FALTER - Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?

 
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03 June 2019 13:12
 

https://www.amazon.com/Falter-Human-Game-Begun-Itself/dp/1250178266

Thirty years ago Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about climate change. Now he broadens the warning: the entire human game, he suggests, has begun to play itself out.

Bill McKibben’s groundbreaking book The End of Nature—issued in dozens of languages and long regarded as a classic—was the first book to alert us to global warming. But the danger is broader than that: even as climate change shrinks the space where our civilization can exist, new technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics threaten to bleach away the variety of human experience.

Falter tells the story of these converging trends and of the ideological fervor that keeps us from bringing them under control. And then, drawing on McKibben’s experience in building 350.org, the first truly global citizens movement to combat climate change, it offers some possible ways out of the trap. We’re at a bleak moment in human history—and we’ll either confront that bleakness or watch the civilization our forebears built slip away.

Falter is a powerful and sobering call to arms, to save not only our planet but also our humanity.

Editorial Reviews

“[An] unsettling look at the prospects for human survival. . . . Readers open to inconvenient and sobering truths will find much to digest in McKibben’s eloquently unsparing treatise.” - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A compelling call for change.” - Kirkus Reviews

“[A] deeply caring, eloquently reasoned inquiry into environmental and techno-utopian threats. . . . Profoundly compelling and enlightening, McKibben balances alarm with hope.” - Booklist (starred review)

“McKibben provides a fresh perspective with surprising examples and an engaging writing style.” - Jared Diamond, The New York Times Book Review

“He has gathered the most vivid statistics, distilled history to its juiciest turns, and made the case as urgently and clearly as can be: The whole breadth of our existence - the ‘human game’ - is in jeopardy.” - The Washington Post

“Fascinating. . . McKibben is a mighty orator on the page here, just as he was in The End of Nature (1989) and Eaarth (2010), and his call for creating more compassionate and equitable societies is inspiring.” - Pacific Standard

“Falter is McKibben’s most powerfully argued book, and maybe his most important since The End of Nature 30 years ago. . . . It affirms him as among a very few of our most compelling truth-tellers about the climate catastrophe and the ideological forces driving it.” - Wen Stephenson, The Nation

“Falter is the work of one of America’s most skillful long-form journalists. . . . [McKibben has] an uncannily entertaining way of combining information with interpretation and insight.” - Seven Days

“A deeply reported, broad-spanning investigation. . . . Compelling.” - Outside

“McKibben, a veteran environmental writer, is never hectoring or hyperbolic; here, he turns the possibility of human extinction (from climate change, artificial intelligence, etc.) into an absorbing analysis with a glimmer of hope.” - The New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice

“The strength of [McKibben’s] writing on climate change is that its specificity burns away the mist from what, to most people, is a hazy issue.” - The Times (London)

“Falter is a bracing call to arms, one that concerned readers ignore at their peril.” - Palo Alto Weekly

“A love letter, a plea, a eulogy, and a prayer. This is Bill McKibben at his glorious best. Wise and warning, with everything on the line. Do not miss it.”- Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything and The Shock Doctrine

“McKibben himself is a hopeful soul . . . Rather than pushing us toward despair, McKibben situates his book as a call to action. Hope is a useful tool only if you know the shape of reality that you face.” - The Christian Century

“I braced myself to plunge into this book about the largest and grimmest of situations our species has faced, and then I found myself racing through it, excited by the grand synthesis of innumerable scientific reports on the details of the crisis. And then at the end I saw the book as a description of a big trap with a small exit we could take, if we take heed of what Bill McKibben tells us here, and act on it.”- Rebecca Solnit, author of A Paradise Built in Hell and Hope in the Dark

“It’s not an exaggeration to say that Bill McKibben has written a book so important, reading it might save your life, not to mention your home: Planet Earth. Falter is a brilliant, impassioned call to arms to save our climate from those profiting from its destruction before it’s too late. Over and over, McKibben has proven one of the most farsighted and gifted voices of our times, and with Falter he has topped himself, producing a book that honestly, everyone should read.” - Jane Mayer, bestselling author of Dark Money

“No one has done more than Bill McKibben to raise awareness about the great issues of our time. Falter is an essential book, honest, far-reaching and, against the odds, hopeful.” - Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction

About the Author
Bill McKibben is a founder of the environmental organization 350.org and was among the first to have warned of the dangers of global warming. He is the author of the bestsellers The End of Nature, Eaarth, and Deep Economy. He is the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and the winner of the Gandhi Prize, the Thomas Merton Prize, and the Right Livelihood Prize. He lives in Vermont.

Are we about to leave our footprint and vanish?

[ Edited: 04 June 2019 11:29 by unsmoked]
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03 June 2019 17:58
 
 
 
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12 September 2019 12:05
 
unsmoked - 03 June 2019 01:12 PM

https://www.amazon.com/Falter-Human-Game-Begun-Itself/dp/1250178266

Thirty years ago Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about climate change. Now he broadens the warning: the entire human game, he suggests, has begun to play itself out.

