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The Unnatural World: The Race to Remake Civilization in Earth's Newest Age
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The Unnatural World: The Race to Remake Civilization in Earth's Newest Age

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The Unnatural World: The Race To Remake Civilization In Earth's Newest Age

With the historical perspective of The Song of the Dodo and the urgency of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, a brilliant young environmental journalist argues that we must innovate and adapt to save planet Earth. Civilization is in crisis, facing disasters of our own making on the only planet known to bear life in the vast void of the universe. We have become unwitting gardeners of the Earth, not in control, but setting the conditions under which all of life flourishes—or not. Truly, it’s survival of the innovators. The Unnatural World chronicles a disparate band of unlikely heroes: an effervescent mad scientist who would fertilize the seas; a pigeon obsessive bent on bringing back the extinct; a low-level government functionary in China doing his best to clean up his city, and more. These scientists, billionaires, and ordinary people are all working toward saving the best home humanity is ever likely to have. What is the threat? It is us. In a time when a species dies out every ten minutes, when summers are getting hotter, winters colder, and oceans higher, some people still deny mankind’s effect on the Earth. But all of our impacts on the planet have ushered in what qualifies as a new geologic epoch, thanks to global warming, mass extinction, and such technologies as nuclear weapons or plastics. The Unnatural World examines the world we have created and analyzes the glimmers of hope emerging from the efforts of incredible individuals seeking to change our future. Instead of a world without us, this history of the future shows how to become good gardeners, helping people thrive along with an abundance of plants, animals, all the exuberant profusion of life on Earth—a better world with us. The current era of humans need not be the end of the world—it’s just the end of the world as we know it.

Scribner

Scribner

David Biello

David Biello

No of Pages
304
Publisher
Scribner
ISBN-13
9781476743905
Awards
None
Book Format
Hardcover
Published Date
Nov 15, 2016

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Author InterviewInterview with David Biello 

Interview Date : Jan 3, 2017

Please sign up to listen entire interview of at least 45 min.

Interview Summary

Humans, undoubtedly the most invasive species to have inhabited the Earth, have been transforming the planet for thousands of years, not always by design. This transformative human force influences other co-existing living forms and long-term outcomes in ways that are often too hard to perceive.

In The Unnatural World, David Biello, a journalist and environment and energy editor at Scientific American, offers a balanced review of our ecological history, the effects of terraforming, and the challenges of the latest geological epoch, the Anthropocene. 

Key Topics

  • How humans have come to dominate the Earth and become a world-changing force?
  • What kinds of marks are humans making and how deep and pervasive these marks are?
  • Humanity’s new chapter in Earth’s history – in the rocks, chemistry of oceans, composition of air, and in the evolution of life.
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Table of Contents

The Overview 1
PART I: ALTER EARTH 9
Chapter 1: Iron Rules 11
Chapter 2: Written in Stone 39
PART II: TERRA INCOGNITA 67
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About David Biello

David Biello is an award-winning journalist who has been reporting on the environment and energy since 1999. He is currently an editor at Scientific American, where he has been a contributor since 2005, and he also contributes frequently to the Los Angeles Review of BooksYale e360Nautilus, and Aeon. Biello has been a guest on radio shows, such as WNYC’s The Takeaway, NHPR’s Word of Mouth, and PRI’s The World. He hosts the ongoing duPont-Columbia award-winning documentary Beyond the Light Switch for PBS. The Unnatural World is his first book.

 

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Testimonials

"Fascinating and wide-ranging, The Unnatural World offers an unflinching look at a planet increasingly under human control. Anyone who cares about the future will want to read it."

Elizabeth KolbertPulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

“Biello…makes an impassioned case for the proposed [Anthropocene] and describers both what we have done to alter our planet and what we should do in the future to ensure its habitability.”

Scientific American

“Leans toward the notion that the solution to our environmental challenges will come from technology, and in that sense it is most welcome.”

The Wall Street Journal
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