Has the human game begun to play itself out? Thirty years ago, Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about climate change. Here, he broadens the warning — the entire human game, he suggests, is endangered. *Falter* examines converging trends: as climate change shrinks the land where humans can live, new technologies like artificial intelligence and genetic engineering, offer new threats to humanity. Moreover, rigid economic and ideological factors continue to keep us from bringing them under control. Drawing on his experience building 350.org, the first global movement to combat climate change, McKibben concludes with possible solutions to save the planet and oursleves. We’re at a bleak moment in human history. McKibben believes we’ll either confront that bleakness with action or watch our civilization slip away.
The Bottom Line
One of the world’s foremost authorities on climate change tells it straight: Take action now or prepare for the end of the world as we know it.
Bill McKibben is arguably today’s leading environmental voice. In addition to founding 350.org, the world’s first nonprofit committed to battling climate change globally, he’s been writing books on the subject for more than 30 years. In 1989, his first and most well-known title, The End of Nature, introduced the concept of global warming to a general audience. In that book, McKibben warned that without a radical shift in the way we interact with and relate to nature, human consumption of natural resources will eventually lead to environmental catastrophe — and to the demise of the human species. While McKibben was dismissed by some as an alarmist, others took his prescient message to heart.
Three decades later, many of McKibben’s early predictions have come true. In his latest book, Falter, he takes stock of how we reach our current predicament, what the future holds if we do nothing and how we might still manage to avert disaster.
While the book strikes a sobering note — “This volume is bleak,” he writes in the opening pages — McKibben is careful to end on a message of hope. He outlines several clear paths that might help us avoid the most devastating global warming outcomes, and in doing so, presents humanity with a choice: Act now or prepare for the end of civilization as we know it.
II. Why the Human Race May Be Reaching Its Final Stages
III. The Obstacles to Progress
IV. The Threat of New Technologies
V. The Power of Solar
VI. The Punch of Nonviolence
VII. Between Despair and Hope Is … Choice
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