Read as part of CBR 11: Science
David Wallace-Wells wants us to avoid the trap of fatalism when it comes to climate change. Fatalism is a form of denialism. I get that. I appreciate it.
But man, it’s tough to come away from reading this book feeling anything but pessimistic about the future at best and nihilistic at worse.
This book is divided into two sections: the potential scientific effects in the near future due to global warming, and how we process that ethically, politically, culturally, etc. Section one is far more effective than two. I’m a layman when it comes to science so it helped break it down for me in terms that were detailed but not too much so. And it is a tough read. A grueling read. One that requires endurance. But it’s important to me. We’re facing the greatest existential threat to humanity in centuries and I have been willfully ignorant for too long. This served to inform me. And it will help you if you are in similar circumstances and want more understanding of the threat we are dealing with.
Again, part two sort of hits and misses. I feel like a lot of what Wallace-Wells presented there could have been condensed into an essay. But that doesn’t deter from the importance of the first part. I think it’s important to engage with what’s happening and what’s likely to happen. This book is a great gateway into doing so. The world is going to change, we don’t know how much. But we can still make a difference if we educate ourselves, advocate and vote.