Falter: Has the Human Game Begun To Play Itself Out?

Falter: Has the Human Game Begun To Play Itself Out? Holt. Apr. 2019. 304p. notes. index. ISBN 9781250178268. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781250178275. NAT HIST
McKibben (environmental studies, Middlebury Coll.; The End of Nature) continues his decades-long exposition of the ever-increasing dangers of climate change as well as considers how artificial intelligence may threaten our future. The author combines these two threads to warn that humans may be reaching the end of their "game" on earth. He first presents a data-rich examination of the implications of rising global temperatures, then turns his attention to the ideas that have led to our current economic inequality, specifically, the libertarian ideas of Ayn Rand that have influenced many politicians and most entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. He also discusses the new frontier of gene editing and its implications for combatting disease, but also for creating designer babies, which could increase societal inequality. After discussing new trends in space exploration, he notes that no planet has the benefits we should hope to salvage here on earth, presenting a sobering case for hope and a plan of action that focuses on nonviolent resistance and solar panels. Absorbing and gracefully written, this work will leave readers with much to consider.
VERDICT Highly recommended for thoughtful audiences with a concern for life on our planet.
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