Summary and book reviews of The Suicidal Planet by Mayer Hillman

The Suicidal Planet

How to Prevent Global Climate Catastrophe

by Mayer Hillman

The Suicidal Planet by Mayer Hillman X
The Suicidal Planet by Mayer Hillman
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Apr 2007, 304 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

An outstanding overview on global warming--and what we can do about it--from a distinguished world-class authority.

Climate change is the single biggest problem that humankind has ever had to face, as we continue with lifestyles that are way beyond the planet's limits. Mayer Hillman explains the real issues: what role technology can play, how you and your community can make changes, and what governments must do now to protect our planet for future generations. In The Suicidal Planet, he proposes:

  • A ceiling on greenhouse gas emissions by the world's governments

  • Global carbon rationing to reduce our individal carbon outputs to a fair and ecologically safe level

  • Helpful guidelines for the home, travel, and leisure

  • And much, much more.

Featuring the very latest information on global warming completely revised to include U.S. facts and figures, The Suicidal Planet takes us out of the problem and into the solution of our international crisis.

Chapter One

Beyond the Planet’s Limits

Climate Change: Why, How, and What Next?

Climate change is the most serious environmental threat that the world has ever faced. The dangers can hardly be exaggerated. Climate scientists predict that by the end of this century, temperatures could rise 10°F worldwide. But even if they rise by “just” 5°F, major parts of the earth’s surface could become uninhabitable and many species on the planet could be wiped out. Just within the next fifty years, there will be more heat waves, higher summer temperatures, fewer cold winters, and rising sea levels. As a consequence, hundreds of millions of people will be at serious risk from flooding, there will be a huge loss of life from excessively hot weather, diseases from warmer regions will become established, some species and habitats will be lost forever, and patterns of agriculture and business will have to change radically. And then, before too long, the whole world ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for 12 months or $12 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

The Suicidal Planet is not an enjoyable read, but it is, arguably, a necessary one. In the first section, the authors lay out the problem as they see it. If we continue on our current course, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that average world temperatures will rise between 2.5°F and 10.4°F between 1990 and 2100. Temperature rises in currently colder areas would be more extreme, with Alaska, Canada and Northern Asia rising by 18°F.

To put things in perspective, the global temperature shift between the last Ice Age and now is believed to be 10°F; and an estimated 11°F increase in world temperatures was sufficient to wipe out 95% of species at the end of the Permian Period 250 million years ago.

Rationing cards could save our planet's environment, but it's difficult to see the world's governments ever agreeing to such drastic levels of rationing in time to make a difference. However, perhaps the threat of rationing cards will be enough to drive new technologies, encourage sensible cutbacks in consumption.

We have rated The Suicidal Planet a "3" (average) because of the narrow focus of its solution. In their efforts to evangelize carbon rationing, the authors downplay the potential for technical solutions that can go at least part way to solving global warming.  Worse, they effectively ignore population management as part of the solution.  Even though population growth (up six-fold in 200 years from one billion to six billion people) surely must be recognized as a key contributor to global emissions, population management plays no part in Suicidal Planet's proposed solution...continued

Full Review (1497 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Media Reviews

The Independent (UK)
Mayer Hillman advocates radical changes that would ensure a future for our children.

The Guardian (UK)
Hillman's political thinking might be disputable, but he provides vital, practical information to help individuals adopt an energy-thrifty lifestyle.

New Scientist (UK)
A small classic on a big topic. Practical but visionary . . . Mayer Hillman has a way of getting to the heart of things.

Booklist - Colleen Mondor
Clearly a lot of work went into the crafting of this book's arguments and the gathering of its wealth of information, however off-putting the perspective and conclusion may be for some readers.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. [A] comprehensive, concise and beautifully organized overview of an undeniably important issue make it a must-read for anyone even slightly concerned about our future on this planet.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for 12 months or $12 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

According to The Suicidal Planet:

  • On a per capita basis the USA contributes 5-times the global average of carbon emissions. The European Community's per capita contribution is half that of the USA. China's per capita contribution is less than 1/5 of the USA. At the bottom of the league table are countries like Afghanistan that contribute less than 500th of the USA's levels on a per capita basis.

  • If everybody consumed as much as individuals in the USA, we would need 5 planets from which to provide the resources and deal with the waste.

  • Global temperatures rose by 1.1°F in the last century, with two-thirds of this in the past 40 years. Alaska has seen an average temperature increase of 4°F since 1950....

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for 12 months or $12 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked The Suicidal Planet, try these:

  • Forecast jacket

    Forecast

    by Stephan Faris

    Published 2009

    About this book

    A vivid and illuminating portrayal of the surprising ways that climate change will affect the world in the near future—politically, economically, and culturally

  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle jacket

    Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

    by Barbara Kingsolver

    Published 2008

    About this book

    More books by this author

    Bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver returns with her first nonfiction narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for 12 months or $12 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free

Discover books that
entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Yolk
    Yolk
    by Mary Choi
    Mary H.K. Choi's young adult offering Yolk deftly maintains several plotlines running through the ...
  • Book Jacket: The Blizzard Party
    The Blizzard Party
    by Jack Livings
    It is 1978 and the place is New York City. A massive bacchanalian party is taking place at an Upper ...
  • Book Jacket: The Light of Days
    The Light of Days
    by Judy Batalion
    Renia, Sarah, Zivia, Frumka, Hantze, Tosia, Vladka, Chajka, Gusta, Hela, Bela, Lonka, Tema, Chasia, ...
  • Book Jacket: Hummingbird Salamander
    Hummingbird Salamander
    by Jeff VanderMeer
    In Hummingbird Salamander, Jeff VanderMeer weaves cybersecurity, bioterrorism, wildlife trafficking ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Of Women and Salt
    by Gabriela Garcia

    A kaleidoscopic portrait of generations of women from a 19th-century Cuban cigar factory to the present day.

    Reader Reviews
  • Book Jacket

    The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman
    by Julietta Henderson

    A charming, uplifting debut about a mother and her 12-year-old son, an aspiring comedian.

    Reader Reviews
Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Miss Austen
by Gill Hornby
A witty, poignant novel about Cassandra Austen and her famous sister, Jane.
Win This Book!
Win The Beauty of Your Face

A New York Times Notable Book of 2020

"Stunning.… A timely family saga with faith and forgiveness at its core."
Marie Claire

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

It's N S O M N

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.