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The Uninhabitable Earth

A Story of the Future
Narrated by: David Wallace-Wells
Length: 8 hrs and 33 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Environment
4.5 out of 5 stars (139 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

It is worse, much worse, than you think. 

The slowness of climate change is a fairy tale, perhaps as pernicious as the one that says it isn't happening at all, and if your anxiety about it is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible, even within the lifetime of a teenager today. 

Over the past decades, the term 'Anthropocene' has climbed into the popular imagination - a name given to the geologic era we live in now, one defined by human intervention in the life of the planet. But however sanguine you might be about the proposition that we have ravaged the natural world, which we surely have, it is another thing entirely to consider the possibility that we have only provoked it, engineering first in ignorance and then in denial a climate system that will now go to war with us for many centuries, perhaps until it destroys us. In the meantime, it will remake us, transforming every aspect of the way we live - the planet no longer nurturing a dream of abundance but a living nightmare.

Written and read by David Wallace-Wells, The Uninhabitable Earth is a powerful examination of the world we find ourselves in. 

©2019 David Wallace-Wells (P)2019 Penguin Books Ltd

What listeners say about The Uninhabitable Earth

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The most important book of this century

David begins his narrative as someone who initially saw climate change as a far off and distant anomaly not to be really be concerned of in present tense, his exhaustive exploration in trying to synergies what the most up to date science is telling us, to complete a lacking media and political narrative is breathtaking in its depth and terrifying in its true context and consequence.
He outlines realistically how a heating world will affect so much more of human and non human life in ways few could imagine or know how to perceive.
He outlines in debt the mental and emotional and social and economical and environmental and civil costs of not just the future we will likely inherit even as a best case scenario but the horrors projected if we continue on our current course.
Some of it is speculative of course as we don’t have a crystal ball into the future but he gives the notion that his conclusions are conservative at best, his analysis is sound and its likelihood getting higher and higher as newer research is unveiled.
He explores the culpability aspect as well the denial aspect with great insight and maintains a cool and level head throughout. He expresses what the science is telling us, not via an emotional lease but through a desperate call to action. No one no matter of status is safe from the happening climate crisis.

He knows and the rest of the world needs to know to depth of this crisis, goes beyond today and what we see outside our window and that it is a collective responsibility. The craziness of this human suicide experiment is that we have the tools today to change course but choose not to.
Paul Hawkins Drawdown is a great illustration of what we have available today yet choose not to scale up and prevent our misery in the coming decades.
This is a prolific read a scientific and philosophical read that filled me with an intense anxiety throughout, but is a call to action for anyone who cares about their own livelihood in the coming years and decades and or the type of life and world their kids will inherit.
There really is no other book as succinct and poignant and necessary than this book.
Please I urge all to listen or read, and reflect and stand up and fight for your future. Because our politics and at times tailored self interests are incapable, but we have only the choices we make everyday to guide us.

3 people found this helpful

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Eye-opening book

An essential book for anyone looking to understand more about climate change and its current and future impact. This book is very accessible and easy to understand. Highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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This book

Is a wake up call and despite the direness of our current trajectory I was left feeling that there is hope . I won’t forget what I have learned and will carry the message to everyone I can .

1 person found this helpful

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  • A
  • 29-05-2019

A must listen

David Wallace-Wells explains climate change science and, it’s consequences, in a way that wakes us up from our self-induced fitful slumbers. We all have a voice and politicians who need to hear it!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Everyone should listen to this!

could not stop listening, this is so honest and real. Should be on everyone's list

1 person found this helpful

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It's all downhill from here!

Not the most uplifting book, for obvious reasons but one that anyone who lives on planet earth needs to read

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Undeniable, revelatory and a real alarm

Once you get through David' detailed account "you can't unknow it."
You might liken the learning contained here, as when it first dawned on you that Santa Claus, Easter Bunny and The Tooth Fairy is all fiction. It rearranges history fundamentally.

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  • Dan
  • 12-02-2020

in Fahrenheit. useless for anyone outside the US.

in Fahrenheit. useless for anyone outside the US. very pessimistic and overall research selectively chosen.

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Highly recommended

Essential listening for anyone living on planet Earth to come to the grips with the future we are all facing.

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very interesting

a rather interesting and thorough look into what climate change offers us. worth the read

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  • John
  • 28-02-2020

Real life horror story

If 10% of this book is truth and that truth comes to pass then as a species we are in allot of trouble. There is so much press about climate and allot of talk about renewable energy and our ability to engineer our way out of the problem of global warming. David puts this talk to the test and in short it’s not good. Lots of facts and figures but most of it is referenced albeit vaguely. It’s high level but that’s the point.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-12-2019

Life-changing

A fascinating look at things to come, unless we act.

