Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth

Island Press
7

On December 7, 2011, Mark Hertsgaard participated in The National Climate Seminar, a series of webinars sponsored by Bard College’s Center for Environmental Policy. The online seminars provide a forum for leading scientists, writers, and other experts to talk about critical issues regarding climate change. The series also opens a public conversation, inviting participants to ask questions and contribute their own thoughts.

Hertsgaard has spthe last two decades reporting on climate change for media outlets including The New Yorker, NPR, Time, Vanity Fair, and The Nation, where he is the environmcorrespondent. His lecture focused on political movements and how environmental advocates can provoke change in public attitudes and on Capitol Hill. Hertsgaard sees 2011’s Occupy movemas a sign of real hope and discussed what climate activists can learn from Occupy’s tactics.

This E-ssential is an edited version of Hertsgaard’s talk and the subseququestion and answer session. While some material has been cut and some language modified for clarity, the intention was to retain the substance of the original discussion.
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About the author

Mark Hertsgaard has spthe last two decades reporting on climate change for media outlets including The New Yorker, NPR, Time, Vanity Fair, and The Nation, where he is the environmcorrespondent. But the full truth did not hit home until he became a father and, soon thereafter, learned that climate change had already arrived―a century earlier than forecast―with impacts bound to worsen for decades to come. Hertsgaard’s daughter Chiara, now five years old, is part of what he has dubbed “Generation Hot”: the two billion young people worldwide who will spend the rest of their lives coping with mounting climate disruption.

His new book Hot is a father’s cry against climate change, but mof the book focuses on solutions, offering a deeply reported blueprint for how all of us―as parents, communities, companies and countries―can navigate this unavoidable new era.

Called “one of America’s finest reporters” by Barbara Ehrenreich, Hertsgaard is the author of five previous books that have been translated into sixteen languages, including On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency and Earth Odyssey: Around the World In Search of Our Environmental Future.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Island Press
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Published on
Feb 5, 2013
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Pages
19
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ISBN
9781610914147
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / General
Political Science / Political Process / Political Advocacy
Political Science / Public Policy / Environmental Policy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Like many of us, Mark Hertsgaard has long worried about the declining health of our environment. But in 1991, he decided to act on his concern and investigate the escalating crisis for himself. Traveling on his own dime, he embarked on an odyssey lasting most of the decade and spanning nineteen countries. Now, in Earth Odyssey, he reports on our environmental predicament through the eyes of the people who live it.

From the gilded boardrooms of Paris to the traffic-clogged streets of Bangkok, we travel from the deep human past to our still unfolding future. Much of the story revolves around people like Zhenbing, Hertsgaard's charismatic interpreter in China, whose desire to escape poverty leaves him indifferent to his country's horrific air and water pollution. We also meet Garang, a proud Dinka tribesman whose response to Sudan's famine shows the difficulty of building an environmentally sustainable future without bridging the gap between rich and poor. Drawing on interviews with Václav Havel, Al Gore, Jacques Cousteau, and numerous other prominent figures, Hertsgaard offers fresh insight into such complex issues as humanity's growing addiction to the automobile, the insidious spread of nuclear technology, and the inevitable tension between unfettered capitalism and the health of the biosphere.

Earth Odyssey is a vivid, passionate narrative about one man's journey around the world in search of the answer to the most important question of our time: Is the future of the human species at risk? Combining first-rate reportage with irresistible storytelling, Mark Hertsgaard has written an essential--and ultimately hopeful--book about the uncertain fate of humankind.


From the Hardcover edition.
#1 National Bestseller

From two of our most fiercely moral voices, a passionate call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world.

With Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn as our guides, we undertake an odyssey through Africa and Asia to meet the extraordinary women struggling there, among them a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery and an Ethiopian woman who suffered devastating injuries in childbirth. Drawing on the breadth of their combined reporting experience, Kristof and WuDunn depict our world with anger, sadness, clarity, and, ultimately, hope.

