Download the Athena app to access our expertly crafted "Falter" insight in text and audiobook formats.

Falter summary - available in audiobook and text formats 13m 42s


Bill McKibben

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.


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.

I. Introduction

Bill McKibben is arguably today’s leading environmental voice. In addition to founding, 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

The Takeaway


Download the Athena app to access our expertly crafted "Falter" insight in text and audiobook formats.

Also in the 'Climate Change' Collection