Foreword Reviews

Making the Most of the Anthropocene

Facing the Future

This unusual book seeks to cover the Anthropocene Age, a time when humans radically change our environment, partially through the burning of fossil fuels.

Light in tone and often enjoyable reading, Making the Most of the Anthropocene presents good information on a variety of topics, from the sharing economy to smartphones. Otherwise, it presents a fairly standard explanation of the world’s current climate situation, describing how climate works, how much of the world’s energy comes from coal, and other factors and facets of the carbon age. Short chapters sometimes interlock thematically, though this is not always the case.

The book’s rapid-fire structure contributes to a tendency to jump around thematically, and not everything is engaged in depth. Certain topics do come in for closer scrutiny, particularly nuclear power and economics. The book occasionally falls victim to hypothetical thinking during such examinations, especially when talking about the future development of nuclear fusion as a power source.

The book’s tone is extremely informal, through use of analogies and conversational language. This can come across as smug, particularly when Mark Denny delves into fiction to express his points—as with a straw-man “dude” (short for “Dubious, Unconvinced, Doubtful, or Exasperated reader”) whose hypothetical views on economics and climate-change models are challenged in an imagined dialogue.

Making the Most of the Anthropocene isn’t a thorough guidebook for living in a post-climate-change world, but it does examine potential strategies for migration to renewables.

Reviewed by Anna Call

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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