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Light of the Stars

Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth
Narrated by: Kevin Pariseau
Length: 7 hrs and 15 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Astronomy
4.5 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Summary

Light of the Stars is science at the grandest of scales, and it tells a radically new story about what we are: one world in a universe awash in planets. Building on his widely discussed scientific papers and New York Times op-eds, astrophysicist Adam Frank shows that not only is it likely that alien civilizations have existed many times before, but also that many of them have driven their own worlds into dangerous eras of change. 

He explains how dust storms on Mars, the greenhouse effect on Venus, Gaia Theory, the threat of nuclear winter, and efforts to prove or disprove the plurality of worlds from Aristotle to Copernicus to Carl Sagan have contributed to our understanding of our place in the universe and the growing challenge of climate change. And he raises what may be the largest question of all: If there has been life on other worlds, what can its presence tell us about our own fate?

©2018 Adam Frank (P)2018 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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  • TD
  • 09-05-19

Incredible book

It's a must read for anybody who cares about what will happen to us as a civilization and what possibly could be done to consciously mitigate the worse. Explained in clear and easy for non-scientists to understand based on scientific research that I wouldn't think was carried out.

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Great review of the space exploration history

The author describes the matters with good depth and understanding.
The narrator did a fabulous job and kept me comming back to the book even in its less interesting parts.
Overall a great experience

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  • David
  • Stowmarket, United Kingdom
  • 09-08-18

Essential reading go anyone concerned with the future of mankind

This timely book, not too long, not too short, not too highbrow not too lowbrow, brings together the latest work on the effects that advanced civilisations have on their home planets. It paints a necessarily honest picture of what we need to do to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Every world leader should read and digest this book.

I only have one small comment on the narrator. I’ve given Kevin Parisesu 5 stars for his work. His voice is very clear and easy on the ear but for an English listener the American pronunciation can be a little confusing sometimes.
It took me a little while to realise that what I took to be the word error was in fact era.
There are other examples but please don’t let that stop you listening to this very important work.

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  • karl
  • 27-06-18

Nice take

This book makes you think by putting pen to paper and working out some scenarios for our coevolution with our planet. This part was naturally a little dry listening. I’m an engineer so I enjoyed the nuts and bolts. Performance was good.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • 25-11-18

First steps only

If you have some familiarity with Drake's equation, give this a pass. Nothing really new here. Its only contribution is yet another relatively arbitrary classification of as-yet-to-be-discovered alien civilizations. I was hoping for some updates on exo-biology, but no.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • DVB22
  • 27-10-18

This is our story

This book is so relevant and so important for everyone to read. Especially the climate change deniers. The narrator draws you in perfectly and the story....well it’s OUR beautiful, yet fragile story. Gives us hope as a species yet realistically grounds you as the important problems we will face in the near future.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sean Dooley
  • 10-10-18

Road map for navigating the Anthropocene

i really loved this book. Heard an interview with Adam on the Probably Science podcast and had to get my hands on a copy. Adam is able to recontexualize problems that are and will continue to threaten our civilization by stepping away and taking the larger cosmic perspective. i found the thoughts and information in here to be both consumable and engaging. i will be listening to "Light of the Stars" again very soon.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • David Goings
  • 10-09-18

Great content

Wish the book had been read by the author. Great read though, just think more passion would be conveyed by the author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Zach
  • 17-08-18

Should be read by everyone.

What an inspiring book! Instead of going with a doom and gloom perspective on a changing climate, Adam Frank dives into the facts with a realistic view outside of the normal human perspective. If we are going to have a chance at a thriving civilization deep into the future, more people need this kind of view point. Recommended to everyone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • The Saint
  • 18-07-18

A New Look into the Fermi (SETI) Paradox

Light of the Stars casts a new light on the puzzle that is the Fermi Paradox; if extra-terrestrial life is likely so common, why do we find no evidence of it? The careful analysis demonstrates that we may be coming up upon an evolutionary choke point common to advanced technological societies spread over entire planets. It reaches beyond the choices playing out today, as for instance in the substitution of renewables for fossil fuels, to suggest that it is the planet-spanning thermodynamic activity of the entire civilization as part of a larger biosphere which drives the planet to states which are either stable or unstable. In that case, it is less the energy source used in the activity and more the nature and quantum of the activity itself over which we must exert agency if we are to see a way past the thermodynamic choke point. The book stops a chapter or two short of direct confrontation with the Paradox - if there is no evidence of alien civilization, does that imply that the choke point is an unavoidable cul de sac which no civilization has overcome? Hoping that we might be the first is surely faint hope indeed! J. A. (Canada) for WildDogs Foundation - wilddogsfoundation@gmail.com

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Steve Dahlman
  • 02-06-19

Magnificent!

Adam Frank has distilled the work of scientists and philosophers into a cogent analysis of evolutionary thought, research and policy. The ramifications of mankind’s effects upon the earth are presented in exceptional detail, but, remarkably, not judgmental. Ending on a very positive light, the reader is not left with a post-apocalyptic hell, but a blueprint for the future. “We are the planet.” Yes, we are. We are also the galaxy and the universe.

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  • Don
  • 29-04-19

Our place among the stars

An accessible story of our planet, our solar system , our galaxy and us. A very clearly expressed discussion of where we are in our planetary maturity and how we need to grow up, face our follies,and reach for a more sustainable human presence.

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  • Stash
  • 11-07-18

One of the best books I’ve listen to, maybe ever

This was a fascinating story in a great way to reposition the human race with regard to climate change. If you look at who we are in the grand scheme of the planets we become less of a scorch on the planet dragging it down and more of a quart of force. It’s up to us to listen to her counterpart earth figure out how to code test. I really really enjoyed this book.