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Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?

av Bill McKibben

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
278995,106 (4.05)9
Thirty years ago Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about climate change. Now he broadens the warning: the entire human game, he suggests, has begun to play itself out. Bill McKibben's groundbreaking bookThe End of Nature --issued in dozens of languages and long regarded as a classic -- was the first book to alert us to global warming. But the danger is broader than that: even as climate change shrinks the space where our civilization can exist, new technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics threaten to bleach away the variety of human experience. Faltertells the story of these converging trends and of the ideological fervor that keeps us from bringing them under control. And then, drawing on McKibben's experience in building 350.org, the first truly global citizens movement to combat climate change, it offers some possible ways out of the trap. We're at a bleak moment in human history -- and we'll either confront that bleakness or watch the civilization our forebears built slip away. Falter is a powerful and sobering call to arms, to save not only our planet but also our humanity.… (mer)
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Easy-to-read, full of witty moments, and full of SOME information, I enjoyed reading this book, especially the weird science stuff. There're parts about billionaires wanting to freeze their bodies, other billionaires who can't wait for nanotechnology and gene-tweaking, so they can live forever. Also, infuriatingly: there's the Princeton professor, Lee Silver, who runs GenePeeks, who unashamedly says "all aspects of the economy, the media, the entertainment industry, and the knowledge industry will be controlled by members of the GenRich class." Meanwhile, "Naturals" will work "as low - paid service providers or laborers." p. 153 He's referring to the class of Humans that will be gene-edited as embryos, into super humans. As to all the money being put into AI and robotics, that will eventually take away most jobs, Tyler Cowen, "America's hottest economist" (Business Newsweek) and proprietor of the country's most widely read economics blog, had some advice for young people: develop a skill that can't be automated, and that can be sold to the remaining high earners: be a maid, a personal trainer, a private tutor, a classy sex worker. p.155. But here's the surprising thing about this book about human's causing so much damage and pollution to the planet that we may not be around much longer: this author did not bring up more than two sentences about animal agriculture, what some estimate as being responsible for 65% of climate abuse and change. "We also need to eat lower on the food chain..." p.211. "...just as raising cows and cutting forests contribute to climate damage alongside power plants." p.216 That's it. So either Mckibben is a "meat" eater who recognizes he is a hypocrite, or he's been threatened by BigBoys in animal agriculture.

Also, Alex Steffen, an environmental writer, coined the term 'predatory delay,' "the blocking or slowing of needed change, in order to make money off unsustainable, unjust systems in the meantime" p.79.

Libertarian money is responsible for a huge amount of destruction to the planet. The Koch brothers wanted no regulations standing in the way of them making obscene amounts of money from oil. [Libertarians'] "emotional core, channeled perfectly by [Ayn] Rand, is simple: government is bad. Selfishness is good. Watch out for yourself. Solidarity is a trap. Taxes are theft. You're not the boss of me." p.91

Are you pissed off yet? I'm sorry, my children. ( )
  burritapal | Oct 23, 2022 |
I am so late in discovering Bill McKibben, given that his 1990 book, End of Nature, apparently alerted us to everything that we now know to be a) true and b) happening right now. Thirty wasted years later, Falter (Wildfire), gives explanations of how we got to where we are, how catastrophic that could be if unchecked – or even if we do not act decisively or soon enough – and how the tipping point is right now. McKibben writes brilliantly on this most important topic of them all with the confidence of wisdom and researched knowledge of the subject, while still making it clear that we need to act, and change dramatically, right now. He also does this without a preachy anger that lacks the pragmatism possibly needed to get the majority of people onside. It covers morality, politics, business, and the reasons why it is so difficult for the narrow-minded, short term, tiny number of those with their hands on the controls to do what is necessary. Bill McKibben has been called ‘the Michael Jordan of climate change activism’, and Naomi Klein describes this book as “'a love letter, a plea, a eulogy, and a prayer”. I would add that it’s a set text that we should all subscribe to. ( )
  davidroche | Nov 25, 2021 |
I’ve been a fan of Bill McKibben for many years, for almost the entire thirty years that he’s been warning us all about the dangers of climate change. So many more people are aware of the threat nowadays, but the learning curve appears to have such a lag time that the world will never be the same ever again. The book is not all doom and gloom, as there is a question mark at the end of it’s subtitle Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? He does offer some hope with the suggestions he offers, but we don’t have the option of filing all this away and doing something about it later, when we can get around to it. McKibben built his 350.org organization with hopes of organizing efforts to bring people together around some ways to proceed, but nothing is a long-term effort to change things, as we have wasted all the time we had for the long term. Changes need to be in the short term and there is no going back to the old ways—if we are serious.

The text on the book’s jacket states it well. “We’re at a bleak moment in human history—and we’ll either confront that bleakness or watch the civilization our forbears built slip away.
Falter is a powerful and sobering call to arms, to save not only our planet but also our humanity.” ( )
1 rösta jphamilton | Jun 14, 2021 |
The world is screwed. I dont think I'll be around to see it, but it sure does NOT look like this is going to end well. So many things are broken. ( )
  bermandog | Apr 10, 2021 |
Bill McKibben is one of the most active and important environmentalists of our time. His End of Nature, written in the late 1980s, was one of the first and most successful attempts to explain climate change to a popular audience. Falter is a little bit of a different kind of book. Falter is polemic that ponders if humankind is on the verge of a catastrophe that is largely of its own making. Falter is divided into four sections focusing each on climate change, maldistribution of wealth (not only within societies, but globally), the rise of computers (including Artificial Intelligence and genetic modification, which are fundamentally changing the human species), and proposed solutions. ( )
1 rösta gregdehler | Dec 7, 2019 |
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Thirty years ago Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about climate change. Now he broadens the warning: the entire human game, he suggests, has begun to play itself out. Bill McKibben's groundbreaking bookThe End of Nature --issued in dozens of languages and long regarded as a classic -- was the first book to alert us to global warming. But the danger is broader than that: even as climate change shrinks the space where our civilization can exist, new technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics threaten to bleach away the variety of human experience. Faltertells the story of these converging trends and of the ideological fervor that keeps us from bringing them under control. And then, drawing on McKibben's experience in building 350.org, the first truly global citizens movement to combat climate change, it offers some possible ways out of the trap. We're at a bleak moment in human history -- and we'll either confront that bleakness or watch the civilization our forebears built slip away. Falter is a powerful and sobering call to arms, to save not only our planet but also our humanity.

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