The End of Nature

By Bill McKibben,

Book cover of The End of Nature

Book description

One of the earliest warnings about climate change and one of environmentalism's lodestars

'Nature, we believe, takes forever. It moves with infinite slowness,' begins the first book to bring climate change to public attention.

Interweaving lyrical observations from his life in the Adirondack Mountains with insights from the emerging science,…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The End of Nature as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

McKibben is an American journalist, researcher, and founder of the environmental organization 350.org. His End of Nature is one of the first trade books to address climate change. Written in clear, accessible language, McKibben argues that nature has been thoroughly subjected to human forces that forever undermine traditional views of an environment set apart, pristine and original, from the things we have done to it. The biggest thing we’ve done is increase the average temperature above industrial norms, and this book is a classic framing of this issue. 

McKibben started covering climate change for the New Yorker in the late 1980s. The title of his 1989 The End of Nature encompasses the idea that if we were to finish what we started with greenhouse gasses, nothing would be “natural” anymore. McKibben considered the subject so important that he has continued to speak and organize about it ever since. This book reminds us that we knew enough three decades ago to act. The ensuing delay was a deeply cynical and ultimately fatal mix of propaganda designed to give the impression that climate change was scientifically questionable or controversial, produced…

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