Thursday, June 12, 2008

Book Review: The End of Nature by Bill McKibben

The End of Nature, by Bill McKibben, is a book about environmental issues, largely revolving around global warming and climate change. Here the author tries to explain why man has now changed every corner of the earth through his negligence in altering the climate and in the first few chapters he makes some interesting philosophical points that the reader may agree with or not; the point about how man has created a new type of nature in creating a climate which has been altered is thought provoking.

This new, updated version contains an interesting introduction by the author where he comments on how many of the predictions of climatologists have now come true and how we now live in the age of global warming - it is no longer something that could happen but something that is happening now. However, after the introduction and first few chapters the author rather labours his point, which is actually a fairly simple and easy-to-understand one.

After a rather lengthy introduction of the themes one approaches the middle of this book and the reader begins to wonder if it is going anywhere other than around in circles and constant references to American explorers doesn't make it any easier to get into for those outside of North America.

It took me three attempts to get through The End of Nature, and rather surprisingly, the final chapters contain some interesting information on the politics of climate change, but after so much padding and rehashing of the same argument these final chapters come as a relief rather than a strong ending to the point being made.

I would recommend that students of conservation dip into the first 3 or 4 chapters of End of Nature but anybody else should read one of the many other far more interesting books on the subject.

Score: 4/10

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