The Human Age

By Diane Ackerman,

Book cover of The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us

Book description

With her celebrated blend of scientific insight, clarity, and curiosity, Diane Ackerman explores our human capacity both for destruction and for invention as we shape the future of the planet Earth. Ackerman takes us to the mind-expanding frontiers of science, exploring the fact that the "natural" and the "human" now…

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Why read it?

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

Most books about the future are real bummers. Climate change, war, inequality... the problems seem insurmountable. This book helped me get past those feelings. Yes, we’ve royally screwed things up, but in lyrical prose Ackerman shows us that while it was our ingenuity that led us to screw up the environment, it’s also our ingenuity that can fix it, if we accept the challenge and responsibility. “We can become Earth-restorers,” she claims, “and Earth-guardians.” I like that. 

From Robert's list on optimistic view of the future.

The experience of reading this book is like being teleported from your everyday life ‘bubble’ into the multidimensional ways humans have changed - and are changing - every aspect of the natural world. This transformative experience leads to pondering what these human-oriented legacies might be, as “our impact is already measurable on the geological record.” For me, the value is observing the author’s talents in weaving together scientific evidence with poetic and speculative storytelling - a fascinating, challenging technique for non-fiction writers in this area to study. A book to read more than once, generating much-needed hopeful discussion and visions…

From Faye's list on social sustainability.

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