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No Good Alternative: Volume Two of Carbon Ideologies: 2
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No Good Alternative: Volume Two of Carbon Ideologies: 2

(Carbon Ideologies #2)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  31 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
The Infinite Jest of climate books.” —The Baffler

“Incontestably important.” —The San Francisco Chronicle

An eye-opening look at the consequences of coal mining and oil and natural gas production--the second of a two volume work by award-winning author William T. Vollmann on the ideologies of energy production and the causes of climate change

The second volume of William T.
Kindle Edition, 687 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Viking
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Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
[this my third Review today so I'lls keep it short for ya]

It should be known, Viking made a serious mistake pub'ing this in two volumes. Let it be made clear, this is a single work, a single book. I have to make that clear because I was a little non=plussed with that first volume (a lot of number crunching, a lot of frisking; Japan and nuclear aren't up there on the top of my interests generally) ;; but it's only the ground laying and beginning of his argument. It's just the laying down of some
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are attracted to and desirous of immersion in Grade A glut, then you either know or should know that William T. Vollmann is your man. His last novel, THE DYING GRASS, was over 1300 pages long and apparently he was forced to expend some effort cutting it down to that. Reading THE DYING GRASS was extremely rewarding in the way hard work often is. It was not a breezy readerly dalliance. Having now read the twin collections comprising the single work that is CARBON IDEOLOGIES (together chalki ...more
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Jun 24, 2018 marked it as to-read
No Literary Merit
Christopher Condit
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"...within the time granted by the laws of physics to delay, prevent and alleviate global warming, nothing could now be done." He's absolutely convinced me that the situation is completely hopeless.

Volume 1 was largely hard science, plus witnessing in the area ruined by nuclear disaster in Japan. Volume 2 is sociology, blending at the end into philosophy. It is more readable and engaging, shows more of Vollmann's delightful personality, and engages many, many others in interviews: West Virginia
Chris Via
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“There had only been one hope for us: To reduce demand” (627).
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whew. Together with Volume 1, that is one long, depressing book about how we're killing the Earth and everyone on it. Good, though! Vollmann gets into oil and coal and natural gas in this volume. He interviews all kinds of people, from the little to the big, from pro-coal/oil/gas to anti, and no matter what anyone says, however hopeful or pessimistic, however uninformed or insightful, the takeaway becomes clearer and clearer the more one reads: we are doomed, doomed, and still more doomed. We ca ...more
Robert Stevenson
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you are looking for book on the facts on climate change and greenhouse emissions and understanding the Carbon Ideology of our times. There is no better book.

But be warned this book is not a uppie book. Together “No Immediate Danger” and “No Good Alternative” include over 2000 pages of climate journalism covering everything from Nuclear power, including extensive details on the Fukushima nuclear disaster, coal usage around the world and West Virginia specifically, Fracking energy exploitation
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Vollmann carefully catalogues the complexity of the American - and by extension the world's - addiction to fossil fuels. So many variables make homo rapiens' (not a typo) fossil fuel Totentanz so complex: Economic growth, politics, industry, generational delay, cost & benefit appraisals, and denialism all combine to stymie potential alternatives.

Atmospheric change is inevitable. But human nature won't be changing. Ever. Your profligate consumption is as normal to you as carrying your portabl
Heidi Thorsen
The author continues in the same tone as the first volume, but with a focus on coal, oil, and natural gas rather than nuclear power. My short summary is, “Wow, look at all the carbon we are releasing in order to move about the planet and cook our food and heat and cool our homes! And everything else in the modern world that requires electricity! Too bad no one can envision a way around the global warming catastrophe that is bound to ruin the earth at some unspecified time in the future!”

I think
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
See my review of Volume One.
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
More reader friendly than the 1st volume but relentless in showing our shortfalls.
Douglas Cronk
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Nov 04, 2018
ryan green
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Oct 03, 2018
List of Maps and Illustrations

--Carbon Ideologies Volume II: No Good Alternative


(For source notes to both volumes of 'Carbon Ideologies', please see:
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William Tanner Vollmann is an American novelist, journalist, short story writer and essayist. He lives in Sacramento, California with his wife and daughter.

Other books in the series

Carbon Ideologies (2 books)
  • No Immediate Danger: Volume One of Carbon Ideologies