It’s a direct, attention-grabbing sprint through what we’ve done to the planet and ourselves, why we haven’t stopped it and what we can do about it. Determined to keep the words 'climate change' from fading into our 'mental furniture,' 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 ... Reading this accrual of effects is like stepping back from a painting’s abstract swirl and seeing a fully formed world ... After instilling sufficient terror, McKibben cycles briskly through the intersecting forces that lie behind decades of inaction ... Despite the book’s bleakness, its most stirring takeaway is perhaps McKibben’s soulful insistence that choices remain.
... 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.