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Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth about Climate Change
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Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth about Climate Change

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  213 ratings  ·  32 reviews
This book does not set out once more to raise the alarm to encourage us to take radical measures to head off climate chaos. There have been any number of books and reports in recent years explaining just how dire the future looks and how little time we have left to act. This book is about why we have ignored those warnings, and why it is now too late. It is a book about th ...more
Hardcover, 286 pages
Published April 7th 2010 by Earthscan Publications (first published January 1st 2010)
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Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: climate-change
Crushing. Searing. Necessary. I'm naturally a cynical and pessimistic person, so it's been hard trying to avoid saying (if I can't avoid thinking) that yes, it really is too late to avoid catastrophic climate change. The science is stark and it all points to that devastating conclusion. Each month that goes by, the surer that becomes.

Hamilton doesn't shy away from that. He forces us to confront it. To finally say it clearly and loudly. Yes, we could -- just maybe -- avoid large-scale climate dis
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, reviewed
It ought to be clear to everyone by now that modern humans' main characteristic is hubris: the manner in which we (will) have exhausted our environment's resources is exactly the same as the manner in which a horde of rabbits or rats would if introduced to a new place, i.e. Australia. We creatures reproduce and devour until there is nothing left to devour, then die off en masse to a more sustainable level-- although this is something yet to be seen in the case of the human species as our environ ...more
Sep 11, 2011 rated it liked it
I'm in two minds about this book....I agree with Hamilton's view on the desperate situation we are in regarding climate change, but I disagree with his skimming over of nuclear power. From all the reading I have done I don't think we have a better option than nuclear to reduce greenhouse gases due to power generation, and similarly I found his belief that renewables such as solar and wind can do a better job than nuclear to be wishful thinking (including his figures on the percentage of power De ...more
Andrew Roberts
Nov 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: politics, science
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
As I said, I give up. Incredibly boring, laden with statistics, and no hope for us all. I tried twice to read it and gave up after 10 pages. Normally I am a prolific reader, but this one has me stumped. I will try again, maybe. But I doubt I would change my rating.
Peter Hawkeye
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
A compelling, sombre work that I feel should be read by everyone.
Albert Faber
Feb 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Pessimism is an understatement for Mr. Hamilton's mindset and for his argument laid out in this book. Basically, we're al doomed for our complacency in tackling climate change, that will surely have us end up in a 4C warmer world by the end of the century. The underlying scenarios are basically right and may be even worse considering e.g. the already extreme Arctic ice melt. There seems little hope for deflecting the trends, despite this urgency (a despair that may well be reinforced with daily ...more
Thomas Edmund
Sep 01, 2010 rated it liked it
Hopefully it’s fairly clear to any observer that this non-fiction work is ‘pro’ climate change (by which I mean believes its existence) – rather than debate the science this book is devoted to explaining why people so vehemently deny climate change and oppose steps taken to prevent it.

The author’s strategy is to avoid running through the arguments themselves and instead rely on his references to carry the science. Initially rather than dulling us with debates, Hamilton depresses us with the blea
Aug 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I already knew we (the human race, the planet and every other living thing on it) are pretty screwed, but this book lays out just how screwed we really are. While the author doesn't promise some wind, solar, carbon capture or geo-engineering solution nicely packaged and ready for us, he does end a slightly positive note - even though we're screwed, we are human beings and we don't give up easily and after we despair for and then accept our lost future, we will act and in the process discover ano ...more
Esmeralda Rupp-Spangle
A stunningly honest and refreshing take on the situation at hand.
Clive Hamilton has taken all of the swirling thoughts that have been aimlessly swooshing about in my head and combined them with many things I had not even considered, and finely woven them together into a cohesive and satisfying meditation on the future of our species. He has taken the fine lens of a scientific mind and turned it sharply on those who deny the validity of climate science yet support geoengineering, or those who kn
George Barrett
Feb 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Clive Hamilton spells it out like it is. The reality of what's our hotter planet is going to to be like in the very near future. The poor will suffer more, the affluent will have the means to migrate to cooler climes or put up with a hotter climate. The reality is, it's to late the current rate of carbon and greenhouse emissions has or will be at the tipping point of runaway climate change. Time has effectively run out for us as a species. The great industrial and technological miracles that set ...more
David Wood
Jul 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredibly scary book in that Hamilton not only presents the evidence in a clear and precise manner but also why the world and its leaders are psychologically unable to accept the change that will soon be upon us.
It is as if we look up in the sky and can see a massive meteor heading towards Earth but we are unable to focus or comprehend that it is going to wipe us out.
I read this book as it was recommended by Dr. David Suzuki, who has been Canada's most active voice against CO2 emissions and
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Some quotes to ponder while watching the world melt and burn:

-From a senior Bush Administration official: "Americans did not fight and win the wars of the 20th C to make the world safe for green vegetables."

-From a tobacco company memo: "Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the "body of fact" that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy."

-One paraphrase from the Stern report: we should shoot for a max of 550 ppm CO
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: venustas, 01
It is hard to disentangle my experience of this book from my general pessimism concerning humanity's response to climate change. This is certainly heightened by the recent work showing that it is in fact the tropics, home to much of the world's population and biodiversity, where the hammer is likely to fall first. However, there is something to be said for embracing some aspects of fatalism about the subject and getting on with thinking about the implications for your own life. I found On the Na ...more
May 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Agree utterly with his message and for that alone recommend to it any and everyone.

But I did find the delivery a bit rambling (what is it with these lefty anti-corporate types --- Naomi Klein's "No Logo" was another one that should have had me cheering and punching the air, but ended up a longwinded snooze-fest).
Feb 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book has a new approach to presenting the climate change problem: condolences for the loss of your planet. It really helped me accept the inevitable doom and put me in a better emotional state over it.
Jun 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Sure, he's a bit annoying now and again, but there are so many great ideas in here, particularly about our unshakeable faith in the 'goodness' of economic growth, and the doom we're heading for if we can't let go of it. ...more
Jun 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
This is a must read. The human race has some massive challenges ahead. This book explains the truth about climate change, where we're at and where we're likely to head if we continue to ignore the warnings. ...more
Apr 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book is essential reading for anyone who is ready to face the future climate change reality. It is not depressing but it is enlightening in how we humans think, why we act the way we do and what we must now do to survive the future. READ IT!
Nov 18, 2010 rated it liked it
I felt this was a one sided look a climate change and the debate surrounding the topic. However, anything that draws people's attention to this issue is a step forward.
Check out my full review at
Sim Hanscamp
May 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An important read for those who wish to talk about the social psychology of climate change.
Apr 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Clearly articulated account of the details behind climate change and the fetishism of growth that keeps people from seeing it.
Jun 19, 2011 rated it liked it
An interesting but rather pessimistic account of climate change and why we are in denial and will basically do nothing!
Jan 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book changed my life. Seriously. Thank you Clive Hamilton for turning the lights on.
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Sad. It seems we are already too late...
Thomas Meester
Mar 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Life changing
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Essential reading for anybody who cares about climate change. Terrifying.
Sep 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics, science
Well-explained, accessible to the lay reader, but a truly, deeply frightening book.
Apr 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
a must read for anyone teaching bio/chem at senior school
rated it it was amazing
Jan 03, 2016
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Clive Hamilton AM FRSA is an Australian public intellectual and Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics and the Vice-Chancellor's Chair in Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University. He is a member of the Board of the Climate Change Authority of the Australian Government, and is the Founder and former Executive Director of The Australia Institute. He regula ...more

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