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Our Final Warning: Six Degrees of Climate Emergency

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This book must not be ignored. It really is our final warning.

Mark Lynas delivers a vital account of the future of our earth, and our civilisation, if current rates of global warming persist. And it’s only looking worse.

We are living in a climate emergency. But how much worse could it get? Will civilisation collapse? Are we already past the point of no return? What kind of future can our children expect? Rigorously cataloguing the very latest climate science, Mark Lynas explores the course we have set for Earth over the next century and beyond. Degree by terrifying degree, he charts the likely consequences of global heating and the ensuing climate catastrophe.  

At one degree – the world we are already living in – vast wildfires scorch California and Australia, while monster hurricanes devastate coastal cities. At two degrees the Arctic ice cap melts away, and coral reefs disappear from the tropics. At three, the world begins to run out of food, threatening millions with starvation. At four, large areas of the globe are too hot for human habitation, erasing entire nations and turning billions into climate refugees. At five, the planet is warmer than for 55 million years, while at six degrees a mass extinction of unparalleled proportions sweeps the planet, even raising the threat of the end of all life on Earth. 

These escalating consequences can still be avoided, but time is running out. We must largely stop burning fossil fuels within a decade if we are to save the coral reefs and the Arctic. If we fail, then we risk crossing tipping points that could push global climate chaos out of humanity’s control. 

This book must not be ignored. It really is our final warning.

336 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 1, 2020

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About the author

Mark Lynas

26 books70 followers
Mark Lynas is a British author, journalist and environmental activist who focuses on climate change.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 84 reviews
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.3k followers
August 30, 2022
8/29/22: In the light of what scientists now more generally seem to agree about, that ice shelf collapses in Greenland and Antarctica cannot be held off, no matter what we do, affecting billions in coastal regions. And the 2021 record droughts got worse in summer 2022 and will get worse, climate scientists agree. Climate denialists will have to move inland just like everyone else that can, but will there be fresh water there? Half the world within decades may? will probably become? refugees. Vote and act in every way against Big Oil and for the planet, or for humans on the planet, though these days I seem to favor trees, birds, bees, th thousands of species we threaten with extinction . . ..

8/9/21: The most recent IPCC report, 3,500 pages, all by the leading climate scientists on the planet (unless you are counting FOX News and Breitbart, you don't want to forget them because they are the ones most people seem to listen to, the climate change denialists), but you can skim here for executive summaries:


7/22/21: So, I got well into this book last year and set it aside, in a kind of funk of near-despair, but now, in the middle of more cataclysmic, record-breaking heat waves in the summer of 2021, I report to you Lynas's warning in his first edition of this book, which I reviewed here,


This new edition of Six Degrees has another level of doom to it. So no one wants to read books about cancer or climate change, it seems. My fantasy is that everyone reads this book and we actually are able to take on the corporate establishment and their political lackeys and we save the human race on the planet. And I want to say, I am happily surprised that the centrist Biden seems to be exceeding everyone's expectations in taking some leadership on the #1 issue facing the planet right now, though he has also made some concessions, some contradictory moves, too. Water loss/drought, record heat, floods, epic storms, all real and not "weather has always been this way," "it's always hot in the summer," not those lies any more.

We actually could reverse course in some ways, still, though there will still be massive loss of life as some of the environment becomes unlivable. Yes, they mean it, it really is happening at the level and pace that we need to be able to imagine existing as a human race 100 years from now. But things are accelerating, too. Some scientists think we have far less than 100 years left, given our current suicidal course. Am I serious? Read this book or The Uninhabitable Earth or Eaarth and tell me this is crap. I dare you.
Profile Image for Sam.
3,185 reviews235 followers
July 29, 2020
We all need to read this, listen to this and take action from this. This is our Ghost of Christmas Future.

This is one of the most honest, upfront and no-nonsense-for-the-love-of-humanity-do-something books on climate change that I have read in many years working as an ecologist and many more years as an environmentalist. Lynas does not sugarcoat anything and does not shy aware from the problems, its causes and its certain and likely outcomes (yes climate change, or the more accurate climate breakdown, is real and it is happening now). He combines and compresses all of the scientific evidence, consensus (99% of all scientists people, 99%) and areas of uncertainty into one clear path to our own exctinction and how we can avoid it. It is clearly written, easy to follow (although depressing as we have had decades to avoid this point), and can be and should be read by just about anyone. Lynas does focus on the human tragedy of climate breakdown but he does cover the implications for wildlife and biodiversity in and of itself as well as the implications of this on us as a species. If this, coupled with the pioneering efforts of the younger generations to get us to take action, fails in us taking action then we really do only have ourselves to blame.
Profile Image for Wick Welker.
Author 5 books341 followers
February 10, 2021
One word: YIKES.

