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This Is the Way the World Ends: How Droughts and Die-offs, Heat Waves and Hurricanes Are Converging on America

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  209 ratings  ·  57 reviews
A unique view of climate change glimpsed through the world's resources that are disappearing.

The world itself won't end, of course. Only ours will: our livelihoods, our homes, our cultures. And we're squarely at the tipping point.

Longer droughts in the Middle East. Growing desertification in China and Africa. The monsoon season shrinking in India. Amped-up heat waves in
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The gate that we face at present is not a question of surviving or conquering the planet. We have done all that and more. Now, today, we do not need to save the planet. We have conquered Earth. It is ours. The question before us, the gate we must pass through, is whether we can save ourselves as a vanquished Earth begins to turn against us. In the end, the planet will be fine. We might not be.

I live in Western Japan. During this summer we: experienced an earthquake, scorching hot temperatures
One of the things a reader might hope for when reading about current and very likely environmental catastrophes is some guidance from the author about what the reader can do to help remedy the situation. The ability to take meaningful action is a buttress against despair when reading such a book. While the author makes some suggestions aimed at institutions and government agencies, there are no suggestions given to the common reader who is not working for or with large institutions and/or ...more
May Ling
Summary: This book is going to appeal if the Environment is #1 on your issue list, you have never traveled the world, and you know nothing of politics or economics. Otherwise, it's a skip unless you are interested in trying to understand what the environmentalists don't understand.

There are those that felt that Nesbit wasn't deep enough in his research. I both agree and disagree. I disagree in the sense that he clearly did a lot of research about various areas of the world. That's why I bumped
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Current knowledge of impending tragedies, well organized and clearly presented.
10/20/19 - Quotes staying with me:
p157 - "Part 6 - The Future"
"As the number of refugees increases ... will the growing trend of nationalism cause countries to seal their borders?"
p159 -
"The people of Bangladesh have nowhere to go. It is likely to get much worse in the future, on several fronts. ... Bangladesh is one of the countries most at risk for even modest sea level rise. If seas rise just one meter, up to
Sep 25, 2018 rated it did not like it
I'm marking this DNF at about page 85. There are a few things that are really bothering me about this book. First of all, there's little substance to the arguments. It seems like all we get is soundbites - just whatever sounds most alarming with only cherry-picked factoids backing it up. Please tell us a little about the studies being cited and why they are more reliable than studies from the naysayers. I'd love to see some of the anti-climate change arguments refuted with sound science. Instead ...more
Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin
This is a curious book almost unflinching when diagnosing the problems climate change will cause on civilization, from superhurricanes and typhoons, dangerous heat that could make many places inhabitable, droughts that threaten water and food security in the middle east, South Asia, China, Southeast Asia, the American West. The political instability that it will bring in terms of civil wars and wars for resources. It gives a very detailed picture of geopolitical dangers of climate change and ...more
Donna Hines
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
We can ignore the evidence or we can come to terms with the truths!
Global warming has already arrived.
The Earth is slowly coming to an end and it needs our attention if we are to at least slow the process if not reverse it.
We cannot keep kicking the can down the road. The time to wake up and smell the coffee boiling over is now.
With massive species in extinction, ocean systems collapsing, water scarcity, natural disasters increasing, food insecurity rising, ocean acidifying destroying coral
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastically informational, educational, interesting and intelligently written. Jam packed with scientific stats and so much more.
This book should be read by everyone.

(view spoiler)
Chris Demer
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, environment
This is a book everyone-especially law makers - should read.

The beginning portion of the book delivered information that most of us know or should have known: There is irrefutable evidence of dramatically climate change. The ice at the poles - including the "third pole" the Himalayas, as well as uncounted glaciers in mountainous areas and Greenland are melting. The average earth temperatures have been rising steeply since the dawn of the industrial revolution and burning of fossil fuels. The
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-books
I've read many climate change novels in recent years and while this may not add much new information, it does a better job of organizing that information than most. I like that he starts with the truths, that is what irrefutably (although I'm sure there are still naysayers) is happening right now on our planet. He then discusses the repercussions of climate change, such as droughts, disappearing water, rising seas, increased heat waves and how it affects the world's geopolitical design. At the ...more
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you do not think that climate change is an immediate and deadly problem for humans, you need to read this book. And if you don't think humans are instrumental in the changes happening, you need to read this book.

The oceans are 30% more acidic now than they were at the beginning of the industrial revolution. (42) That's because the oceans have absorbed 525 billion tons of carbon dioxide since then. (41) That came home to where I live in the Pacific Northwest as it has meant problems in oyster
Angela Gyurko
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As an author of dystopian fiction, I love that there are five books entitled "This is the Way the World Ends" on Goodreads. Because clearly, I'm not the only one who wonders which of the many forms of our destruction our civilization will take. The horsemen of the apocalypse are not mythical creatures descending from the sky, they are physical phenomenon we are creating (good job, humanity, good job).

