Review: Unstoppable by Bill Nye [Audiobook]


About Unstoppable

Just as World War II called an earlier generation to greatness, so the climate crisis is calling today's rising youth to action: to create a better future.

In UNSTOPPABLE, Bill Nye crystallizes and expands the message for which he is best known and beloved. That message is that with a combination of optimism and scientific curiosity, all obstacles become opportunities, and the possibilities of our world become limitless. With a scientist's thirst for knowledge and an engineer's vision of what can be, Bill Nye sees today's environmental issues not as insurmountable, depressing problems but as chances for our society to rise to the challenge and create a cleaner, healthier, smarter world. We need not accept that transportation consumes half our energy, and that two-thirds of the energy you put into your car is immediately thrown away out the tailpipe. We need not accept that dangerous emissions are the price we must pay for a vibrant economy and a comfortable life. Above all, we need not accept that we will leave our children a planet that is dirty, overheated, and depleted of resources. As Bill shares his vision, he debunks some of the most persistent myths and misunderstandings about global warming. When you are done reading, you'll be enlightened and empowered. Chances are, you'll be smiling, too, ready to join Bill and change the world.

In Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World, the New York Times bestselling author of Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation and former host of "Bill Nye the Science Guy" issues a new challenge to today's generation: to make a cleaner, more efficient, and happier world.

About the Author

Bill Nye is a scientist, engineer, comedian, and inventor, as well as the New York Times bestselling author of Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, where he studied under Carl Sagan, and worked as an engineer at Boeing on the 747, before creating and hosting his much-loved Emmy award-winning PBS/Discovery Channel show "Bill Nye the Science Guy." He holds six Honorary Doctorate degrees from Lehigh University, Willamette University, Quinnipiac University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Goucher College, and Johns Hopkins, and visits Cornell regularly as a Professor in his own right.

Corey S. Powell is the former editor in chief of American Scientist and Discover, where he is currently editor at large and continues to write the "Out There" column and blog. He is also a visiting scholar at NYU's SHERP science journalism program, as well as a freelance writer for Popular Science, Smithsonian, Nautilus, and Aeon; his article "The Madness of the Planets" appears in The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2014. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, two daughters, and a small collection of Permian-era fossils.

My Thoughts

[Note: This review was previously published at Audiobook Reviewer.]

Dealing with climate change requires a fundamental change in the way we think about and view our place on this planet - according to Bill Nye, we have to view our role as owners of this earth, rather than mere renters. The earth needs our constant attention and we have to be careful about what we put into the air, water, and land since we all share these resources.

In Unstoppable, Nye rejects the altruistic notion that we have to "save the earth" - the Earth isn't going anywhere. It was here long before us humans, and will be here long after us. Also rejected is the notion that climate change has always occurred, will always occur, and that we shouldn't worry about it. The truth, as is often the case between two such extremes, lies somewhere in the middle. The Earth doesn't need saving. Rather, we need to keep the earth habitable for us! If we're not good stewards, or responsible owners, then we run the risk of making our planet inhospitable and hostile to our continued survival.

The goal, then, is to try and mitigate the effects of the global disaster that we have already created. With the amounts of carbon emissions that we are pumping into the atmosphere every second of every day, and the long-term trends that demonstrate the warmth and expansion of Earth's waters, leading to changes in air and water currents, we've already created what amounts to an irreversible situation, or one that, if reversed, would take many, many hundreds of years. Hence the book's title, Unstoppable. Rapid climate change is occurring, and the havoc that it will wreak on our entire ecosystem is a force to be reckoned with.

Over the course of the book, Nye discusses the science behind climate change and lays down some grisly facts surrounding the accumulation and perpetual proliferation of carbon dioxide into the air we breathe, defeats one by one the most common assertions claimed by climate change deniers, and explores the causes and effects of this man-made disruption (tornadoes in Chicago! More snowfall! More flooding! The collapse of infrastructure and the displacement of millions of people living in coastal regions!). He also notes, not unreasonably, that freeing ourselves from fossil fuels would go a long way toward cutting off a primary source of income to terrorist groups, like ISIS, that control the oil fields whose productions we are so dependent on. Also supremely beneficial to both the United States and the world at large is cutting loose climate change deniers from their political offices.

While there's plenty of doom and gloom in the future forecast, it's not completely without some measure of hope. Nye also discusses the technologies that we can and should be adopting in order to ensure our continued existence. Nye offers plenty of practical (thought not necessarily cheap) efforts that could be undertaken, literally, right at home, like installing solar panels, collecting rain water, and making slight alterations to the way you insulate your home, and buying an electric vehicle. Each of these small, environmentally conscious steps can help off-set the decades of damage we have done, and continue to do, to the world around us. If we want to continue living on the Earth, though, we will have to make some tough choices in the way we live.

As a long-time science communicator, Bill Nye is able to lay down the surprisingly large breadth of information surrounding the topic of climate change. And as narrator of his own book, he's able to present the material with his trademark wit and passion, making the book a real joy to listen to. The Science Guy brings with him all of the entertainment value that made his television series such a joy to watch back in the 1990s, and the production value on this audio book is superior, running along with nary a hiccup. Throughout the narration, he provides plenty of real world illustrations to support the scientific data, which helps hammer home the importance of dealing with this dangerous reality and reminds us that we can no longer keep our heads buried in the sand.

We cannot ignore this problem until it goes away because, as Nye makes abundantly clear, this problem is simply not going to go away, no matter how loud the (uninformed) denial. Information is relayed in an easy-to-understand and cogent fashion, which is a very wise approach since this is a topic that literally everyone should be made to understand. You don't need a PhD to get clued in on the science at hand, and this book serves as a refreshing primer that will make it very easy for people to become informed. In fact, the information is so easy to grasp that even Ken Ham should be able to understand it, providing he's willing to, once again, get schooled by Bill Nye the Science Guy!

Buy Unstoppable At Amazon

Michael Patrick Hicks

Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of the science fiction novels Convergence, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist, and Emergence. His work has appeared in several anthologies, and he has written for the websites Graphic Novel Reporter and Audiobook Reviewer. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.

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