Lynas does a more than thorough job of not only providing unassailable evidence of impending climate break down, but he takes your hand and, step by step, gives you a horrific tour of what each one degree C rise will do to our world. Let's make something very clear: we are in serious danger. The data and consensus is irrefutable.

The problem isn't so much that the earth is warming, it's that it is warming at a rate 65x as fast than similar pre-industrial temperatures that happened 15 million years ago. Go ahead and read that sentence again. The rate of change is what is deadly. You cannot shock the earth's ecosystem with such a rapid rate and sit back and say "it's cool, the earth has been this temp before." And that assumes you're talking about anywhere between 2-4 C rise from pre-industrial Temps. No, the Keeling curve has not gone down. No, renewable energy has not changed anything because it only accounts for 4% of energy sources globally.

The 1600-1700 year weather changes used by skeptics have been proven to be regional phenomena, not global, which is what is happening now. It is likely that we will se the complete disappearance of ice at the north pole in our life times. This hasn't happened in 3M years. There is a connection with mosquito proliferation and dengue fever as well as malaria and Lyme with warming. Climate change destroys food production. I can't really continue summarizing this book because it is too depressing.

But, great! We're back into the Paris accord. Only... the world would have to hit net zero emissions within less than 20 years to meet the less than 1.5 C rise of the Paris Accord. This. Will. Not. Happen.

We will be at 1.5 C increase of pre-industrial temperatures at 2035.

One solution: keep all fossil fuels in the ground forever.

Read this only if you dare. Written for a general audience.
Profile Image for andré crombie.
467 reviews9 followers
July 12, 2021
“Despite all that, three degrees is actually in some ways a best-case scenario. If we ignore what governments say they are going to do and look at their actual policies – all the plans for new roads and airports, the billions spent on exploring for new fossil fuels, the vast expansion of coal-based electricity in China and elsewhere – the temperature outcome for the planet is even worse, with a 50:50 chance of reaching about 3.2°C by the end of the century, although there is a smaller chance that this rise could be as high as 4.3°C. Under current policies we will pass the 1.5°C target in 2035 and 2°C in 2053 on our merry way to this four-degree world.

Once again, let’s reprise what is therefore in store. At four degrees the planet has become suffocatingly hot. Cities in the tropics bake in year-round ‘extreme’ heat, while southern states of the US experience temperature and drought conditions currently only seen in Death Valley. Gripped by ‘megadroughts’, these states are swept by intense dust storms that strip away remaining cultivable soils. Worldwide heat mortality increases by 500–2,000%. Temperatures are so high in the Gulf region that for much of the year it is biologically uninhabitable, meaning humans are unable to move around outside and must stay within artificially cooled environments. Temperatures and humidity also cross the survivability threshold in parts of South Asia, imperilling continued human habitation in areas currently home to hundreds of millions of people. The uninhabitability belt also extends to eastern China, adding hundreds of millions more to the world’s burgeoning total of climate refugees. Two of the cradles of human civilisation – South Asia and the North China plain – have now been rendered biologically intolerable for our species and all other warm-blooded animals.

Southern Europe, Central America, much of Brazil, southern Africa, coastal Australia and southern China are now in the hyper-arid belt and undergoing severe desertification. Dryland areas dominate the global land surface, engulfing nearly six million square kilometres in spreading deserts and bringing near-perennial drought to virtually all continental areas outside the higher latitudes. In the United States wildfires incinerate whole forests, turning entire towns into embers and ash, with fire risk increasing by more than 500% across much of the country. The largest conflagrations generate pyrocumulonimbus clouds with fire tornados and black hail, pushing particulates into the stratosphere and covering the Earth in a layer of ash and dust similar to the impacts of a small nuclear war. Most of the world’s mountain ranges are now deglaciated, with even the Himalayas losing 75–90% of their ice. This further diminishes freshwater supplies and reduces the potential of agricultural production to move uphill in areas where lowland temperatures are now too hot to grow crops. With little remaining snowfall, heavier precipitation surges out of mountain ranges, causing devastating flash floods that submerge whole cities in a matter of hours. Coastal areas are pummelled by Category 6 superstorms, with tropical cyclones also battering areas such as western Europe and the Mediterranean that have previously been outside the hurricane belt.

