Our Future Earth, by Curt Stager: #BookReview.

320 pages
Global Warming and Ecology/Ecological Pollution/Higher Education in Geography.

Subtitled, The Next 100,000 Years of Life on the Planet, this book takes the view of that future as seen through the eyes of a paleoecologist, a term so new it doesn’t even appear in my edition of my usual go-to dictionary, the SOED. It describes a scientist who deals with ecology through the lens of ancient, geological history.

I chose the book as one of a number of research sources for my latest novel because it allows for a wider and longer term look at the possible consequences of global climate change.

Clearly, this work demands a degree of concentration and some knowledge of the core subjects. But it is written in a style that should be accessible by the majority of readers. That style is a mix of well-explained deep science and comment on the many different ideas and viewpoints of those with significant interest in the future of our planet.

The author takes a pragmatic stance, devoid of the blinkers that obscure the views of many specialists. This means the material is well-balanced and relatively neutral in approach, but presented from the longer term point of view of a science that deals in geological rather than short-term time scales.

After the Prologue, which explains the author’s viewpoint and personal background as well as an overall idea of what the book is about, the volume is divided into the following chapters, which I’ll list as an indication of the breadth and depth of topics discussed: Stopping the Ice, Beyond Global Warming, The Last Great Thaw, Life in a Super-Greenhouse, Future Fossils, Oceans of Acid, The Rising Tide, An Ice-Free Arctic, The Greening of Greenland, What About the Tropics?, Bringing it Home. The book ends with a substantial Epilogue that ties everything up while describing a personal journey.

From a book of such depth and scope, it’s impossible to form a comprehensive precis. All I can do here is provide a flavour and my own response to the knowledge contained, and why that is important to me as a reader.

I found it easy to read, though demanding concentration and attention. I learned many things new to me. I also encountered subject matter I’d previously read in different forms; a useful confirmation that the subject under examination carried some agreement among the many scientists involved. But there were also portions that caused consideration of the widely varying views of climate change as viewed by the panoply of scientists working in the field. Everything from the ultra-conservative to the possibly over-imaginative sensationalist is considered here in relation to climate change.

The wide-ranging list of topics provides a good, clear view of potential issues that we may all encounter during the Anthropocene Epoch in which we all now live.

Climate change is, or should be, our prime concern. It is the feature that will most affect the future of our species, and that of many others. It respects no national borders, no race, no religious grouping, no political persuasion, no commercial self-interest, no economic system. Everyone now alive, as well as our children and their offspring, will be affected to some degree by the changes now occurring on this small blue marble we inhabit. This book sets out to explain how we may be affected, giving views from many different sources, and it is up to us to decide how much all that matters.

For me, as a writer of fiction dealing with the near future, the material was informative and inspiring of ideas for the text of my novel. But everyone would benefit from knowing the information within these pages. Perhaps we should encourage those in authority not only to read the book but to ensure it becomes an integral part of the education of our children.

I leave the final words of this review to the author: ‘For better or for worse, we are both the products and the creators of this remarkable new Age of Humans, and we will be the ones to decide the direction it takes from here on into the deep future. Welcome, everyone, to the Anthropocene.’

[Any review is a personal opinion. No reviewer can represent the view of anyone else. The best we can manage is an honest reaction to any given book.]

11 thoughts on “Our Future Earth, by Curt Stager: #BookReview.

  1. Pingback: 🦅 SoundEagle in Earth Day 🌍🌎🌏 | SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

    1. It’s not easy, is it, Lynette, to find time to sit and read these days? We’re all busy. In my youth and early twenties I sometimes read three books in a day. These days, I’m happy I managed to fulfil my Goodreads reading challenge of 30 books this year!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I looked Curt Stager up on Amazon and found he wrote several books slanted towards the earth and its possible destruction. I miss being able to roam and search the used book stores for great finds. It would be a good reference book for fictional writing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Indeed, I concur with you, especially regarding using Curt Stager’s book entitled “Our Future Earth: The Next 100,000 Years of Life on the Planet” as “a good reference book for fictional writing” in relation to time travelling.

      For additional ideas and inspirations, you can find several high-quality videos revealing and animating what the Earth looks like and the state of humanity both in the past and in the future along with various statistics in my post entitled “🦅 SoundEagle in Earth Day 🌍🌎🌏” at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/soundeagle-in-earth-day/

      Please be informed that you might need to use a desktop or laptop computer with a large screen to view the rich multimedia contents available for heightening your multisensory enjoyment at my blog, which could be too powerful and feature-rich for iPad, iPhone, tablet or other portable devices to handle properly or adequately.

      Thank you, Stuart, for recommending this book. Given the quality and relevance of your post, I have hyperlinked it to my said post “🦅 SoundEagle in Earth Day 🌍🌎🌏” so that my readers can access your post.

      Happy New Year to all of you soon!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, SoundEagle. I’ve visited the post and, like all your work, it’s packed full of useful resources and information (I don’t know how you find the time to produce such detailed pieces!). I’m somewhat stretched for time at present, but I’ve bookmarked the post after a quick scan and will visit it later to take in all the information. Thanks for including a reference to my post. I’ve tweeted yours to my followers and placed a link on my FB author page, as a lot of my followers there are scifi writers, too.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You are very welcome, Stuart. Thank you for referencing my post on Twitter and Facebook.

          When you visit the post later, I would be delighted if you could kindly submit a comment there to give me your feedback and/or insights. Thank you in anticipation.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks, Brenda. It’s one of many resources I used in ensuring my current WIP is as accurate on the science as can be possible with any work relating to the future. Of course, I applied imagination, and the various idiosyncrasies of my characters to make the whole thing into a good yarn, too!.

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