Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet by Bill McKibben (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2010)
Bill McKibben is one of the most well-known environmentalists in the United States. He is the author of a number of best-selling books, including The End of Nature, and the founder of climate change group 350.org. So even though this book is six years old now, it’s worth reading and even owning. The premise is that we no longer live on the planet we grew up on, Earth; instead it is a new planet, symbolized by the extra “a” in the name. After six years of “this year is the hottest year ever,” and the knowledge that we went over 400 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere a couple years back, this is not that radical an idea anymore. In this book McKibben makes the point that global warming is already happening, not something that we are doing to our grandchildren. He talks about how that realization led to him founding 350.org, and how we can learn to live on this “tough new planet.” We are going to need to localize our economies, get to know our neighbors, and live more sustainably; relying on endless economic growth and global trade is not going work in this new world.