Across the breadbaskets of the world, temperatures are so hot that crops cannot survive – lethal heatwaves damage the enzymes and tissues of plants, reducing harvests often down to zero. In the US the Corn Belt becomes a new Dust Bowl. With no surplus to trade because of synchronous regional harvest failures, commodity markets for major staple crops like maize, wheat and soybeans collapse. In the Northern Hemisphere suitable cropping areas are now 1,200 kilometres closer to the pole, including much of Siberia and Arctic Canada. Structural famine is now a central part of the human experience for the first time since the Middle Ages. Billions of people flee heat, drought and food shortages, rendering political boundaries obsolete and adding further stress to any remaining centres of complex civilisation. In the oceans, acidification and toxic algal blooms affect most of the world’s coastlines, which are already transforming due to rapidly rising sea levels. With most of Antarctica now in the melt zone, and Greenland thawing rapidly for much of the year, the oceans could rise by close to three metres by the end of the century. This displaces another billion people.

With much of the planet’s surface having entered new climatic regimes outside the evolutionary experience of plants and animals, this becomes the worst mass extinction since the end of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. With a trillion tonnes of carbon now in the Arctic thaw zone, the permafrost feedback kicks into top gear, adding as much as another degree to global temperatures.

According to the latest Climate Action Tracker report, ‘for the current policies projection, there is a 10–25% chance that warming could exceed 4°C by the end of the century.’ This is without considering the impacts of feedbacks like Arctic permafrost melt and the collapse of the Amazon rainforest. Add these in, and we perhaps face an escalating risk of pushing planetary temperatures into the five-degree zone before the end of the century with current policies, never mind future emissions increases. The IPCC’s fossil-intensive development scenario, termed ‘RCP 8.5’, sees CO2 emissions continuing to rise right up until the end of the century, thanks largely to a sixfold increase in coal use. While the average temperature outcome is 4.3°C, the possible range extends as high as 5.4°C, well into my six-degree world. Many have questioned the plausibility of this scenario; will we still be increasing our coal consumption in half a century’s time? Hopefully not – but this scenario could also be seen as one where we are unlucky with positive feedbacks in the Arctic and elsewhere, which could deliver the required additional carbon by indirect means. Moreover, at the time of writing, global emissions are still tracking closer to RCP 8.5 than to any of the other IPCC scenarios, with no sign of any imminent peak.

According to the Climate Action Tracker there is therefore as much as a 1-in-4 chance that current government policies deliver us into the early stages of the five-degree world. This is a planet where all the tropics and sub-tropical regions are subjected to year-round ‘deadly heat’, with large areas – formerly the centres of human civilisation – biologically uninhabitable due to high temperatures. Global food production is decimated, with agriculture only possible in diminishing zones of habitability in the highest latitudes and on continental margins. Surviving humans are crammed into ‘refuges’ in areas such as Greenland and the Antarctic Peninsula. Much of our planet is a wasteland of rocky continents surrounded by hot, stagnant oceans. Global temperatures are the highest they have been since the early Eocene, 50 million years ago. All the ice on the planet is now doomed to vanish, yielding eventual sea level rises of tens of metres. Hurricanes of unimaginable ferocity scour the world’s coastlines, even reaching as high as the polar regions. Natural species that have survived thus far find their climatic zones as much as 5,000 kilometres away from current locations. As wildlife is wiped out by the searing heat, those humans that survive inhabit an eerie, silent world.

Six degrees sees the greatest mass extinction ever on Earth, greater even than the end-Permian catastrophe that destroyed 90% of species alive at the time. As I write, human carbon emissions are at least ten times more rapid than those that triggered the end-Permian cataclysm. In fact, we are probably putting carbon into the atmosphere at a rate that is unprecedented in all of geological time since complex life evolved. Warming at this level imperils even the survival of humans as a species. With most of the rest of life having already gone, plant debris combined with the rotting carcasses of animals form floating mats that wash up along the dead shorelines of oxygen-depleted oceans. Over the longer term, heating this extreme raises the prospect of a runaway greenhouse effect that evaporates the oceans and sterilises the biosphere, turning the Earth into Venus a billion years too soon.

If all this sounds overwhelming, remember one thing: we are not yet doomed. If global emissions ceased tomorrow, the planet would not even warm by 1.5°C. Sure, some additional warming and ice melt is already locked into the system, but not much. The global carbon thermostat is still largely within our control. It is decisions that are yet to be made – airport runways yet to be built, coal boilers yet to be fired up, keys in petrol engines yet to be turned – that will determine how hot and how deadly our future becomes. I offer this book as a warning to illustrate the choices that we face, not as a doom-saying prediction of inevitable apocalypse. Anyone taking the evidence I have presented here as a reason to declare that ‘it’s too late’ to change our future is wilfully misinterpreting my message....

