Today's post is in response to people asking me about climate change and what it means for the earth. A great book on this topic that was published this year and has received excellent reviews by the NY Times, scientists, and others is The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming. Written by David Wallace-Wells and published by Tim Duggan Books in 2019. David Wallace-Wells is a columnist and deputy editor of New York magazine, and a national fellow at the New America foundation.
This book is a wake-up call about the dangers of not responding (or not responding enough) to the climate change crisis and what will happen if we don't treat it as an emergency, which it is. The book's first sentence is: "It is worse, much worse, than you think." And then he lays it out for us in detail - the horrors that will happen if we do nothing, or not enough. Descriptions of what we can realistically expect within a few years or decades from climate change and global warming. And yes, there are many scientific references listed - over 200.
Two years ago David Wallace-Wells published an article in New York magazine abut this same topic titled: The Uninhabitable Earth Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think. The article went viral, was discussed extensively, and got many people talking about climate change as a "climate emergency" or a "climate change crisis".
"Indeed, absent a significant adjustment to how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth will likely become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century."
At the beginning of the article is a link to an annotated version of the article, with a full discussion of references and scientists adding their comments to the article.
Both the article and book are absolutely, totally worth reading. Just be warned: it will not be easy reading because the consequences of not doing enough, or of ignoring the problem, are so bad for the world and all of us.
NY Times review about the book: Two New Books Dramatically Capture the Climate Change Crisis