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The Story of More: How We Got to Climate Change and Where to Go from Here

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  5,404 ratings  ·  1,031 reviews
From the bestselling author of Lab Girl comes a slim, urgent missive on the defining issue of our time: here is Hope Jahren on climate change, our timeless pursuit of more, and how the same human ambition that got us here can also be our salvation. A Vintage Original.

Hope Jahren is an award-winning geobiologist, a brilliant writer, and one of the seven billion people with
Paperback, 210 pages
Published March 3rd 2020 by Vintage
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Ellen the Herbivore I've been vegan for 20 years. Almost everything I have (including my dog!) is second-hand. I live in a small, elderly house, and I let my yard go wild…moreI've been vegan for 20 years. Almost everything I have (including my dog!) is second-hand. I live in a small, elderly house, and I let my yard go wild for pollinators. And I do all sorts of very little stuff, like line drying my clothes. It doesn't feel like a sacrifice -- it feels like how life should be. And you?(less)

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Olive Fellows (abookolive)
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites-2020
Words cannot describe how much I love Hope Jahren. Check out my full review on Booktube! ...more
Diane S ☔
Mar 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nf-2021
Thoughts soon.We are at present a deeply divided nation politically and unfortunately this has spilled over to the politicalzation of science and climate change. Many simply do not believe or at the least mistrust both. This is unfortunate in many ways because but we don't have an earth left for our children and grandchildren, none of the rest matters.

In this very readable book the author takes us through the last fifty years, using facts and figures, to show us how we got from there to here. Ex
David Wineberg
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down is a concise description of The Story of More. Hope Jahren has written a passionate, direct and searing indictment of what Man has made of this planet in just her lifetime (She repeats at least 20 times she was born in 1969). And yet, every chapter (there are 19) begins with a nostalgic look at her childhood in Minnesota, her parents, family rituals, and life at that time. She had a pet chunk of ice she named Covington that she kicked all the way to ...more
Dec 15, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Beautifully written, basic primer on climate change with a compelling call for degrowth. Why only 2 stars? The call is an individualistic, personal call for the reader to reconsider their own consumption, rather than a political call to action, to limit consumption collectively. Almost no individuals reading this book could make any significant impact on climate change, unless they had control of US military spending.
Jenna ❤ ❀  ❤
A highly readable and informative book on climate change

The author, rather than focusing on the coming catastrophes that are likely to occur if we do nothing to curb climate change, points out all the changes that have already taken place in the last forty years. 

She mixes anecdotes with fact and, for most of the book, it was easy to forget I was reading a book on climate change. Usually I dislike anecdotal material in science books but it worked for this.

It was interesting to note the differenc
One-sixth of the global population uses ⅓ of the world’s energy and half the world’s electricity. They’re responsible for ⅓ of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, ⅓ of the world’s meat consumption, and ⅓ of the world’s sugar consumption. It’s statistics and data like this that Jahren breaks down for readers in a book that’s meant not to terrify readers about the overwhelming scope of global warming and climate change but instead, to instill hope that indeed, small changes add up over time.

Woman Reading
4 ☆
all of the want and suffering in the world - all of it - arises not from the earth's inability to produce but from our inability to share