But let me repeat: it is not too late, and in fact it never will be too late. Just as 1.5°C is better than 2°C, so 2°C is better than 2.5°C, 3°C is better than 3.5°C and so on. We should never give up, and at no point should we hunker down and abandon any remaining hope of a better future. We still have several decades during which our choices will have a huge impact on how far global heating accelerates over the course of this century. My one insistence would be that sacrifices made must be fairly shared – we cannot demand carbon cuts at the expense of entrenching or worsening human poverty and inequality.

Pessimists sometimes gloomily ask me whether they should still have children, or whether the future is now so bad that they must remain childless and lonely. My response is unequivocal: of course you should have children! Bear children, love them, and then fight for their future with every fibre of your being. To my mind merchants of doom are no better than merchants of doubt. By all means grieve for what is lost, but focus that emotional pain into determination, resolution and renewed hope. Never despair, because there will always be someone whose life it is not yet too late to save. That person might even be your child.

So I invite you to join me in this pledge: I will fight on, even as the waters rise and the deserts advance. I will never give up, never be passive or defeatist, even as the beauty of this living world of ours is eroded and degraded. I reject survivalism and other self-centred approaches, and will always share what I have with others who are in need, as I would expect them to share with me. I will never surrender to despair and will always fight to save what still remains. If necessary I will fight on for years and decades, with endless determination and unbounded love, until the heat stops rising and our children have a future.”
Profile Image for Selkis.
61 reviews26 followers
September 27, 2021
This book was a scary read, but it's so important at the same time. The author dedicates each chapter to one degree more of global warming - the consequences, problems, and likelihood of it happening. I enjoyed his writing style (as much as I can enjoy a book about a topic like this), and I'm glad I read it. I would definitely recommend it!
Profile Image for Nancy.
853 reviews18 followers
August 2, 2020
I really wasn't sure how to rate this book. I can tell you who this book is NOT for. It is not for someone who feels that there is no hope in life and wonders why they should bother going on. It is not for someone already totally invested in the climate change emergency and who is looking for ways they can do something. And it is not for someone who is looking for even a modicum of hope.

This is perhaps the most depressing book I have ever read. As someone who is already incredibly concerned about climate change, I don't think I wanted or even needed to read this. The statistics and projected outcomes are almost exclusively negative. Yes, I do accept that this is reality, but I also feel that just making me, as an individual, feel so utterly and uselessly helpless isn't that constructive. The author basically says, if we want to keep to 1.5 degrees warming, then we need to abolish all fossil fuel burning now. Immediately. OK, I agree with that, but the world and many of its right-wing, populist leaders, not to mention the old, white men whose sole purpose in life is to make profit, do not. They have power. I do not.

So essentially, the book is saying to most people, forget it. There's no hope. We've destroyed the world and thanks to the people who have power right now, it will keep going that way and there's absolutely nothing that anyone with a conscience can do about it.

This books should be for the deniers, the right-wing business-as-usual profit seekers, the populist political leaders and the old, white men who seem hell bent on destroying the planet. However, they are not the people who would ever read it. And even if they did, they would explain it away as lies, conspiracy, alarmist rubbish or whatever other kind of self-justification helps them sleep at night. So because of that, I fear that this book doesn't hit any marks. The people who will read it are the ones who already get it and are going to come out of it feeling like they might as well just give up now. And the ones who should read it because they have the ability to actually do something, won't.

And just when I thought switching out the car to take public transport to work, and installing a battery on our solar system was a small but positive step, I now wonder whether we should have even bothered. Not entirely sure how I'm going to sleep after this.
Profile Image for Ryan Mizzen.
Author 3 books6 followers
June 19, 2020
Traumatic but important read

Heading for a 3-4C global rise in temperatures will have devastating effects. People need to understand that this is what we're currently on track for with business as usual emissions. Every human alive should therefore be made aware of what this means for themselves and their children, and this book is just the right starting place.
Profile Image for Ptrav.
39 reviews3 followers
June 21, 2021
Basically, a repeat of the same author's "Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet", with all "predictions" shifted to the future by 15 to 20 years.

Back in 2007, the same author predicted the death of of Australia Great Barrier Reef by around 2020. Now it is going to happen, apparently, by 2035.

