The April issue of Scientific American includes an exclusive excerpt from Bill McKibben‘s new book, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, plus an interview that challenges his assumptions. Expanded answers to key interview questions, and additional queries and replies, appear here.
McKibben is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College in Vermont and is a co-founder of the climate action group, 350.org. He argues that humankind, because of its actions, now lives on a fundamentally different world, which he calls Eaarth. This celestial body can no longer support the economic growth model that has driven society for the past 200 years. To avoid its own collapse, humankind must instead seek to maintain wealth and resources, in large part by shifting to more durable, localized economies—especially in food and energy production.