The Story of More by paleobiologist Jahren offers an accessible, comprehensive, and science-based primer about climate change.
All human beings are a lot better at describing what is happening than at predicting what will happen. Somewhere along the way, however, we began to hope that scientists were different--that they could be right all the time.
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, wheel2020
I adored Lab Girl and it is the reason I read this book. I sadly wish I had not read it as this did not live up to that wonderful book. First, this was a very simplified view of the history of development and industrialization in the world with a focus on the US. This is a tiny book and the ground the author tried to cover plus amusing anecdotes lead to generalizations to the point of oversimplifications. It also assumed zero background knowledge, so space was spent defining DNA and the word tum ...more
Rachel Reads Ravenously
VERY eye opening.
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful (yet terrible) little book, well worth reading ... and sharing. A sobering yet accessible and empathetic introduction ... a gentle yet jarring dipping of one's toe into the water ... on climate change. And (during the era of coronavirus social distancing, as opposed to, say, the holiday season ... as you do your best to support your local independent bookstore), potentially, an excellent gift for a relative, friend, or neighbor open to learning something new and doing some hard think ...more
Mar 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Hope Jahren has written a page-turner of a book, full of humor, about a serious subject: climate change. As the title says, the book is about how we got here and what to do about it, and her illustrations of the sheer size of humans' impact of the planet are helpful in terms of getting your head around the issue. Some of her illustrative examples are laugh out loud funny, like how she provides a visual image of the quantity of, er, human waste produced on a daily basis by the residents of St Pau ...more
It does not matter if you "believe" in climate change or not. This book is full of such great information, well written and so readable, I found I could not put it down. I did listen to the audio and then went right out and bought the book (now in paperback) for myself and several friends. The audio is read by the author and she does an incredible job. Even if non-fiction is not your thing (and I am not a voracious non-fiction reader) this is excellent non-fiction and I hope a
Camelia Rose
Jun 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
4.5 star round up.

The Story of More is a sober analysis of the current climate crisis - how we got here and what we can do from now on. Science-based, data-packed, a heavy subject made accessible to everybone. The book starts with the industry revolution and how coal and petroleum became the energy source we depend upon. Topics discussed: the damage of climate change - water rising, ice melting, drought, extreme weather, mass extinction, etc...; human race's impact on the climate - population g
Jolanta (knygupe)
Feb 05, 2021 rated it really liked it

"All species will go extinct eventually, even our own: it is one of nature's few imperatives. As of today, however, that train has not quite left the station. We still have some control over our demise-namely, how long it will take and how much our children and grandchildren will suffer. If we want to take action, we should get started while it still maters what we do."

Mano galva, mes jau pavėlavom į traukinį, bet gal aš klystu...
L.G. Cullens
Apr 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Recommended reading for everyone, even those avoiding the issue or in denial. If it were not for the pressures of our materialistic culture, this book would be a required reading in all post elementary schools. A myrid of facts with statistics and data that bear them out are presented, together with how various opposing arguments can be both right and wrong, and the drawbacks of proposed solutions, so read carefully. It is the author's intention to inform, not scare, the reader.

Far too many huma
Silvia C.
A very well documented and accessible book about climate change.
It is one of the books that has moved me to take personal and community action.
May 09, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve read a lot of books like this recently and I’m starting to get a bit numb.

There are too many of us. We are consuming too much. We are burning too much fossil fuel so that we can fly too much, travel by private car too much and use too much electricity. We are eating too much meat and growing too many crops that are fed to the meat or discarded rather than feeding the 800 million people who are still starving. We are fishing too much. We are throwing too much away and using too much plastic.
Oct 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: dpl, 2020
3.5 Stars

My issue with The Story of More is my issue with most books about climate change, the focus is on individual contribution and the onus is put on the individual to solve the problems that no band of ordinary citizens can solve.

The Story of More is a well-written, informative book. I loved the way that Jahren broke different subjects down and I really enjoyed all the data points included. What I don't feel like pans out is the overall messaging. Jahren wants us to not feel fatalistic abo
Jessica Dai
Sep 19, 2020 rated it did not like it
man, i loved her other book but i couldn't wait for this one to end. it honestly feels like a long explanation of everything that has to do with climate change ever (biodiversity, agriculture, sea levels, ocean acidification, alternative energy....), and maybe i spent too much time in high school on debate but basically none of this was new info to me (and I don't think this would really be new info to anyone who is fairly aware about climate change?). also, she writes with the same tone of awe ...more
Shawn Mozeika
Sep 20, 2020 rated it did not like it
+I guess this could be a decent introduction to climate change if you've never heard of it before

-very surface level approach to understanding climate change,
-incredibly formulaic chapter structure of 4-ish paragraphs of anecdote, followed by 6-ish pages that might as well be a series of graphs,
-very much focused on the USA yet does not delve into anything specific about USA politics, history, or culture.
-seems to really minimize the systemic components of climate change, instead opting for the
Apr 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: environment
If there’s a single book that can explain what’s happening in the climate change frontier, Hope Jahren accomplished that task with The Story of More. More importantly, she’s done so without useless sentiments or false optimism. It’s full of facts and meticulously collected numbers on humanity’s impact and damage on earth which paints a bleak outlook that I felt despaired throughout much of the book. However, as stated in the book, her purpose is not to frighten us (a scared person doesn’t make r ...more
Barbara (The Bibliophage)
Originally published on my book blog, TheBibliophage.com.

