McKibben stepped in precisely because of this view of nature. He recognizes that human beings value themselves and their interests primarily and that these values will likely win out.
By controversially overstating, McKibben challenges his readers to challenge his arguments, and wins them over when they arrive at the same conclusion on their own. An average global temperature of 57 degrees Fahrenheit educated our decisions when choosing "the places we built our cities, all the crops we learned to grow and eat, all the water supplies we learned to depend on, even the passage of the seasons that, at higher latitudes, set our psychological calendars" 1.
Well, as you can guess from the title, it is not a hopeful little book about what you can do to contribute to saving the planet; it is, rather, a story documenting everything that happened because, having been I read parts of this book in when it came out, excerpted in various liberal and environmental journals and in the NY Times.
Even those with a very good understanding of environmental problems will be fascinated by the first three chapters. More than simply a handbook for survival or a doomsday catalog of scientific prediction, this classic, soulful lament on Nature is required reading for nature enthusiasts, activists, and concerned citizens alike.
How much of a difference does 37 extra ppm CO2 or a temperature increase of a few degrees really make? This is a newer edition of the book, produced 17 years later in 20o6, with a new preface to say things had--ten years ago now--only gotten worse, of course.
Yet the work of a single individual like Bill McKibben can have a major impact on the world if his work has the right style. From the end of nature bill mckibben essay air, the water, trees, land, and oceans all have become increasingly subject to environmental degradation to the point that they have lost their natural resiliency.
On the other hand, there is the camp that believes that the environment must always come first, as the economy simply cannot exist without it. McKibben means the end of nature as a force independent of man.
Concern is the keyword for McKibben, because his place in the canon is not the theoretical place of Thoreau or Emerson or the romantic place of Leopold or Dillard.
He presents problems on a human level, measuring the biosphere in units of the distance to his mailbox, and lists possible consequences of environmental degradation ranging from floods and famine down to worsening asthma and hay fever. Well, as you can guess from the title, it is not a hopeful little book about what you can do to contribute to saving the planet; it is, rather, a story documenting everything that happened because, having been warned of the coming environmental crisis already in the seventies, we did almost nothing over twenty years to respond to what scientists continue to scream about.
Where Emerson described nature as "always consistent"McKibben noted that "it is this very predictability that has allowed most of us in the Western world to forget about nature, or to assign it a new role-as a place for withdrawing from the cares of the human world" End For these economic realists, who do accept that anthropogenic human induced global warming is happening, their answer is that technology will allow us to easily adapt.
For McKibben, if his ideas become suspect, it forces his readership to consider the idea for themselves. In fact, its simplicity and fundamentality make it all the more intimidating. After seeing the change from a single degree increase, an additional five degrees is terrifying.
It heightens the sense of urgency because his prescription is scientific fact. Bill McKibben, a Harvard graduate and ex-New Yorker staff writer, may eventually be known as the man who saved nature by warning the world of its imminent demise.
In the passage, McKibben explains the theories of "many scientists, even among those committed to the greenhouse theory," who "believe that the warming signal is not yet evident" During the period when man feared nature, the key question used to measure whether man was a part of nature was can nature harm man?
McKibben tries to give a sense of the magnitude of the risk we take as we fiddle with the controls of "spaceship Earth" an expression McKibben uses and an idea whose implications he should have discussed.
Green house gases and the Ozone layer are just bull hockey the liberals have made up. With the loss of the health of the natural environment, McKibben argues, humans will be forced to manage the entire planet as an artificial environment—as a convalescing patient whose health must be constantly monitored.
McKibben shows how tightly bound up the destruction of the planet is in our lives. Unspoiled nature is our Eden, our genesis, our point of departure. According to Bill McKibben, true nature, which was independent of human influence, has been replaced by an artificial nature in whose processes human beings play a part.
Along with the loss of the last remnants of pristine natural environment, McKibben suggests, we are losing our idea of nature, so that we can no longer appreciate the value of an unspoiled natural environment.
Western man has traditionally viewed the natural world as a collection of natural resources to be developed—as sources of food, habitat, and raw materials—or as an adversary to be conquered rather than as a sacred, nurturing habitat in which humans take their place alongside other forms of life.
But I will read one more McKibben book in search of any hope to report here. To the honest environmentalist, this really means a reduction in living standards as we use less energy.
They excoriated him for this book and everything he has written since. Surrounded by a monotonous, artificial landscape of urban sprawl, we feel the need for pristine nature, untouched by human presence.
Mid "review" rant alert:Oct 16, · In The End of Nature, Bill McKibben, a young nature writer from the Adirondack region of New York, laments the loss of a pristine natural world untouched by human hands and capable of sustaining. The title of Bill McKibben’s latest book, Eaarth, sounds like the last cry of someone falling off a cliff.
McKibben has been writing about Climate Change since he published The End of Nature 20 years ago, always mixing a prophetic pessimism about the magnitude of the danger with an activist’s optimism about how disaster could be avoided.
THE MESSAGE OF The End of Nature justifies its ominous title: According to Bill McKibben, true nature, which was independent of human influence, has been replaced by an artificial nature in whose processes human beings play a part.
"By the end of nature Mr. McKibben means the end of nature as a force independent of man for a man preaching apocalypse, he speaks in a measured and civilized voice that deserves hearing." —New York Times Book Review "Bill McKibben's subject is the end of nature itself, which he claims humans have brought about.
Bill McKibben, a Harvard graduate and ex-New Yorker staff writer, may eventually be known as the man who saved nature by warning the world of its imminent demise.
The Bill McKibben Reader. Powerful, impassioned essays on living and being in the world, from the bestselling author of The End of Nature and Deep Economy. For a generation, Bill McKibben has been among America’s most impassioned and beloved writers on our relationship to our world and our environment.Download