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  • The Heat Will Kill You First

  • Life and Death on a Scorched Planet
  • By: Jeff Goodell
  • Narrated by: L. J. Ganser
  • Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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The Heat Will Kill You First

By: Jeff Goodell
Narrated by: L. J. Ganser
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Publisher's Summary

Most Anticipated by The Washington PostNew York Times bestselling journalist's "masterful, bracing" (David Wallace-Wells) investigation exposes "through stellar reporting, artful storytelling and fascinating scientific explanations" (Naomi Klein) an explosive new understanding of heat and the impact that rising temperatures will have on our lives and on our planet. "Entertaining and thoroughly researched," (Al Gore), it will completely change the way you see the world, and despite its urgent themes, is injected with "eternal optimism" (Michael Mann) on how to combat one of the most important issues of our time.

“When heat comes, it’s invisible. It doesn’t bend tree branches or blow hair across your face to let you know it’s arrived…. The sun feels like the barrel of a gun pointed at you.”

The world is waking up to a new reality: wildfires are now seasonal in California, the Northeast is getting less and less snow each winter, and the ice sheets in the Arctic and Antarctica are melting fast. Heat is the first order threat that drives all other impacts of the climate crisis. And as the temperature rises, it is revealing fault lines in our governments, our politics, our economy, and our values. The basic science is not complicated: Stop burning fossil fuels tomorrow, and the global temperature will stop rising tomorrow. Stop burning fossil fuels in 50 years, and the temperature will keep rising for 50 years, making parts of our planet virtually uninhabitable. It’s up to us. The hotter it gets, the deeper and wider our fault lines will open.

The Heat Will Kill You First is about the extreme ways in which our planet is already changing. It is about why spring is coming a few weeks earlier and fall is coming a few weeks later and the impact that will have on everything from our food supply to disease outbreaks. It is about what will happen to our lives and our communities when typical summer days in Chicago or Boston go from 90° F to 110°F. A heatwave, Goodell explains, is a predatory event—one that culls out the most vulnerable people. But that is changing. As heatwaves become more intense and more common, they will become more democratic.

As an award-winning journalist who has been at the forefront of environmental journalism for decades, Goodell’s new book may be his most provocative yet, explaining how extreme heat will dramatically change the world as we know it. Masterfully reported, mixing the latest scientific insight with on-the-ground storytelling, Jeff Goodell tackles the big questions and uncovers how extreme heat is a force beyond anything we have reckoned with before.

©2023 Jeff Goodell (P)2023 Little, Brown & Company

Critic Reviews

"The climate crisis brings no greater threat than the prospect of deadly extreme heat. In The Heat Will Kill You First, Jeff Goodell brings a mix of fantastic storytelling, lucid science communication, and eternal optimism in detailing the profound threat we face with the climate crisis and what we can still do about it.”—Michael Mann, Presidential Distinguished Professor, University of Pennsylvania and author of The New Climate War

“It is already a new world, hotter than ever before in human history and getting rapidly hotter still. The Heat Will Kill You First is a masterful, bracing, vivid portrait of the future we now know will be shaped, like clay, by that heat—a godlike force, as Goodell writes, governing all life conducted under its profound and brutal reign.”—David Wallace-Wells, author of The New York Times bestselling The Uninhabitable Earth

“This is a scary book. It humanizes global warming by telling amazing stories of individuals already affected by it, making very clear the danger we are putting ourselves in. We all have a cognitive map in our head that includes a near future, which is sketchier than our map of the present, being made of our hopes and fears. This book will sharpen that sketch in electrifying ways. You won’t see the world the same way after reading it.”—Kim Stanley Robinson, New York Times bestselling author of The High Sierra and The Ministry for the Future

What listeners say about The Heat Will Kill You First

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A horrifying slap in the face, yet essential reading

Among the sea of books out there on the existential threat we face, this one stands out. Unfortunately, the people who most need to read and comprehend this will be the ones who refuse to even open the cover. It may be grim, but with books like this at least we can have some solidarity with each other as we all burn up.

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An evocative, if somewhat frightening, read

Comprehensively researched, Jeff resists the urge to beat readers over the head with two much data. Instead, he skillfully uses narratives to make his points feel vivid and personal. He is an excellent author, with a flair for succinct writing that captures his subjects and locations, which makes the book captivating to listen to while dealing with with an increasingly urgent subject. Some of the practical advice in regard to dealing with heat and its effects may also be personally relevant to readers, especially if their lifestyle or location already puts them at risk of the effects of high heat.
Definitely worth listening to.

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