With regards the performance/narration, I think that David Wallace-Wells did a great job. Having the narration delivered by the author adds value, in my opinion.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-06-2019

Great book marred by poor delivery

A must read. Fascinating. Pity the delivery is so poor. The voice is unattractive and the reader (none other than the author himself) seems to be reading the text for the first time, with pauses in all the wrong places. Still, I recommend this urgent environmental wake-up call.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bea
  • 29-04-2019

Everyone needs to read this ASAP

Everyone needs to read this ASAP, there is so little time and so much to do. THIS IS OUR WW3 senario and needs global attention. THIS IS OUR revolution.....

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  • ShellNiB
  • 05-06-2019

Excellent content, essential read, poor narration.

The content of the book is excellent, it is well researched, the information is factual-obtained from statistical data and scientific publications however, the narration is poor. The narrator/author accentuates the pronunciation of every word before a comma or full stop with an american drawl, which becomes annoying and hard to listen to at times, but focusing on the information and not its delivery is more than enough to keep anyone listening. A professional narrator with a neutral accent would be highly beneficial in the delivery of this book otherwise, this book is a very informative, essential read that details the current and future shocking effects of climate change. A recommended listen for everyone, especially for people who know little about the subject, or have been misinformed and believe climate change isn't real or won't affect them.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Chris Anderson
  • 04-04-2019

Serves a purpose, but flawed delivery

The book clearly has a purpose, to shock the reader/listener into realising just how serious the climate change threat is to the world and how much action is required quickly to slow or stop the damage. In this purpose, the book is very successful. I have finished it in no doubt that climate change is a serious and impending issue.

However, there are two large problems with the book which meant I couldn’t bring myself to give it 5 stars. Firstly, the relentless depressing statistics, whilst serving the overall purpose above, become tiresome after a while. It’s an endless stream of fact and figure about how terrible things could be with very little additional narrative to puncture the onslaught - the message would have been more digestible had there really been some “human” element to it e.g. stories of individual exposure to the effects of a changing climate, rather than blanket global statistics.

Secondly, the later parts of the book, after the statistics, are scattered and without a clear message or structure. He seems to jump from religion, to extra terrestrial life, to politics. I found the end very difficult to follow and found myself looking forward to the last couple of chapters being over.

I think the book will add the cause and inform and encourage activity on climate change, but a 2nd version would do well to improve on the items above to make it even more compelling.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Josh W.
  • 13-03-2019

The most important book you'll listen to this year

The significance of this topic is impossible to overstate.

It is surely a must listen perspective regarding the future of our reality on this increasingly fragile being we call Earth.

Well narrated, easy to grasp & at times terrifyingly mind blowing stuff.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Mary Mercy
  • 09-06-2019

A true horror story

This is hard to read - not because of his style but because it’s so terrifying. Wallace-Wells spells out the true impact of climate change on the world - food, access to water, economy, war, refugees- all within the foreseeable future. Should be read by all politicians

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  • Conor
  • 21-02-2019

Well worth a listen

The major take away from it for me is that I always saw climate change as sea level rise and more frequent big storms. Where I live ment neither would likely affect me. however this book educated me to the fact that it's climate change and climate effects everything and so it has changed my view of the subject entirely.

it's narrated by the author and not bad but might have been better with a different voice.

3 people found this helpful

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  • J. R. Marriott
  • 07-03-2019

awful narrator

had to stop as couldn't really listen to it. the guy had this voice that sounded like he had a bad cold and his voice cracked all the time like he was always starting to cry. serious subject deserved a good narrator. a pity.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-05-2019

A poor reading let's down the content

I'll have to read this important book instead as unfortunately the author's rhythm and intonation is so repetitive sentence to sentence it is unbearable to listen to for long.

3 people found this helpful

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  • John Graham
  • 11-08-2020

a wake up call for us all

This is not an easy listen and certainly pulls no punches. However it is worth heeding a stark warning of our futures

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  • Mr D
  • 28-07-2020

Anthropic Principle

Took a while to finish, but some heavy ideas to interpret. Is there a chance for human survival? Probably, but on a much warmer planet.

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  • George Lapinlampi
  • 05-07-2020

Important topic badly narrated

I had to stop listening to this book because the narration is not flowing very smoothly but instead the author accentuates too much. The voice sounds like he has a sore throat or something. Gonna read this instead!