Bill McKibben’s groundbreaking book The End of Nature—issued in dozens of languages and long regarded as a classic—was the first book to alert us to global warming. But the danger is broader than that: even as climate change shrinks the space where our civilization can exist, new technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics threaten to bleach away the variety of human experience.

Falter tells the story of these converging trends and of the ideological fervor that keeps us from bringing them under control. And then, drawing on McKibben’s experience in building 350.org, the first truly global citizens movement to combat climate change, it offers some possible ways out of the trap. We’re at a bleak moment in human history—and we’ll either confront that bleakness or watch the civilization our forebears built slip away.

Falter is a powerful and sobering call to arms, to save not only our planet but also our humanity.

Editorial Reviews

“[An] unsettling look at the prospects for human survival. . . . Readers open to inconvenient and sobering truths will find much to digest in McKibben’s eloquently unsparing treatise.” - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A compelling call for change.” - Kirkus Reviews

“[A] deeply caring, eloquently reasoned inquiry into environmental and techno-utopian threats. . . . Profoundly compelling and enlightening, McKibben balances alarm with hope.” - Booklist (starred review)

“McKibben provides a fresh perspective with surprising examples and an engaging writing style.” - Jared Diamond, The New York Times Book Review

“He has gathered the most vivid statistics, distilled history to its juiciest turns, and made the case as urgently and clearly as can be: The whole breadth of our existence - the ‘human game’ - is in jeopardy.” - The Washington Post

“Fascinating. . . McKibben is a mighty orator on the page here, just as he was in The End of Nature (1989) and Eaarth (2010), and his call for creating more compassionate and equitable societies is inspiring.” - Pacific Standard

“Falter is McKibben’s most powerfully argued book, and maybe his most important since The End of Nature 30 years ago. . . . It affirms him as among a very few of our most compelling truth-tellers about the climate catastrophe and the ideological forces driving it.” - Wen Stephenson, The Nation

“Falter is the work of one of America’s most skillful long-form journalists. . . . [McKibben has] an uncannily entertaining way of combining information with interpretation and insight.” - Seven Days

“A deeply reported, broad-spanning investigation. . . . Compelling.” - Outside

“McKibben, a veteran environmental writer, is never hectoring or hyperbolic; here, he turns the possibility of human extinction (from climate change, artificial intelligence, etc.) into an absorbing analysis with a glimmer of hope.” - The New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice

“The strength of [McKibben’s] writing on climate change is that its specificity burns away the mist from what, to most people, is a hazy issue.” - The Times (London)

“Falter is a bracing call to arms, one that concerned readers ignore at their peril.” - Palo Alto Weekly

“A love letter, a plea, a eulogy, and a prayer. This is Bill McKibben at his glorious best. Wise and warning, with everything on the line. Do not miss it.”- Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything and The Shock Doctrine

“McKibben himself is a hopeful soul . . . Rather than pushing us toward despair, McKibben situates his book as a call to action. Hope is a useful tool only if you know the shape of reality that you face.” - The Christian Century

“I braced myself to plunge into this book about the largest and grimmest of situations our species has faced, and then I found myself racing through it, excited by the grand synthesis of innumerable scientific reports on the details of the crisis. And then at the end I saw the book as a description of a big trap with a small exit we could take, if we take heed of what Bill McKibben tells us here, and act on it.”- Rebecca Solnit, author of A Paradise Built in Hell and Hope in the Dark

“It’s not an exaggeration to say that Bill McKibben has written a book so important, reading it might save your life, not to mention your home: Planet Earth. Falter is a brilliant, impassioned call to arms to save our climate from those profiting from its destruction before it’s too late. Over and over, McKibben has proven one of the most farsighted and gifted voices of our times, and with Falter he has topped himself, producing a book that honestly, everyone should read.” - Jane Mayer, bestselling author of Dark Money

“No one has done more than Bill McKibben to raise awareness about the great issues of our time. Falter is an essential book, honest, far-reaching and, against the odds, hopeful.” - Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction

About the Author
Bill McKibben is a founder of the environmental organization 350.org and was among the first to have warned of the dangers of global warming. He is the author of the bestsellers The End of Nature, Eaarth, and Deep Economy. He is the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and the winner of the Gandhi Prize, the Thomas Merton Prize, and the Right Livelihood Prize. He lives in Vermont.

Are we about to leave our footprint and vanish?

Has anyone read this book?  Comments?

 

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25 September 2019 11:55
 

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/09/30/can-a-burger-help-solve-climate-change?

“The use of animals in food production is by far the most destructive technology on earth. We see our mission as the last chance to save the planet from environmental catastrophe.”

