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Losing Earth

The Decade We Could Have Stopped Climate Change
Narrated by: Matt Godfrey
Length: 5 hrs and 17 mins
5 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Summary

By 1979, we knew all that we know now about the science of climate change - what was happening, why it was happening and how to stop it. Over the next 10 years, we had the very real opportunity to stop it. Obviously, we failed.

Nathaniel Rich’s groundbreaking account of that failure - and how tantalisingly close we came to signing binding treaties that would have saved us all before the fossil fuels industry and politicians committed to anti-scientific denialism - is already a journalistic blockbuster, a full issue of the New York Times Magazine that has earned favourable comparisons to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and John Hersey’s Hiroshima. Rich has become an instant, in-demand expert and speaker. A major movie deal is already in place. It is the story, perhaps, that can shift the conversation.

In the audiobook Losing Earth, Rich is able to provide more of the context for what did - and didn’t - happen in the 1980s and, more important, is able to carry the story fully into the present day and wrestle with what those past failures mean for us in 2019. It is not just an agonising revelation of historical missed opportunities but a clear-eyed and eloquent assessment of how we got to now and what we can and must do before it's truly too late.

©2019 Nathaniel Rich (P)2019 Macmillan Digital Audio

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Essential reading

Terrifying but vital if we are all to collectively change the course of a not too distant cataclysmic future. Should be essential reading and on the school curriculum too.

3 people found this helpful

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Read this book.

The best book about climate change I've ever read. For everyone. Will change your life.

1 person found this helpful

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What we could have done re climate change 40 years ago

The science behind climate warming is fairly simple. Carbon atoms in the air attract and catch heat and make for warmer climates and atmosphere. The more carbon atoms that are in the atmosphere, the warmer our planet will become. Big corporations such as energy companies have known this for over 50 years, motor industries too and since 1979 governments and others have known everything about climate change as we know today. But we live in a world where people believe the Earth is flat (even though we’ve sent rockets into space that show us the world is clearly round - just like the moon and every other planet we’ve seen) and people on Twitter want to punch Greta Thurnberg for raising awareness in both children and adults including those in government about the horrific impact of climate change, which is something more than other adults have been able to achieve over the last 40 years. How do we know this, because this book tells that story. Back in 1979 and long before then people realised scientists knew that carbon captures heat that could warm up the Earth to an extent that would lead to seas rising, ice caps melting, glaciers disappearing through extreme weather changes and everybody was on board. Jimmy Carter (USA president) even had solar panels on the White House. But companies came out and told everybody the stories were mumbo-jumbo and science-fiction. They weren’t real and everybody ended up doing nothing and just dithering. Al Gore made a film called “the inconvenient truth“ in 2006 and we even had a global day of music awareness explaining how we were killing the planet. And yet we all became like rabbits in the headlights, startled and trapped, doing nothing. We ended up just saying why don’t we wait and see, that will be able to deal with this in the future. Well the future is now, here in the present. This book reads with the racy pace as if a thriller and all its urgency, but just when you’re wondering what the conclusion is, well it’s a rather sad ending. Now we live in a world of denial, populism and fake news but no one knows what to believe anymore - but climate change is real. The saddest thing is that all these people were so passionately screaming from the rooftops, we need to be aware that there are heroes, villains and victims and once we start to understand this we can then start to move forward and try and help and change the climate in the world of the living to our children. And since 1989 there has been more carbon released into the atmosphere than in the entire history of civilisation preceding it. The Earth is now as warm as it was before the last ice age 115,000 years ago and the seas were more than 20 feet higher. And only seven countries are close to limiting omissions to a level to keep the world warming to no more than 2°. Yet multi million dollar companies such as Exxon and American petroleum institute paid to promote disinformation campaigns as well as bought scientists who tried to brainwash school children and many adults I know really believe that climate change isn’t real. This book will make you angry and will probably only be read by people who really believe and are aware of the problems but awareness is certainly growing. But it’s a really good story and well worth a read. Even if you will feel angry and depressed by its end.

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"Audible hopes you've enjoyed Losing Earth!!"

The closing 53 minute conclusion is extremely moving and makes you realise how long we have known so much and done so little! Time really is running out, not for the planet which we can be certain will endure; but for us (the human race). For too long we have accepted the lies of our political leaders who have sold humanity to the highest bidders! If people honestly believe that these people are capable of leading us out of this problem without the pressure of the people then we are truly lost, it is high time that we demand real change and react our individual power through our consumer choices and our political vote.

Climate change is one of the main drivers of all those issues which politicians divisivly use to gain political favour and until we begin addressing the issue at its source then these issues will grow more calamitous than we care to imagine...

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Climate Emergency essential history

This is essential listening about how world governments historically (and now) failed to act on existing scientific knowledge and evidence on the Climate Emergency. Easy to understand. Not so easy to comprehend. #TellTheTruth #ActNow

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Interesting and frustrating history lesson

A very good insight into what we knew about climate change when we had a real chance of doing something about it, as welm as the ignorance, arroclgance and sheer idiocy of the political and business leaders that bluntly ignored it.

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  • KC
  • 28-05-19

We are rushing to our own destruction

A brilliantly narrated story of the one moment when we could have saved the planet. But due to the intransigence of the USA we failed. Frustrating and frightening in equal measure this book brings to life the hero’s and villains of climate change. And here we are, 40 years on, still doing nothing.

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Read it

Good story. Makes me wonder why the hell I didn't know of this 20 years earlier, a guinely good call to arms. But the number of players in the story can be distracting from the undellying mesage which is.. WTF! are we doing? We need to take action, now, more than ever.