The Story of More by Hope Jahren

Staff Pick

Since Lab Girl, Jahren relocated to Oslo, Norway, where, along with her award-winning work in paleobiology, she teaches a course on the origins of climate change. This is a course everyone should take. Presented here, it’s an engaging, fast-paced survey of how our relentless drive for “more” fuels increases in our population, longevity, urbanization, travel, industrial and agricultural production, with  concurrent negative impacts on the natural environment. Jahren uses a lot of statistics—leavened with plenty of engaging stories—and her book is also a mini-primer on data interpretation. Although global fossil fuel use and meat production have tripled since 1969, regional consumption rates are uneven; OECD nations waste food and struggle to declutter, but places like Bangladesh barely register on energy-usage maps, even as they suffer the brunt of the Anthropocene’s devastating storms and rising seas—not to mention supplying materials essential for the richer nations’ turbines and digital devices. Jahren’s intent isn’t to blame or frighten, however, but to inform, and her data boils down to “use less and share more.” If we do, there will be enough to go around. Recognizing that this is a tough sell—“consuming less is not…a new product that can be marketed”—Jahren urges a wholesale re-envisioning of how we use energy. That vision is still vague, but if we scale back to rates roughly equivalent of those in Switzerland in the 1960s, “humanity might survive civilization.”


The Story of More: How We Got to Climate Change and Where to Go from Here Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525563389
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Vintage - March 3rd, 2020

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