The Fate of the Species by Fred Guterl

94%

7 Critic Reviews

Aside from too many lurid terrorist scenarios, this is an intelligent account of the mess we are making of the planet; the unsettling conclusion: that humans may survive because we are resilient, not because we can fix matters.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

In the history of planet earth, mass species extinctions have occurred five times, about once every 100 million years. A "sixth extinction" is known to be underway now, with over 200 species dying off every day. Not only that, but the cause of the sixth extinction is also the source of single biggest threat to human life: our own inventions.

What this bleak future will truly hold, though, is much in dispute. Will our immune systems be attacked by so-called super bugs, always evolving, and now more easily spread than ever? Will the disappearance of so many species cripple the biosphere? Will global warming transform itself into a runaway effect, destroying ecosystems across the planet? In this provocative book, Fred Guterl examines each of these scenarios, laying out the existing threats, and proffering the means to avoid them.

This book is more than a tour of an apocalyptic future; it is a political salvo, an antidote to well-intentioned but ultimately ineffectual thinking. Though it's honorable enough to switch light bulbs and eat home-grown food, the scope of our problems, and the size of our population, is too great. And so, Guterl argues, we find ourselves in a trap: Technology got us into this mess, and it's also the only thing that can help us survive it. Guterl vividly shows where our future is heading, and ultimately lights the route to safe harbor.
 

About Fred Guterl

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Fred Guterl is an award-winning journalist and executive editor of Scientific American. He worked for ten years at Newsweek, most recently as deputy editor, covering the most important trends in science, technology, and international affairs. He has also appeared on CNN, Charlie Rose, the Today Show, and on other television programs to discuss popular issues in science. Guterl holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Rochester, and has taught science writing at Princeton University. He lives in the New York City area with his wife and two children.
 
Published May 22, 2012 by Bloomsbury USA. 224 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Fate of the Species
All: 7 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
Apr 15 2012

Aside from too many lurid terrorist scenarios, this is an intelligent account of the mess we are making of the planet; the unsettling conclusion: that humans may survive because we are resilient, not because we can fix matters.

Read Full Review of The Fate of the Species | See more reviews from Kirkus

Huffington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by David Vognar on Jun 08 2012

Overall, the book is an important read that tackles climate change topics as well as other developments in science that could bring us to the brink.

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New Scientist

Excellent
Reviewed by Colin Barras on May 24 2012

Guterl assumes the role of unapologetic pessimist well, walking us through a series of potential catastrophes in neat and punchy prose... It is compelling and unnerving reading.

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The Gainesville Sun

Excellent
Reviewed by Gaylord Dold on Jul 05 2012

"The Fate of the Species" is a quick and modestly quirky tour of humanity's dance of death...

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Baristanet

Excellent
Reviewed by Liz George on May 29 2012

Beyond the fear factor, the book comprehensively navigates the biggest menaces we face as a species and details what scientists are currently doing or could do, to try and avert them.

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The Book Garden

Good
Reviewed by Birgit on Apr 29 2012

Written in a conversational style and painting both vivid and plausible scenarios of what could happen...

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In Case of Survival

Good
Reviewed by Char on May 02 2012

It was deliciously pessimistic, looking at worst case scenarios for the possible fate of the human race.

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Jordan A Walker

Jordan A Walker 5 Sep 2013

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