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The Resource The unnatural world : the race to remake civilization in Earth's newest age, David Biello

The unnatural world : the race to remake civilization in Earth's newest age, David Biello

Label
The unnatural world : the race to remake civilization in Earth's newest age
Title
The unnatural world
Title remainder
the race to remake civilization in Earth's newest age
Statement of responsibility
David Biello
Title variation
unnatural world
Title variation remainder
the race to remake civilization in Earths newest age
Creator
Author
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
With the historical perspective of The Song of the Dodo and the urgency of Al Gore s An Inconvenient Truth, a brilliant young environmental journalist argues that we must innovate and adapt to save planet Earth. Civilization is in crisis, facing disasters of our own making on the only planet known to bear life in the vast void of the universe. We have become unwitting gardeners of the Earth, not in control, but setting the conditions under which all of life flourishes or not. Truly, it s survival of the innovators. The Unnatural World chronicles a disparate band of unlikely heroes: an effervescent mad scientist who would fertilize the seas; a pigeon obsessive bent on bringing back the extinct; a low-level government functionary in China doing his best to clean up his city, and more. These scientists, billionaires, and ordinary people are all working toward saving the best home humanity is ever likely to have. What is the threat? It is us. In a time when a species dies out every ten minutes, when summers are getting hotter, winters colder, and oceans higher, some people still deny mankind s effect on the Earth. But all of our impacts on the planet have ushered in what qualifies as a new geologic epoch, thanks to global warming, mass extinction, and such technologies as nuclear weapons or plastics. The Unnatural World examines the world we have created and analyzes the glimmers of hope emerging from the efforts of incredible individuals seeking to change our future. Instead of a world without us, this history of the future shows how to become good gardeners, helping people thrive along with an abundance of plants, animals, all the exuberant profusion of life on Earth a better world with us. The current era of humans need not be the end of the world it s just the end of the world as we know it."
Review
  • Like many before him, science journalist Biello explores the roots of the Anthropocene epoch, its global 
			consequences, and possible solutions. He articulates the common-sense position that if planetary degradation is to be stopped, humans must be a part of that action: “The threat is us, the solution is in us. It takes a grown-up, rational species to recognize we are not alone and to provide for the protection of others, who have less control.” Biello focuses on a number of individuals with big, largely technological, ideas to save humankind, including a scientist who wants to fertilize the ocean to increase the growth of phytoplankton and thus soak up massive amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. He also examines efforts in China to build “circular economies” where waste is transformed into assets and society moves toward carbon neutrality. Perhaps most importantly, Biello points out that it’s not necessary to wait for a grand technological fix: “If there is a simple solution to our present problems, it might be summed up as: Empower women with clean power.” Biello presents some interesting anecdotes and introduces some creative individuals, but his conclusion that only “relentless work” will make the world better is underwhelming. Agent: Ethan Bassoff, Lippincott Massie McQuilkin. (Nov.) --Staff (Reviewed 09/05/2016) (Publishers Weekly, vol 263, issue 36, p)
  • The effects of steadily increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere seem to be everywhere: rapidly shrinking glaciers, warmer and more acidic oceans, thawing permafrost, rising sea levels, and higher temperatures. Journalist Biello (Scientific American and other publications) examines the viability of technologies for reducing carbon dioxide levels. These "technofixes" include ocean fertilization to create plankton blooms that suck up carbon dioxide, energy sources that don't burn fossil fuels (solar, wind, nuclear power), biodigesters (mechanical stomachs) that convert organic material into usable gas, carbon capture and storage technologies, and electric cars. Biello also explores the environmental costs of China's tremendous economic expansion and efforts to reduce its use of coal. Surprisingly, for a science book, there are no in-text author citations. While some content is based on author interviews, other material includes facts and statistics that are not general knowledge. VERDICT Despite the lack of references, this thoughtful analysis of how we might move toward a more sustainable civilization is recommended for readers who enjoyed Elizabeth Kolbert's Field Notes from a Catastrophe and for anyone who follows the latest developments in climate geoengineering. --Cynthia Lee Knight (Reviewed 11/01/2016) (School Library Journal, vol 141, issue 18, p95)
  • /* Starred Review */ In his first book, Scientific American editor Biello argues that it is not a lack of money or technology that prevents our addressing environmental and societal ills but rather a lack of motivation.The author, who hosts the ongoing PBS documentary Beyond the Light Switch, believes we are writing a new chapter in the history of the Earth, much of it composed in ignorance. We are terraforming our own world without conscious design, exerting global influence without the exercise of global responsibility. The linchpin of his book is the Anthropocene, the idea of a geologic epoch in which humankind represents the world-changing force of nature for the first time. Biello's stance and sympathies are quite clear, but he thankfully avoids polemics. His approach is unusually balanced; he is keen to show that every coin has a second face, not least the face of hope vs. despair. As the author notes, we must mature as a species, ditch short-term thinking, and recognize that we are now influencing outcomes in ways we can't foresee. It is our fate—not just the planet's—that hangs in the balance. Biello advocates a fundamentally new perspective on where we live and how, assuring that we have the tools to address almost any challenge, if not yet the will. His book is also an expansive ecological “history” of past, present, and future. Exceptionally well-researched if occasionally repetitive, the book is crammed with astonishing facts and fascinating speculations. Biello examines the inefficiencies of our neo-fossil age, the nature and origins of the city, wildness (as opposed to “wilderness”), humanity's role in the pace of extinctions, the appalling lack of electricity and clean water in much of the world, a new space race, waste as the foundation of modern society, and varied concepts of geoengineering. In this well-written, significant book, Biello insists that humans, the world's most successful invasive species, have the ability to engage in planetary protection and human survival, but it will require wisdom, innovation, and restraint.(Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2016)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10541679
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Biello, David
Dewey number
304.2
Index
no index present
Literary form
non fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Human ecology
  • Nature and civilization
  • Global environmental change
  • Nature
  • Civilization, Modern
  • Civilization, Modern
  • Global environmental change
  • Human ecology
  • Nature and civilization
  • Nature
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
the race to remake civilization in Earth's newest age
Label
The unnatural world : the race to remake civilization in Earth's newest age, David Biello
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1650956
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
294 pages
Isbn
9781476743905
Lccn
2016018491
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781476743905
  • (OCoLC)953258110
Label
The unnatural world : the race to remake civilization in Earth's newest age, David Biello
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1650956
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
294 pages
Isbn
9781476743905
Lccn
2016018491
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781476743905
  • (OCoLC)953258110

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