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Publisher's Summary

Light of the Stars is science at the grandest of scales, and it tells a radically new story about what we are: one world in a universe awash in planets. Building on his widely discussed scientific papers and New York Times op-eds, astrophysicist Adam Frank shows that not only is it likely that alien civilizations have existed many times before, but also that many of them have driven their own worlds into dangerous eras of change. 

He explains how dust storms on Mars, the greenhouse effect on Venus, Gaia Theory, the threat of nuclear winter, and efforts to prove or disprove the plurality of worlds from Aristotle to Copernicus to Carl Sagan have contributed to our understanding of our place in the universe and the growing challenge of climate change. And he raises what may be the largest question of all: If there has been life on other worlds, what can its presence tell us about our own fate?

©2018 Adam Frank (P)2018 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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  • karl
  • 27-06-2018

Nice take

This book makes you think by putting pen to paper and working out some scenarios for our coevolution with our planet. This part was naturally a little dry listening. I’m an engineer so I enjoyed the nuts and bolts. Performance was good.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • The Saint
  • 18-07-2018

A New Look into the Fermi (SETI) Paradox

Light of the Stars casts a new light on the puzzle that is the Fermi Paradox; if extra-terrestrial life is likely so common, why do we find no evidence of it? The careful analysis demonstrates that we may be coming up upon an evolutionary choke point common to advanced technological societies spread over entire planets. It reaches beyond the choices playing out today, as for instance in the substitution of renewables for fossil fuels, to suggest that it is the planet-spanning thermodynamic activity of the entire civilization as part of a larger biosphere which drives the planet to states which are either stable or unstable. In that case, it is less the energy source used in the activity and more the nature and quantum of the activity itself over which we must exert agency if we are to see a way past the thermodynamic choke point. The book stops a chapter or two short of direct confrontation with the Paradox - if there is no evidence of alien civilization, does that imply that the choke point is an unavoidable cul de sac which no civilization has overcome? Hoping that we might be the first is surely faint hope indeed! J. A. (Canada) for WildDogs Foundation - wilddogsfoundation@gmail.com

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Zach
  • 17-08-2018

Should be read by everyone.

What an inspiring book! Instead of going with a doom and gloom perspective on a changing climate, Adam Frank dives into the facts with a realistic view outside of the normal human perspective. If we are going to have a chance at a thriving civilization deep into the future, more people need this kind of view point. Recommended to everyone.

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  • Stash
  • 11-07-2018

One of the best books I’ve listen to, maybe ever

This was a fascinating story in a great way to reposition the human race with regard to climate change. If you look at who we are in the grand scheme of the planets we become less of a scorch on the planet dragging it down and more of a quart of force. It’s up to us to listen to her counterpart earth figure out how to code test. I really really enjoyed this book.

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  • Staceghost
  • 21-06-2018

Want to understand science headlines? Start here!

This book is very, very approachable for the lay person, and goes in depth into the history and development of planetary discovery technology which has recently revealed a cosmos lousy with planets! Never dry, this book will keep your attention and change what you see when you look up.

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  • John
  • 22-07-2018

Embarrassing.

How can you write a book about exo biology or exo planets when you can't get The Drake Equation correct.

It is not......
N = N* Fp Np Fl Fi Fc L
It is ......
N = R* Fp Ne FL Fi Fc L

This should be fundamental knowledge for an astrophysicist writing a book about life beyond earth.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • 09-08-2018

Essential reading go anyone concerned with the future of mankind

This timely book, not too long, not too short, not too highbrow not too lowbrow, brings together the latest work on the effects that advanced civilisations have on their home planets. It paints a necessarily honest picture of what we need to do to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Every world leader should read and digest this book.

I only have one small comment on the narrator. I’ve given Kevin Parisesu 5 stars for his work. His voice is very clear and easy on the ear but for an English listener the American pronunciation can be a little confusing sometimes.
It took me a little while to realise that what I took to be the word error was in fact era.
There are other examples but please don’t let that stop you listening to this very important work.