Book jacket cover of The Uninhabitable EarthMost of us have heard some of the big stats: 18 of the 19 warmest years on record have come since the year 2000. This past week’s CO2 measurement at Mauna Loa at 415 parts per million is the highest such reading in at least 800,000 years (and possibly as much as 3 million years). An article in  National Geographic described the Greenland ice melt, noting “between 2002 and 2016, Greenland lost approximately 280 billion tons of ice per year. This average annual ice melt is enough to cover the entire states of Florida and New York hip deep in meltwater, as well as drowning Washington, D.C. and one or two other small states.” And of course there’s far more ice in Antarctica than Greenland – and it’s starting to melt rapidly too. But as grim as the sea level rise numbers are, David Wallace-Wells points out that what climate change will bring “…is worse, much worse, than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible. In California, wildfires now rage year-round, destroying thousands of homes. Across the US, “500-year” storms pummel communities month after month, and floods displace tens of millions annually. This is only a preview of the changes to come. And they are coming fast. Without a revolution in how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth could become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century. In his travelogue of our near future, David Wallace-Wells brings into stark relief the climate troubles that await–food shortages, refugee emergencies, and other crises that will reshape the globe. But the world will be remade by warming in more profound ways as well, transforming our politics, our culture, our relationship to technology, and our sense of history. It will be all-encompassing, shaping and distorting nearly every aspect of human life as it is lived today. Like An Inconvenient Truth and Silent Spring before it, The Uninhabitable Earth is both a meditation on the devastation we have brought upon ourselves and an impassioned call to action. For just as the world was brought to the brink of catastrophe within the span of a lifetime, the responsibility to avoid it now belongs to a single generation.” This is not a lengthy or technical book, but it is emotionally difficult to read. Despite that, I believe this is an incredibly important book that should be widely read. I’m glad I did.