Hope Jahren developed the crux of The Story of More: How We Got to Climate Change and Where We Go from Here as an introductory class for college students. And fundamentally, it reads this way. There’s a lot of science, some history, a bit of humor, and a smattering of opinion. Is it the best book I’ve read on climate change? No. But if I wanted a book that was fairly short and clearly explained the concepts, this is a good choice.

Jahren co
Jun 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Story of More traces the impacts of climate change through the lens of human's desire for excessive consumption. The facts are personalised with Jahren's own experiences, demonstrating how every attitude we have towards our planet is inseparable from our own attitudes towards our lifestyle choices.

This book works decently as an introduction to climate change. The chapters are organised well by the things that we consume: the food we eat, the energy we waste, and the earth we've simultaneous
Joy Clark
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well-researched, well-written, and full of useful, interesting, and somewhat terrifying information. Unlike many climate change books that focus on the problem, Hope Jahren lays it all out but also provides very specific, actionable changes that we, as readers, can implement relatively easily. You can tell she's a professor in the way she writes and communicates. Highly recommended for anyone who is interested in climate science or who wants to know what we, as individuals, can do. ...more
Oct 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: eco
In The Story of More, Hope Jahren summarizes a Climate Change 101 course. I love books like this because they offer so much to casual readers. The best way to represent the value of Jahren's "Story of More" is to juxtapose it against other primers.

Many of these climate primers begin with the idea of a planet—without people. Al Gore, for example, shows the Blue Marble picture in his presentations and books. In The Weather Makers, Flannery begins with a graph of CO2 seasonally rising and falling a
Jul 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Not that I've read a pile by now, but if you're also in your own journey of learning about climate change, I would say The Story of More sits hopeful with other introductory reads under the 'science' shelf. No perplexing, inscrutable science terms, it was written to reach everyone. ​'More' pertains to the world's tedious labor to produce more because of our insatiable desire to consume and take instead of to share.

Every chapter begins poetically with the author relating slices of her personal li
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing

As if I couldn't love Hope Jahren even more! This incredibly readable explanation of how the world has changed since 1969 (the year of her birth) is informative and invigorating. It's not a battleaxe or a guilt trip about turning off the lights when you're not in the room; it's a clear-eyed reporting of our current state of environmental affairs and how we got here. I could not stop reading it. And, even if the environment is not your thing (which, come on, the Earth is all of our thi
Andrea McDowell
*118th Climate Book*

I loved Lab Girl, so I was really looking forward to Jahren's climate book. Unfortunately it was just ok. It is an effective introductory climate book, but if you have in your life already read two books or more on the climate crisis, you can pass this one by.

The good: Jahren is an indisputably brilliant writer. The prose is amazing. It is clearly written and flows beautifully. Her central thesis -- that we need to "use less and share more" -- is true and she marshals a numbe
Patricia Murphy
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: conservation
I had the great privilege of reading The Story of More by Hope Jahren over the same course of days as reading We are the Weather by Jonathan Safran Foer, and finishing them both on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, which also would have been my mother's 81st birthday had she not dropped dead of a heart attack in 2009.

I actually stopped reading the Foer book to read the Jahren book because I was frustrated with the tone and the focus in the former. I had a good few days where I switched back an
Sep 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Hope shows us in what messed up state we got our planet, but in a very soothing voice.
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HOPE JAHREN is an award-winning scientist who has been pursuing independent research in paleobiology since 1996, when she completed her PhD at UC Berkeley and began teaching and researching first at the Georgia Institute of Technology and then at Johns Hopkins University. She is the recipient of three Fulbright Awards and is one of four scientists, and the only woman, to have been awarded both of ...more

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