Under a White Sky
Mr B's review
After doing so much damage, can we change nature again, to save it? From Australian researchers developing ‘super coral’ to Icelandic engineers turning carbon emissions to stone, Kolbert examines how the interventions that have imperilled our planet may be the only hope for its salvation
**CHOSEN BY BILL GATES AND BARACK OBAMA AS A SUMMER 2021 READ**
‘Important, necessary, urgent and phenomenally interesting’ HELEN MACDONALD, New York Times
The author of the international bestseller The Sixth Extinction returns to humanity’s transformative impact on the environment, asking: can we save nature in time?
Elizabeth Kolbert has become one of the most important writers on the environment. Now she investigates the immense challenges humanity faces as we scramble to reverse, in a matter of decades, the effects we’ve had on the atmosphere, the oceans, the world’s forests and rivers – on the very topography of the globe.
In Under a White Sky, she takes a hard look at the new world we are creating. Along the way, she meets biologists who are trying to preserve the world’s rarest fish; engineers who are turning carbon emissions to stone in Iceland; Australian researchers who are trying to develop a ‘super coral’ that can survive on a hotter globe; and physicists who are contemplating shooting tiny diamonds into the stratosphere to cool the earth, changing the sky from blue to white.
One way to look at human civilisation, says Kolbert, is as a ten-thousand-year exercise in defying nature. By turns inspiring, terrifying and darkly comic, Under a White Sky is an utterly original examination of the challenges we face.
**A SUNDAY TIMES ‘BOOK OF 2021’**
A master elucidator, Kolbert is gratifyingly direct as she assesses our predicament between a rock and a hard place, creating a clarion and invaluable ‘book about people trying to solve problems created by people trying to solve problems * Booklist * Brilliantly executed and urgently necessary * Publishers Weekly * This intimate natural history is both a sober assessment of the ecosystems we have harmed and an exciting description of some of the discoveries that could help undo that damage * Scientific American * Kolbert’s prose is peppered with…mordant observations, which bring out the humanity (or animality) in her subjects — Ben Cooke * The Times * Riveting… inspiring… the premier chronicler of humanity’s thoughtless destruction of our habitat * Washington Post *
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