For those of you who don't ponder dystopian thoughts on a regular basis and would like to start,
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
For anyone who wonders what is happening to our world as it heats up, why it is that we have so many refugees, why more storms are devastating when they come, this book will help make sense of all of this. The weather patterns are changing, and changing rather drastically. The author gives a good overview of the drought situation in the Middle East, the growing deserts in Africa and China, heat waves in places that are already approaching danger levels for survival of living beings. All of this ...more
Jun 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A bit introductory, but it focuses on some topics that aren't so common. If the Himalayas as the Third Pole is old news to you, the book might not be helpful, but it covered topics that were new to me, particularly the geopolitics section. However, a large portion of the end is devoted to solutions in a way I did not find convincing.
Anna Smithberger
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This definitely reads a bit more pop-science than others Ive picked up on the topic recently, but its very readable and frames climate change as both important environmentally (imp. for dems) and economically (imp. for repubs) which makes it accessible to everyone without the automatic shutdown political ideologies can bring on. ...more
Michael Paquette
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The tipping point and the global disaster that we face, the realities that we are doing little to address and what each of us must do to save the planet.
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Some books are scary.
As a child The Hobbit scared me. As an adult I could understand that the likelihood of running into Sméagol was slim and the story turned from scary to fantastical.
While the powers that be may want you to believe that climate change is a modern day fantastical Sméagol, this book will open your eyes ... and terrify you in a way Tolkien never could.

I was shocked by this book. How did I not know that 200,000 people die annually in Bangladesh due to river erosion. That seems
Scott Haraburda
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Well-written with excellent references and endnotes. I could not put the book down and read this book without stopping. This was a timely and thought-provoking book that should be read by everyone today.
David Hile
I had high hopes for this books. I had listened to an interview with the author and thought it had promise so bought it. It turned out to be a long categorized list of talking points. Essentially it's preaching to the choir. People who buy this book will most likely climate change believers and will be looking for more science and back ground. Unfortunately this book was very light on both and was laced with passive aggressive political commentary. ( when will people learn that a club is not a ...more
Leo Knight
This book needed a good, ruthless editor. The author repeats himself endlessly. This makes for a frustrating read. The author should have cut about two thirds of his redundant padding. Then it would have been readable, even compelling. The blurb tells me he was "director of public affairs for two federal science agencies and a senior communications official at the White House." Perhaps these gigs created an urge for useless verbiage.
Blaine Morrow
Nesbit chronicles the changes in climate which are most likely to affect humans. His focus on specific "hot spots" and some of the geopolitical effects of the crises developing in them is especially interesting.
Stefan Styk
Incredibly repetitive. Clearly not written by a scientist because each topic scratches the surface of issues then repeats the same talking points for an entire chapter. The main call to action only comes at the end and felt like an afterthought.
I understand that this is supposed to be a thousand-foot view of the impacts of climate change, but I don't think Nesbit is the right person to write this book. This book reads as dilettantish in the extreme. Its crimes, in order: 1) non-expert policy recommendations and 2) awful writing.

1) Non-expert policy recommendations: I appreciate the author's effort to take a global look at the impacts of climate change in Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and China, among others. However, I worry
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I abandoned this book around the 26% mark.

This book is an example of how a title sets expectations. I picked up this book specifically because the title seemed to promise something a bit different: not just stories about how climate change is happening in other places in the world but how it will directly affect Americans. And, even better, it seemed to promise to tie together how the things happening "over there" are related to (or will will soon lead to) things happening "in America".

I was
Christina Dudley
Like most environmental books, this one is pretty alarming and depressing. Despite the subtitle, "How Droughts and Die-Offs, Heat Waves and Hurricanes Are Converging on America," the book has a global scope. How has climate change (always, always for the worse) all over the world led to food- and water shortages, which leads to rural folk moving to the cities, which leads to a big population of impoverished folks who aren't happy, which leads to unrest? And it's going to get way worse. More ...more
As former director of two federal science agencies and a senior communications official and frequent writer for NYT, USNWR, etc. Nesbit is well-qualified to write this book. His exposition is clear, detailed, intricate, and frank.

But the book depresses me. Nesbit explains how we should all be alarmed and doing what we can to change our life styles around the world to enable us, well, my grand nieces and nephews, to live, not as lavishly as they do now (at ages 14 through 15 months) but at least
H Peter Ji
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Just a few words. This book mostly focuses on the problems, not how to solve the problems that us humans are facing, in terms of climate change.

But then, what can the author suggest, other than pointing out the problems? It talks about what the companies and countries are doing at the end of the book, but for how many pages. Having said that, if you don't know anything about what's happening all over the world, grab this book and educate yourself.

However, if you've been following climate
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
A thouroughly researched, concise book on problems faced by the world due to climate change. The book really shook me. Had I not found it, I would never have known the gravity of the problem. What encouraged me to pick this book from my towns library was its title. In the wake of so many natural disasters happening today, I was curious to know the reason. This book has all the answers.

Climate change is real and is happening fast. Its a sad state of affairs that it has become a political issue
Michael Clifford
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is an extremely readable account of human induced global warming. It focuses of things that are happening around the world today. The cases are very specific and hard to downplay or ignore. One of the things that are surprising (to me) is how these climate changes are feeding other geopolitical trends. One example, China now buys something like 70% of the worlds soybean crop. Why? The portion of China which historically grew their crops is becoming a desert. China has resorted to ...more
Tausif Hossain
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I very timely book which brings together a lot of the issues in today's world and how it is related to climate change. I believe this should be something everyone reads to be able to understand the damage that we are doing to the planet and how catastrophic it can be. The only challenge to reading this book would be - most facts are stated without strong data points - which are of course available as Notes - but a reader will not keep referring back to them.
The other reason why I gave it a 4 is
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JEFF NESBIT was the director of public affairs for two federal science agencies. He was once profiled in The Wall Street Journal as one of the seven people who ended the Tobacco Wars. He was also a national journalist, communications director for former Vice President Quayle, and the director of a Washington, DC-based strategic communications business. Now the executive director of Climate Nexus, ...more

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