Yeah, right.
Profile Image for Holly.
1,007 reviews220 followers
August 21, 2022
I have no doubts about the reality of human-caused climate change and had a general awareness of the information in this book. But even still, I can't look at our world the same way as I did before I read it.
Profile Image for Jordan Webber.
66 reviews
February 26, 2022
Highly Recommend! Very easy to read for a non-fiction book with information about climate and events in our lives that everybody should know about.
Profile Image for Karel Bruyneel.
17 reviews1 follower
July 3, 2022
It’s incredible how little most really know about climate change. Even when they think they are somewhat informed. The truth of consequences is hard. Which makes this a hard to read book. But the truth about the consequences is much much harder than the measures we must take. (Still running incredibly short with all our planned measures) Which absolutely makes this book a must read… Without having read a book like this, ‘emergency’ will remain to be just an overused word…
Profile Image for David Canford.
Author 14 books24 followers
February 1, 2021
This makes for sobering reading. The author examines the effect on the planet of 1C to 6 C warming ( roughly 1.5F to 10F). Maybe it doesn’t sound that much but that is just an average and it won’t be uniform across the world. The rate of climate change is already twice as much at the poles, causing huge quantities of ice to melt (which will significantly raise sea levels), dislocation of the jet streams and a change in ocean currents which drive our weather patterns.
Some people argue we’ve had global warming before. Yes, we have, and we have had mass extinctions before as a result, and it might well include humans too this time. What is different this time is the speed at which it is happening, so much faster than ever before.
Governments committed to limiting the rise to 1.5C in Paris a few years ago but their actions don’t match their words, and as a result the author says we are almost certainly looking at a 3C rise by 2100. Yes most of us will be dead by then but it’s about our grandchildren and their children. They will suffer from our failure to act. As a Native American proverb says, we don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
At 3C there will be long periods of extreme heat every year - most of the USA will become an oven, Mediterranean countries will turn to desert. In India, Africa and the Middle East, staying outside for any length of time will kill you. Africa as always will suffer the most even though its inhabitants have contributed so little to global warming.
The author warns that 3C and maybe even 2C warming could well lead to a runaway effect which we can’t control, for example because of methane that will be released from areas such as Siberia, and the loss of ice at the poles not reflecting the sun’s heat back into space as currently, making life on earth almost unsustainable. A must read book for our time and our future.
Profile Image for Owlish.
116 reviews
September 17, 2020
"You cannot add a line of code into a climate model to represent the response of a country's political system to ten million climate refugees on its borders. Even with all its complexity and approximations, atmospheric physics is always going to be much easier to understand and predict than human responses to climate impacts."

I wish everyone would read this book, and This Changes Everything, and Drawdown.

I've noticed over the last five years that the most consistent development we've seen in climate breakdown predictions is that EVERYTHING has been happening faster/earlier/worse than predicted. Time-tables continue to shrink, most estimates of temperature and damage and economic impact continue to rise, and several times in this book Lynas noted predictions that he made in Six Degrees (14 years ago) had to be moved up a degree based on current science. It feels like we are crashing towards 3 degrees Celsius increase this century, which may trigger far too many tipping points to save the biosphere.

I'm deeply appreciative of Lynas' conclusion that we should absolutely never give up hope or stop trying to limit the damage, but human nature seems to be loudly and clearly showing that our species is not designed to do what is needed in this circumstance. In Drawdown, Paul Hawken indicated that the biggest blind spot in all climate models is war. Once millions of people are forced to flee their homes and attempt to gain entry to other countries, what do we think is going to happen? Based on the political evolution of the last four years, you can't deny that mass war and death seems increasingly likely. I will not be surprised if a nuclear weapon is used in the next 50 years. Tribalism, coded deep into our DNA, is ultimately going to ruin us.
Profile Image for Ferio.
616 reviews
September 17, 2020
He sentido miedo leyendo este libro que, en realidad, es un comentario largo sobre la actualidad científica en materia de cambio climático, aderezado con pinceladas de las vivencias del autor estudiando estos temas. No parece haber nada en el texto que no esté respaldado por informes científicos de alto nivel (la cuarta parte del libro son referencias y bibliografía) y el autor tiene suficiente experiencia en el campo y madurez personal como para haber cambiado de pareceres según avanzaba el conocimiento.

