New Point of Inquiry: Bill McKibben on Our Strange New Eaarth

By Chris Mooney | June 18, 2010 4:38 pm

eaarth-200The latest episode of Point of Inquiry just went up, with Bill McKibben, the author most recently of Eaarth: Making Life on a Tough New Planet, a truly intense read (as I say on the show). You can download it here, and stream it here. Here’s the show’s description:

Global warming, we’re often told, is an issue we must address for the sake of our grandchildren. We need to cut carbon because of our moral obligation to future generations.

But according to Bill McKibben, that’s a 1980s view. As McKibben writes in his new book Eaarth: Making Life on a Tough New Planet, the increasingly open secret is that global warming happened already. We’ve passed the threshold, and the planet isn’t at all the same. It’s less climatically stable. Its weather is haywire. It has less ice, more drought, higher seas, heavier storms. It even appears different from space.

And that’s just the beginning of the earth-shattering changes in store—a small sampling of what it’s like to trade a familiar planet (Earth) for one that’s new and strange (Eaarth). We’ll survive on this sci-fi world, this terra incognita—but we may not like it very much. And we may have to change some fundamental habits along the way.

Eaarth, argues McKibben, is our greatest failure.

Once again, you can download the show here, and stream it here. And you can buy Bill McKibben’s Eaarth here, if you haven’t already…

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About Chris Mooney

Chris is a science and political journalist and commentator and the author of three books, including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science--dubbed "a landmark in contemporary political reporting" by Salon.com and a "well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists" by Scientific American--Storm World, and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. They also write "The Intersection" blog together for Discover blogs. For a longer bio and contact information, see here.

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