Review of “Eaarth; making a life on a tough new planet”

The word “Eaarth” is concocted to communicate that the world we live in today is significantly, permanently changed and is far more hostile to our human prosperity than the physical world we lived in generations ago or even a decade ago. I hope to see this word persist and develop into wider conversations and so I plan to incorporate it into my writing.


Here are some of my margin notes from June 2010:


Bill McKibbon, born in 1960, also wrote “The end of Nature” and “Deep Economy”

        Was editor of Harvard student newspaper

        Now at Middlebury College, Vermont shows internet as a positive


Terms / Vocabulary / References:

Wonkish – regarding someone who is hard-working, studious, or detail oriented


Interloper – One that interferes with the affairs of others, often for selfish reasons; a meddler

“Hyper individualism” – from “Deep Economy” p 133

“Resilient Suburbia” p 134

“Slow money”

CSA – community supported agriculture

CSE – community supported energy

Laura Ingalls Wilder,  Thoreau – I haven’t read

“Limits to Growth” – landmark study in 1972 after Nixon created the EPA


Cottage Living Magazine

“lightly, carefully, gracefully”

350 resolutions


Theme: “We can’t live on the new earth as if it were the old earth; we’ve foreclosed that option”


Political problem: President Clinton and Obama’s economic adviser Larry Summers says we “cannot and will not accept any speed limit on American economic growth. It is the task of economic policy to grow the economy as rapidly, sustainably and inclusively as possible”.  THIS IS SCARY! Also more scary quotes p 95; said that the former “Limits to Growth” was a flawed policy. Sustainability policy was abandoned.


Contrast this politics to Al Gore and Thomas Friedman, NYT columnist, “The Lexus and the Olive Tree” and “Hot, Flat and Crowded”.


Social change is very slow (too slow)

        Speeding up social change w economic policy

        At least 30-40 years ahead we will still be based on hydrocarbons


Floodwalls and shore would need to be raised 3 feet. (p 62) (contrast to vs. 12” NJDEP current policy)

        Not even remotely economically possible


“In effect, parts of developed nations would experience developing nation conditions for prolonged periods (2005 climate change report, p 67 see footnote 63). Wording is intentionally bland for political reasons.


Environmental disasters always trigger an increase in mental health problems


New oil shock is inevitable (p 90, footnote 155, McKinsey report)


Resolution: moving forward  “lightly, carefully, gracefully” as a species is our best option.



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