They show how a little help can transform the lives of women and girls abroad. That Cambodian girl eventually escaped from her brothel and, with assistance from an aid group, built a thriving retail business that supports her family. The Ethiopian woman had her injuries repaired and in time became a surgeon. A Zimbabwean mother of five, counseled to return to school, earned her doctorate and became an expert on AIDS.

Through these stories, Kristof and WuDunn help us see that the key to economic progress lies in unleashing women’s potential. They make clear how so many people have helped to do just that, and how we can each do our part. Throughout much of the world, the greatest unexploited economic resource is the female half of the population. Countries such as China have prospered precisely because they emancipated women and brought them into the formal economy. Unleashing that process globally is not only the right thing to do; it’s also the best strategy for fighting poverty.

Deeply felt, pragmatic, and inspirational, Half the Sky is essential reading for every global citizen.
Like many of us, Mark Hertsgaard has long worried about the declining health of our environment. But in 1991, he decided to act on his concern and investigate the escalating crisis for himself. Traveling on his own dime, he embarked on an odyssey lasting most of the decade and spanning nineteen countries. Now, in Earth Odyssey, he reports on our environmental predicament through the eyes of the people who live it.

From the gilded boardrooms of Paris to the traffic-clogged streets of Bangkok, we travel from the deep human past to our still unfolding future. Much of the story revolves around people like Zhenbing, Hertsgaard's charismatic interpreter in China, whose desire to escape poverty leaves him indifferent to his country's horrific air and water pollution. We also meet Garang, a proud Dinka tribesman whose response to Sudan's famine shows the difficulty of building an environmentally sustainable future without bridging the gap between rich and poor. Drawing on interviews with Václav Havel, Al Gore, Jacques Cousteau, and numerous other prominent figures, Hertsgaard offers fresh insight into such complex issues as humanity's growing addiction to the automobile, the insidious spread of nuclear technology, and the inevitable tension between unfettered capitalism and the health of the biosphere.

Earth Odyssey is a vivid, passionate narrative about one man's journey around the world in search of the answer to the most important question of our time: Is the future of the human species at risk? Combining first-rate reportage with irresistible storytelling, Mark Hertsgaard has written an essential--and ultimately hopeful--book about the uncertain fate of humankind.


From the Hardcover edition.
An “informative and vividly reported book” that goes beyond the politics of climate change to explore practical ways we can adapt and survive (San Francisco Chronicle).
 
Journalist Mark Hertsgaard has reported on global warming for outlets including the New Yorker, NPR, Time, and Vanity Fair. But it was only after he became a father that he started thinking about the two billion young people worldwide who will spend the rest of their lives coping with mounting climate disruption.
 
In Hot, he presents a well-researched blueprint for how all of us―parents, communities, companies, and countries―can navigate this unavoidable new era. Reporting from across the nation and around the world, Hertsgaard provides examples of ambitious attempts to mitigate the effects of sea-level rise, mega-storms, famine, and other threats—and an “urgent message . . . that citizens and governments cannot afford to ignore” (The Boston Globe).
 
“This readable, passionate book is surprisingly optimistic: Seattle, Chicago, and New York are making long-term, comprehensive plans for flooding and drought. Impoverished farmers in the already drought-stricken African Sahel have discovered how to substantially improve yields and decrease malnutrition by growing trees among their crops, and the technique has spread across the region; Bangladeshis, some of the poorest and most flood-vulnerable yet resilient people on earth, are developing imaginative innovations such as weaving floating gardens from water hyacinth that lift with rising water. Contrasting the Netherlands’ 200-year flood plans to the New Orleans Katrina disaster, Hertsgaard points out that social structures, even more than technology, will determine success, and persuasively argues that human survival depends on bottom-up, citizen-driven government action.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“His analysis of the impact of global warming on industries as different as winemaking and insurance is intriguing, and his well-supported conclusion that social change can beat back climate change is inspiring . . . an exceptionally productive approach to a confounding reality.” —Booklist
 
“This is an important book.” —Bill McKibben
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