Tras su lectura, echarle freno a la espiral descendente del cambio climático parece complejo. La mayoría de los estudios se centran en lo difícil que será vivir en el s. XXII en el 90% del planeta (y los problemas demográficos y sociológicos que conllevará), pero la situación emepora gradualmente y creo que voy a tener una vejez muy mala si no encontremos alternativas limpias al consumo energético actual que sean factibles y las aceptamos como sociedad, especialmente decreciendo en nuestro consumo diario.

Por otra parte, el autor menciona un par de veces una cuestión que puede parecer menor pero que es muy interesante: el resurgimiento de los totalitarismos ecologistas que intentan resucitar el tradicionalismo más infumable e imponer el control social asustándonos con el cambio climático, mientras proponen que la solución es cerrar las fronteras y dejar que se mueran los demás. Sobre esta cuestión hay varios textos de reciente cuño en las librerías, aunque no podría decir nada sobre su acierto.
Profile Image for Mario Vanhoucke.
49 reviews6 followers
October 27, 2021
Pure horror, based on a true story! We must change but probably will not :-(. Everybody should read this book!
Profile Image for Tom McCluskey.
60 reviews1 follower
November 2, 2022
The most depressing book I’ve ever read. Basically, we’re fucked and the only people who could attempt to stop climate warming are those who give subs to oil firms.

Wouldn’t recommend this to Lucy, it’s too frustrating.
Profile Image for Thomas.
307 reviews2 followers
July 22, 2022
Mark Lynas has updated his book Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet from 2008. In 12 years, the scientific evidence of warming has gone beyond earlier predictions especially in the arctic/antarctic regions. Lynas admits that he is more pessimistic than before, but raising alarms so more people will take action. Remaining below 1.5 deg C of warming, although technically possible is getting more and more unlikely. The uncovered methane from permafrost presents more concern than before, which would only compound the problems which we have. This volume serves as a useful compendium of more recent developments and is a needed revision to the information previous Six Degrees book (everything has gotten worse). Although a little out of date, it would be useful to view the National Geographic documentary "Six Degrees Could Change the World" which is based on the first book. I share Lynas' concern for the urgency needed to address the climate emergency.
Profile Image for J_BlueFlower.
591 reviews3 followers
February 10, 2021
6 degrees does not sound like a lot. Here summer can be 40C and winter -22C. A difference of 6 degrees is nothing.

This book does an excellent job of showing how faulty and dangerous this way of thinking is.

I have also read The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming. There is a great deal of overlap between the books, but it makes sense to read both. Lynas focuses on the differences between difference temperature levels including the difference between 1.5 and 2.

David Wallace-Wells focuses more on how life will be in a world with climate changes. Details like the growth of food plants with be greater due of more CO2, but the protein content will be lower pushing people into the malnutrition area.
Profile Image for O.
5 reviews1 follower
May 26, 2021
Tedious doom porn, devoid of any narrative to provide cover from the relentless fact bombing, prone to cringeworthy one liners that would make Partridge proud. Content matter is important, but I found the book unreadable.
Profile Image for Piyush Sakorikar.
167 reviews
April 7, 2022
Really a master piece.
Every thing is in so much of detail, That you required a place to hide.
Profile Image for Peter.
Author 6 books111 followers
May 31, 2021
Hoe heb ik mezelf door deze 400 pagina’s (en/of twaalf uur aan luisterboek; ik wisselde de twee af) weten te ploegen? Moeilijk te zeggen. Ik nam mezelf een tijdje geleden voor De onbewoonbare aarde en nog één ander echt waarschuwend, alarmistisch boek over klimaatverandering te lezen. Want als ik vind dat het menens is met die klimaatcrisis – en dat is natuurlijk zo – moet ik ook proberen de kennis die we nu hebben tot me te nemen en het zo goed mogelijk te begrijpen, óók als het angstaanjagend is.

Dit is de opvolger van Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet, een boek van Lynas uit 2007. Omdat er inmiddels zoveel meer duidelijk is over de gigantische opgave waar we voor staan, en omdat we in de tussentijd nu niet bepaald onze co2-uitstoot hebben beperkt, is dit onze ‘laatste waarschuwing’. Smeltende gletsjer, brandend bos op het omslag, alarmistische titel. Wat voor mensen pakken zo’n boek op en ploegen zich erdoorheen? Ja, ik dus. Oef.

