THE END OF NATURE by Bill McKibben
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We have built a greenhouse, a human creation, where once there bloomed a sweet and wild garden."" In a clear, sad, powerful first book, New Yorker writer McKibben describes how we have irrevocably altered nat ure by spewing carbon dioxide and other heat-retaining gases into the air--it is no longer the wild force, no longer God. ""The air around us, even where it is clean, and smells like spring, and is filled with birds, is different, significantly changed."" McKibben takes us through the steps of industrial civilization, describing how we have already forced enough carbon dioxide, methane, and other gases into the atmosphere to guarantee a three- to nine-degree increase in global temperature in coming decades. And that estimate could be far too low. Dropping in well-chosen bits from history, Methodist hymns, and E.B. White, McKibben tries mightily to convey to a media-jaded reader what this means--not just what it means for crops and the compounding damage to the planet, but what it means morally. We have ended nature, he says, and our mindless consumption of fossil fuels is pushing us into an unknown that will probably include genetic engineering, e.g., headless chickens and beef chops growing on one long spine. McKibben urges us to see the horror of life beyond nature, ending with a call for a new humility that would allow us to help bring it back. An extraordinary, eye-opening plea, as important--and as likely to have as great an impact--as Silent Spring or The Fate of the Earth.

Pub Date: Sept. 29th, 1989
ISBN: 0812976088
Publisher: Random House