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Publisher's Summary

A century of industrial development is the briefest of moments in the half billion years of the Earth's evolution. And yet our current era has brought greater changes to the Earth than any period in human history. The biosphere, the globe's life-giving envelope of air and climate, has been changed irreparably. In A World to Live In, the distinguished ecologist George Woodwell shows that the biosphere is now a global human protectorate and that its integrity of structure and function are tied closely to the human future.

The earth is a living system, Woodwell explains, and its stability is threatened by human disruption. The assumption that we can continue to use fossil fuels and "adapt" to climate disruption, Woodwell argues, is a ticket to catastrophe.

But Woodwell points the way toward a solution. We must respect the full range of life on Earth - not species alone, but their natural communities of plant and animal life that have built, and still maintain, the biosphere. We must recognize that the Earth's living systems are our heritage and that the preservation of the integrity of a finite biosphere is a necessity and an inviolable human right.

©2016 George Woodwell (P)2017 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"George Woodwell has brought pathbreaking science, sound policy judgment, and great humanity to the major issues...And it all comes brilliantly through in his informative, highly readable, and bracing new book." (James Gustave Speth, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies)
"From the dean of US climate scientists, a wise and eloquent call to common-sense climate and environmental policy. Its message is authoritative but accessible, urgent without panic, visionary but practical." (David W. Orr, Oberlin College)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Tainted World View

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

A complete waste of my time. I would rather be outside enjoying things instead of inside thinking the sky is falling. This is what I get from listening to this book.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I don't think this story was supposed to be an enjoyable story. I think even though the author claims it was not a memoir, it certainly was. Though he has had some experience with these things he claims have plundered our planet, I think he is living under a cloud of doom and despair of ever having peace of mind about our environment. Unfortunately, he seems to have no answers, so he wants to share.

What does W.B. Ward bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I wouldn't have picked up a print copy of this book. Listening to Mr. Ward is the only thing redeemable about this work.

Was A World to Live In worth the listening time?

Absolutely not.

Any additional comments?

I struggled through the first four chapters where the author mentioned things he only thinks he knows about, including mountain top removal in WV. He manages to mention no less than four types of energy production, but none of them are good enough. He gives no indication of what would be. When I finally decided to listen again, it would not load, so I decided to give my review. If the author redeems himself in the ending chapters, I would be surprised.

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Very interesting and well researched

The author does a good job of relating many research results, including his own, on the potential impact of human activity on the biosphere. He points a way into a more sustainable future but could have elaborated more on how the average citizen could make contributions to that end. Highly recommend if you're looking for a scholarly approach to the problem of climate change. The narrator does a fabulous job of pacing to allow absorption of the material and to prevent the book from being dry. Definitely worth listening to this book.

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Living on this earth and being responsible.

Would you consider the audio edition of A World to Live In to be better than the print version?

I never read the print version. I thought the audio version would be much more interesting.

Any additional comments?

I found this book to be rather thought provoking. The author has many years of experience in this subject, so it was hard for me when I had to disagree with some of his opinions. I agree we must all pull together to save the only planet we have, for ourselves, future generations, and every living thing while we are here. We must be good stewards of what we have been blessed with. Reduce, reuse, recycle. I remember as a Girl Scout we were taught to leave a place better than the way we found it. W. B. Ward did a splendid job of narrating. The pronunciation and flow in which he read was exceptional!

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Listen to understand what's happening to the earth

Is there anything you would change about this book?

No. This is scientific evidence, written and spoken in easy to understand language, that comes from decades (maybe centuries) of research and just noticing the things that happen to our natural environment.

What other book might you compare A World to Live In to and why?

I can't think of another book to compare it to.

Which character – as performed by W.B. Ward – was your favorite?

There were no real characters in this book. Just factual evidence. Although the book did give credit to the scientists who gathered the evidence.

Do you think A World to Live In needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Yes. I think the book needs a follow-up. This book to me is like a wake-up call for people and how we're destroying the earth, vegetation, etc. I'd like the follow-up to tell us of any improvement in this field.

Any additional comments?

No.