“Meat is essentially a huge check written against the depleted funds of our environment. Agriculture consumes more freshwater than any other human activity, and nearly a third of that water is devoted to raising livestock. One-third of the world’s arable land is used to grow feed for livestock, which are responsible for 14.5 per cent of global greenhouse-gas emissions. Razing forests to graze cattle—an area larger than South America has been cleared in the past quarter century—turns a carbon sink into a carbon spigot.”

“When the world’s one and a half billion beef and dairy cows ruminate, the microbes in their bathtub-size stomachs generate methane as a by-product. Because methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, some twenty-five times more heat-trapping than carbon dioxide, cattle are responsible for two-thirds of the livestock sector’s G.H.G. emissions. (In the popular imagination, the culprit is cow farts, but it’s mostly cow burps.) Steven Chu, a former Secretary of Energy who often gives talks on climate change, tells audiences that if cows were a country their emissions “would be greater than all of the E.U., and behind only China and America.” Every four pounds of beef you eat contributes to as much global warming as flying from New York to London—and the average American eats that much each month.”

 

[ Edited: 25 September 2019 12:00 by unsmoked]
 
 
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25 September 2019 19:59
 

Of course we’re doomed because our wants are greater than our needs.  The planet will be fine with us reduced to Stone Age tribes, and all this talk of doom mostly is aimed at us.  Few care about dying oceans or flooded coasts as long as they get their Starbuck’s coffee, and by the time Starbuck’s goes down it will be too late to save ourselves.

It sure has been a good time while it lasted.

 
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26 September 2019 09:52
 
Skipshot - 25 September 2019 07:59 PM

Of course we’re doomed because our wants are greater than our needs.  The planet will be fine with us reduced to Stone Age tribes, and all this talk of doom mostly is aimed at us.  Few care about dying oceans or flooded coasts as long as they get their Starbuck’s coffee, and by the time Starbuck’s goes down it will be too late to save ourselves.

It sure has been a good time while it lasted.

When you say few care . . . what does it mean when most people trash the home they are leaving for their grandchildren?  Do you mean they don’t care because they don’t know they are trashing it?  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/08/29/what-would-it-take-republicans-deal-with-climate-change/

quote from this article:

Climate change is here. Short of getting rid of the filibuster in the Senate, it will take both parties to agree to start legislating seriously on climate change, and so far that hasn’t happened. So will there ever be a tipping point when Republicans will get on board?

There are early signs that, yes, there will be. But maybe not in the near future.

Politico recently reported that a number of GOP lawmakers want to do something about it after years of letting Democrats dominate the issues and conversation, while the New York Times reported Republican strategists are worried the party could lose voters if it doesn’t turn around on this issue quickly.

But it seems that is still a long way off, too far off for science, which has found that major areas in the country are nearing the critical threshold of warming by 2 degrees Celsius.

I wonder how many of the 63 million who voted for Trump still agree with him that human-caused climate change is a hoax?

 
 
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26 September 2019 21:05
 
unsmoked - 26 September 2019 09:52 AM

I wonder how many of the 63 million who voted for Trump still agree with him that human-caused climate change is a hoax?

I’ll go out on a limb and say, all of them.  They trust their politicians more than science, and there is little hope for that sort.

 
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27 September 2019 12:09
 
Skipshot - 26 September 2019 09:05 PM
unsmoked - 26 September 2019 09:52 AM

I wonder how many of the 63 million who voted for Trump still agree with him that human-caused climate change is a hoax?

I’ll go out on a limb and say, all of them.  They trust their politicians more than science, and there is little hope for that sort.

If their own town is burned, flooded, destroyed by hurricane, wells run dry, or malaria comes north to their state, they’ll just say such things have always happened and burning fossil fuel isn’t causing it?

https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2019/09/24/scott-adams-message-for-children-on-climate-change/

Q:  What about Republicans 50 years from now when cause and effect of dumping megatons of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere and ocean is explained in grade-school textbooks?  Will they be like religious fundamentalists?  Their children will learn one thing at school and another thing at home?

 

 

 
 
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27 September 2019 23:58
 
unsmoked - 27 September 2019 12:09 PM
Skipshot - 26 September 2019 09:05 PM
unsmoked - 26 September 2019 09:52 AM

I wonder how many of the 63 million who voted for Trump still agree with him that human-caused climate change is a hoax?

I’ll go out on a limb and say, all of them.  They trust their politicians more than science, and there is little hope for that sort.

If their own town is burned, flooded, destroyed by hurricane, wells run dry, or malaria comes north to their state, they’ll just say such things have always happened and burning fossil fuel isn’t causing it?

https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2019/09/24/scott-adams-message-for-children-on-climate-change/

Q:  What about Republicans 50 years from now when cause and effect of dumping megatons of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere and ocean is explained in grade-school textbooks?  Will they be like religious fundamentalists?  Their children will learn one thing at school and another thing at home?

The easy answer to denial is to ask them to show their evidence for climate change.  They won’t because they can’t.