanical stomachs) that convert organic material into usable gas, carbon capture and storage technologies, and electric cars. Biello also explores the environmental costs of China's tremendous economic expansion and efforts to reduce its use of coal. Surprisingly, for a science book, there are no in-text author citations. While some content is based on author interviews, other material includes facts and statistics that are not general knowledge. VERDICT Despite the lack of references, this thoughtful analysis of how we might move toward a more sustainable civilization is recommended for readers who enjoyed Elizabeth Kolbert's Field Notes from a Catastrophe and for anyone who follows the latest developments in climate -geoengineering.-Cynthia Lee Knight, Hunterdon Cty. Historical Soc., Flemington, NJ © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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