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Summary

The first hopeful book about climate change, The Future Earth shows listeners how to reverse the short- and long-term effects of climate change over the next three decades.

The basics of climate science are easy. We know it is entirely human-caused. Which means its solutions will be similarly human-led. In The Future Earth, leading climate change advocate and weather-related journalist Eric Holthaus (“the Rebel Nerd of Meteorology” - Rolling Stone) offers a radical vision of our future, specifically how to reverse the short- and long-term effects of climate change over the next three decades. Anchored by world-class reporting, interviews with futurists, climatologists, biologists, economists, and climate change activists, it shows what the world could look like if we implemented radical solutions on the scale of the crises we face. 

  • What could happen if we reduced carbon emissions by 50 percent in the next decade?
  • What could living in a city look like in 2030? 
  • How could the world operate in 2040, if the proposed Green New Deal created a 100 percent net carbon-free economy in the United States?

This is the book for anyone who feels overwhelmed by the current state of our environment. Hopeful and prophetic, The Future Earth invites us to imagine how we can reverse the effects of climate change in our own lifetime and encourages us to enter a deeper relationship with the earth as conscientious stewards and to re-affirm our commitment to one another in our shared humanity. 

©2020 Eric Holthaus (P)2020 HarperAudio

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  • P Willis
  • 29-11-20

Not the way to make necessary changes

Although I agree with many, if not most of the proposals for changing our energy use and working to help climate change, this books wraps many suggested changes up together including the Green New Deal, nationalizing oil companies, giving reparations to indigenous people, and many other radical changes. .Many of these proposals would steer many people away from supporting climate change legislation because many suggestions are not just things to help climate change but to change our society and capitalist system of government. So people who might agree with some of these proposals would, I think, be so turned off by many of other the proposals that they would rebel against the changes that are truly necessary to change our world. Many of the changes proposed are so unrealistic as to be almost laughable. I don't believe that this book is worth listening to. I say this as a liberal who believes that climate change is an existential threat.

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  • Brion Hurley
  • 01-04-21

Motivating for those who feel it’s too late

This past year has made me pessimistic that we can tackle climate change, since we failed to collectively tackle a pandemic. But Holthaus gives some realistic scenarios that make it still seem possible, and lays out some details of what might happen over the next few decades (good and bad)

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  • 2edbrd
  • 12-10-21

A magic wand approach to solving climate change

This book is hopeful but disappointingly naive. It is insufficiently substantive to serve as a primer on climate change solutions. Its imagined future depends on a magic-wand ability to overcome many obstacles without any acknowledgement of them or realistic discussion about the practical challenges. It overtly promotes a sloppy version of democratic socialism to dismantle and replace free market capitalism as if (1) doing so was a simple choice the entire US could easily embrace without substantial obstacles or consequences; and (2) doing so was the only way to achieve the public response required to address climate change. This renders the book both ineffective and easy for climate change skeptics to dismiss.

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  • Bill
  • 05-04-21

Well intentioned but badly written.

This book is infuriatingly vague, long on speechifying and short on concrete ideas. The author constantly commits the cardinal sin of climate writing: describing the worst-case scenario as if it were the most likely scenario.
Most of the book is a “future history” of humanity’s struggles with climate change, something that has already been done, and vastly better, by Kim Stanley Robinson in “Ministry for the Future”. Read that.