Binnenin: een eindeloos aanvoelende opsomming van wat wetenschappers en klimaatrapporten ons in het vooruitzicht stellen. Elke paar zinnen krijg je een nieuw, heel groot getal op je af gegooid – dat niet zelden moeilijk te plaatsen is omdat het inderdaad groot en eng klinkt maar niet in perspectief wordt gezet. Onophoudelijk volgen zinnen als ‘it may be even worse than the models project’ elkaar op. Eén paragraaf eindigt met ‘...the consequences hardly bare thinking about’, en die daarna pakt de draad weer op met ‘And it gets worse...’. Zinnen beginnen met ‘Sadly...’ Of ‘Worryingly...’ Sub-hoofdstukken hebben titels als ‘Amazon dieback’, Deadly heat’, Dust and fire’ en ‘Hell on earth’.

Voor een nog enigszins hoopvolle, tot actie en optimisme aanzettende toon moet je wachten tot de allerlaatste drie alinea's.

But let me repeat: it is not too late [...]. We should never give up, and at no point should we hunker down and abandon any remaining hope of a better future. We still have several decades during which our choices will have a huge impact on how far global heating accelerates over the course of this century. My one insistence would be that sacrifices made must be fairly shared - we cannot demand carbon cuts at the expense of entrenching or worsening human poverty and inequality.
Pessimists sometimes gloomily ask me whether they should still have children [...]. My response is unequivocal: of course you should have children! Bear children, love them, and then fight for their future with every fibre of your being. To my mind merchants of doom are no better than merchants of doubt. [...] Never despair, because there will always be someone whose life it is not yet too late to save. That person might even be your child.
So I invite you to join me in this pledge: I will fight on, even as the waters rise and the deserts advance. I will never give up, never be passive or defeatist, even as the beauty of this living world of ours is eroded and degraded. I reject survivalism and other self-centred approaches, and will always share what I have with others who are in need, as I would expect them to share with me. I will never surrender to despair and will always fight to save what still remains. If necessary I will fight on for years and decades, with endless determination and unbounded love, until the heat stops rising and our children have a future.

Een informatief boek, zeker. Maar ook zo somber en steeds-maar-hamerend en het ene na het andere rapport opsommend dat het soms afstompend werkte. Ik ben blij dat ik dit gelezen en geluisterd heb, voor een nog iets beter begrip van waarmee we te maken hebben, maar ik ben ook blij dat ik het uit heb.
Profile Image for Herman.
494 reviews20 followers
March 21, 2023
Our Final Warning Six Degrees of Climate Emergency by Mark Lynas:

Ok start off with the good news this is a five star book based on the importance of the information. So yes I do recommend it, rather difficult book overwhelming in data and if you are reading it at times it would read like a really long Ted talk or a senior Semester climate seminar therefore I thought an audiobook was the best manner to take down this information. I had to take so much in with this book almost down to a cellular level distressing. I won’t get into the details you have to read or listen to the book to get those but after reading this I needed to self-medicate for awhile then watch a TV comedy (How it Ends on Amazon) (Don’t look up was a good second choice but I’ve already seen that one) So getting past my existential Angst lets say as I listen to Dr. Lynas (because I’m sure he’s some sort of PHD), I tried to metaphorically describe in my mind’s eye what the eon’s of climate science says. Stay with me it’s a little weird but this is how I can picture it. Life lets call it Gaia our self-regulative life supportive and creative system, is like a beautiful and super complex garment which is this living pattern and for eons we left it alone but the past seven generations we have started to wear this sacred garment, change it, wash it, bleach it, we are tearing the shit up and now we a placing it inside a washing machine and dumping in a bunch of lye and turning it on deep wash hot spin cycle. The Garment doesn’t survive. We have nothing more to wear, to eat, to drink, yeah it’s a dark future and I’m convinced that that is the likely path I can see what is happening to the Amazon and the Artic and I have a weather memory of the past sixty years or so and I can see the changes in my own time. Dr. Lynas explained to me the processes, showed me the math, and it’s clear we are crashing and the only thing I can see is that during the dark days of the pandemic that was the time when no planes were in the air and few cars on the road, nature made a come back I’m sure our emissions went down but the pandemic ended and we went back to our normal state, fairly obvious to me that it takes a massive external event maybe a X class solar flair next time but humans are incapable of changing themselves on this issue. We are incapable of agreement if part of that means changing our economy or political ideology yeah so, I recommend this book even though my stream of thought analysis on this is totally wacked. After reading Our Final Warning Six Degrees of Climate Emergency I also recommend Prime video “How it End” it did make me feel better afterwards. Just don’t self-medicate before writing your book review, I don’t recommend that.

40 reviews
December 22, 2022
This book was published in 2020, but because gathering material and writing and editing all take time, much of the research the author reports on is from around 2015 to 2019. And you know what? It's already largely out of date.

