Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse

Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse

Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse

Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse

Synopsis

"The real fault line in American politics is not between liberals and conservatives.... It is, rather, in how we orient ourselves to the generations to come who will bear the consequences, for better and for worse, of our actions."So writes David Orr in Down to the Wire, a sober and eloquent assessment of climate destabilization and an urgent call to action. Orr describes how political negligence, an economy based on the insatiable consumption of trivial goods, and a disdain for the well-being of future generations havebrought us to the tipping point that biologist Edward O. Wilson calls "the bottleneck." Due to our refusal to live within natural limits, we now face a long emergency of rising temperatures, rising sea-levels, and a host of other related problems that will increasingly undermine human civilization.Climate destabilization to which we are already committed will change everything, and to those betting on quick technological fixes or minor adjustments to the way we live now, Down to the Wire is a major wake-up call. But this is not a doomsday book. Orr offers a wide range of pragmatic,far-reaching proposals--some of which have already been adopted by the Obama administration--for how we might reconnect public policy with rigorous science, bring our economy into alignment with ecological realities, and begin to regard ourselves as planetary trustees for future generations. Heoffers inspiring real-life examples, as well, of people already responding to the major threat to our future. An exacting analysis of where we are in terms of climate change, how we got here, and what we must now do Down to the Wire is essential reading for those wanting to join in the Great Work of our generation.

Excerpt

The ongoing disruption of the Earth’s climate by man-made green
house gases is already well beyond dangerous and is careening toward
completely unmanageable
.

—John Holdren

ALL OF US BREATHE FROM THE SAME ATMOSPHERE, DRINK the same waters, and are fed from the land. All of us depend, more than we can know, on the stability of the same biogeochemical cycles, including the movement of carbon from plants to the atmosphere, oceans, soils, and living creatures. All of us are vulnerable to the remorseless workings of the large numbers that govern Earth systems. All of us are stitched to a common fabric of life, kin to all other life forms. All of us are products of the same evolutionary forces and carry the marks of our long journey in time. Each of us is a small part of a common story that began three billion years ago. We are all made of stuff that was once part of stars, and we will all become dust to be remade someday into other life forms. As persons, we are visitors on the Earth for only a brief . . .

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