In his latest warmly engaging yet exacting chronicle of the damage caused by our reliance on fossil fuels, he exposes in appalling detail the lies and cover-ups orchestrated by carbon-industry executives and the political dominance of reckless billionaires who betray 'basic human solidarity.' In contrast, he documents the promise of solar energy. At his most provocative, McKibben shares unnerving concerns about helter-skelter, potentially ruinous deployments of artificial intelligence and the advent of bioengineered humans. Ultimately, his primary focus in this deeply caring, eloquently reasoned inquiry into environmental and techno-utopian threats is on how we are imperiling the 'human game'—that is, 'the entirety of our ceaseless activity' as individuals and societies. Profoundly compelling and enlightening, McKibben balances alarm with hope as he celebrates the climate-change resistance movement and 'the human love that works to feed the hungry . . . that comes together in defense of sea turtles and sea ice, and of all else around us that is good.
... combines fear of bad outcomes with hope for good outcomes ... McKibben’s book is much more about grounds for fear, which take up some 18 chapters, than about grounds for hope, which take up five. Fear will motivate some people who are currently undecided, and increase the motivation of others already convinced. But in my experience most people need a strong dose of hope to be spurred to action. Why waste effort on a hopeless cause? ... In fact, there are reasons for hope besides those McKibben discusses ... It will take many different voices to persuade the world’s diverse citizens and corporations to collaborate on solving the world’s biggest problems. McKibben’s voice has been an influential one. My hope is that his new book will strengthen the motivation of those already sympathetic to his views. My fear is that it won’t convince many who remain hostile to them. I hope that my first prediction proves right, and that my second proves wrong.
Three decades after bringing news of climate change to a broad audience with the book The End of Nature, environmental scholar McKibben once again examines the impact of global warming in 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.