I'm not faulting the author, Mark Lynas. He couldn't help that. Almost no one could have predicted how rapidly the climate would continue breaking down in just the next few years. But anyway, it's a very good book, an honest and frightening account of how bad the situation already is and how much worse it's likely to become within our lifetimes.

In the end, we're not left without hope. But that hope is based upon the possibility of our industrial society taking unprecedented steps, making enormous and drastic changes between now and circa 2030. Will that happen? Well, even if we the people wanted to make a start, I'm afraid that our leaders, the owners of society, would never allow it... because it would cost them too much money. So there you go.
133 reviews9 followers
September 14, 2021
The best book on Facts about Global Warming. Well written, extremely confrontational (this cannot be true, this will never become our future, this is simply impossible! Facts, you said...) Let me quote Tim Rice from Evita:
Dice are rolling, the knives are out
I see every bad sign in the book

Read it, and you will agree that in fact this book is not a final warning, it is telling you that the nigthmare you are in, unfortunately, is not a dream, but harsh reality.
Profile Image for trudy :).
44 reviews
December 10, 2022
read, skimmed, same thing !!!
i guess this book was somewhat interesting??? (as interesting as a book abt climate change can be…) and it was very dramatic w the excesive amt of one liners, which was kinda funny, but i HATE HATE HATE that it was so repetitive. i feel like i couldve gotten all of that from the ending summary ish chapter thingy.
Profile Image for Imogen Hodges.
37 reviews1 follower
April 30, 2023
Scary but important read - very eye opening to what the future could become
Profile Image for Gareth Beniston.
76 reviews5 followers
April 27, 2020
Clear, accessible and bang up to date. Lynas still has a word or two to say in favour of nuclear power unfortunately but it doesn't get in the way overall. A useful tool.
455 reviews6 followers
November 27, 2021
Our Final Warning is a data-heavy book about the immediate future of our planet. Far too few people know the facts or have seen the light on this issue, but that is changing. All through the time of the pandemic, I told my wife and friends that as important as it was to get that cared for during 2020 and now 2021, the hubbub was masking the far greater problem that we have today of climate change. Today we see headline news items about it pretty much daily.

I am predicting that by this time next year it will be the dominant topic of conversation and will be almost the only thing that people are talking about. Unfortunately, few people want to actually do what is necessary to do something about it, neither politicians nor those they represent or are being lobbied by. Since the original Paris agreement in 2015, almost nothing has been done. Just a lot of "blah blah blah" as climate activist Greta Thunberg calls it, comprising a lot of feel-good promises and handshakes. Is there any reason to believe that this will change in the future? No. What this means for the future of the planet, short of divine intervention, is almost certain doom for every creature living on it by the end of the 21st century — within the possible lifespan of my own grandchild.

Interestingly, divine intervention is indeed on the agenda, as Revelation 11:18 speaks of the time for God to bring to ruin those ruining the earth. When that was written (about 100 CE), the idea that humans could literally ruin the earth was inconceivable. It's no longer inconceivable, but in fact is an absolute certainty unless something is done.

If you need a crash course to bring you up to speed on the talking points of the problem, it would be hard to find a better example than Lynas's Our Final Warning.
Profile Image for Frederique.
224 reviews33 followers
December 2, 2021
A frightening but very important overview of what will happen to Earth when we don't stop the climate crisis we're already facing.
The fact that climate change is already happening faster than scientists expected a few years ago, makes this book even more frightening than the first version of Six Degrees Lynas wrote. However, as Mark Lynas says: it is never too late to take action: "Just as 1.5°C is better than 2°C, so 2°C is better than 2.5°C, 3°C is better than 3.5°C and so on."
Everyone should read this.
June 7, 2021
We now have some sense of what a global crisis looks and feels like, and the Covid-19 pandemic is a harbinger for the climate emergency we face. In a full rewrite of his original call for a climate emergency in 2007, Mark Lynas presents a harrowing and bleak account of the consequences we will face as our planet continues to warm 1 degree (which we passed in 2015), 2, 3.. all the way up to 6 degrees of climate breakdown. Mark outlines what each degree of warning will do to our world, both the human tragedy and the horrific implications for wildlife and biodiversity, and how this will also implicate us. Mark does not shy away from the detail, supported by thorough scientific research, evidence and consensus from IPCC reports, research papers, journals and studies. It is information-dense but clearly written and easy to follow that is accessible to anyone who wants to learn more about the future we face. Mark had once thought that we "could probably survive climate change. Now I'm not so sure". This is a must-read.
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