Reading The Last Hours of Humanity by Thom Hartmann made me feel a little like Will McAvoy from The Newsroom. It was a quick read with Kindle putting it at only 46 pages but it still left me with a sinking feeling about the doom nearly certain to befall the world in the near future.
Let’s be clear, Hartmann is absolutely on the far left/progressive side of the spectrum and he is not specifically a climate scientist himself. I still feel that this book is worth the read because it presents the true other side of the coin to the opinion of climate deniers.
The central focus of the book is the fact that climate change in some form was the likely cause of all past mass extinction events on the planet. This includes “The Great Dying” at the end of the Permian era 250 million years ago which killed approximately 95 percent of all life on the planet. In the past climate change has been caused by massive volcanic eruptions, asteroids and other natural causes. This doesn’t change the fact that our current rate of burning fossil fuels is doing the same thing that these natural events caused in the past.
Arctic sea ice is much less than expected, temperatures are higher, in general, the IPCC claims were mild and if anything, too optimistic. The worst case scenario isn’t that in 200 years we have to abandon New York because the oceans have risen too high, the worst case scenario may be that in 200 years, 95 percent of all life on earth is dead.
Am I ready to believe the fight is over? No. If this book were longer I probably wouldn’t recommend it but because it is easy to get through in a weekend, I think the ideas inside are worth at least that much time to consider and frame the debate in your head for thinking about the future.