Victoria's Reviews > The Fate of the Species: Why the Human Race May Cause Its Own Extinction and How We Can Stop It

The Fate of the Species by Fred Guterl
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Aug 31, 12

Read from August 17 to 29, 2012

Let me be blunt...I seriously disliked this book. It has less to do with the meandering anecdotal style, (which wasn't my cup of tea, quiet frankly) and much more to do with the subtitle. When I saw Guterl on The Daily Show, I was intrigued by his message, and the subtitle, "Why the Human Race May Cause its Own Extinction and How We Can Stop It", was the main reason I bought the book. I thought I was buying a book about major issues AND their solutions.

I realize now that the subtitle was a misnomer - there are no solutions. Guterl highlights only the many, many, maaaaany ways we are most certainly doomed, (and you cannot read this book without coming away feeling that we are most certainly doomed.) To that end, our gradual downfall will be marked by vast amounts of human suffering - starvation, disease, lack of drinking water, chaos. What's more, it's clear halfway through the book that Guterl believes we'll go extinct from not just one of the causes he's highlighting, but from a whole cascade of them. In other words, a better subtitle may have been, "Why We Are Royally Screwed."

I'm not saying he's wrong...clearly, after reading Guterl's book I'm now a bit of a believer...but I'm also left feeling quite hopeless and depressed. And that's sort of my point here - if the news is SO bleak, and if clearly nothing can be done...do we really need to know? Why remove all hope? Would it change anything to give us even a little something to pin our hopes on?
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