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Over the last couple of weeks, I've been reading The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells. Wallace-Wells, who had me from his first sentence ("It is worse, much worse, than you think"), has done us all the great favor of clearly laying out the incontestable evidence about what warming will mean to the way we live. The book's chapters focus on humanity's ability to work and survive in increasingly hot environments, climate-change-driven effects on agriculture, the striking pace of sea-level rise, increasingly "normal" natural disasters, choking pollution, and much more. It's not an easy read, emotionally. But it forces the reader to look squarely in the face of the science.
Susan Crawford (@scrawford) is an Ideas contributor for WIRED, a professor at Harvard Law School, and author of Fiber: The Coming Tech Revolution—and Why America Might Miss It.
Wallace-Wells - Points - Thousands - Scientists - Hundreds
Wallace-Wells points out that even though thousands of scientists, perhaps hundreds of thousands, are daily trying to impress on lay readers the urgency of collective action, the religion (his word) of technology creates a belief that, to the extent there is some distant-and-disputed problem, everything will be mysteriously solved by some combination of machine learning and post-Earth survival. We'll live in spaceships and eat lab-printed meat, and Elon Musk will fix things.
I see a parallel in another big news story: the hype and enthusiasm about 5G wireless as the “thing that will make the existing [communications] model obsolete.” 5G is touted as the solution to all our problems—which sounds pretty unrealistic, as I’ve written in the past. (We’ll still need fiber wires everywhere, including deep in rural areas, to make 5G serve everyone, and there’s a real risk that we’ll end up with local 5G monopolies absent wise government intervention.) And there’s a new (to me) angle to 5G that I’ve resisted in the past:...
(Excerpt) Read more at: WIRED
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