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Our Biggest Experiment by Alice Bell
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Our Biggest Experiment

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Our Biggest Experiment by Alice Bell
Hardcover $27.00
Sep 21, 2021 | ISBN 9781640094338

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  • Sep 21, 2021 | ISBN 9781640094338

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“[Our Biggest Experiment] deftly weaves subtle and lesser-known details about the brilliant (and sometimes eccentric) individuals who have worked out how to measure and describe what we, as a species, have wrought upon Earth. Bell’s focus is on the complex human story of discovery and realization, ensuring that readers appreciate both the impressive intellectual achievements that have punctuated this story and the thorny threads of racism, sexism, and colonialism that are intertwined with them.” —Gifford J. Wong, Science

“From histories of energy systems to the development of big science, this comprehensive book is an epic feat of storytelling.” ––BuzzFeed

“A sweeping account of hundreds of years of developments in energy, science, technology, and environmentalism that attempts to make sense of how the world got into our current mess. It’s a tremendous task, and Bell resists the temptation to simplify the story, offering a nuanced look at the past instead of a tale of good and evil.” —Kate Yoder, Grist

“Broad-ranging history of the catastrophic crisis that is well underway . . . Of interest to anyone concerned with climate change and our long, lamentable history of ignoring it.” —Kirkus Reviews

“[A] thorough and sweeping history of the climate crisis . . . Bell makes a convincing case that in order to effectively deal with climate change, people must understand how the world got to this point . . . Impressive in scope, this deserves wide readership.” —Publishers Weekly

“The expansive research involved is laudable . . . Bell’s overview of how industrialization led to the climate crisis is a good match for those seeking a brisk approach to the subject.” —Booklist

Our Biggest Experiment is a spectacular achievement—the definitive history of the most consequential issue of our time. Majestic in scope, it offers not one but two epic stories—how we changed the world, and how we came to realize what we’ve done—told through Alice Bell’s charming, witty, and authoritative writing.” —Ed Yong, author of I Contain Multitudes

Our Biggest Experiment is chock full of fascinating details about how we got to where we are with the climate emergency, and how racism and colonialism have been tangled up in our learning all along the way. Bell smartly speaks of the climate crisis as a social project. Yes, this is a history of reprehensible profiteering and science denial, but it is also a history of the stunning human capacity to learn, of brilliant minds, and irrepressible hopes for a better world.” —Alison Hawthorne Deming, author of A Woven World

“Enthralling, compelling, invigorating. Our Biggest Experiment is the story of our ballooning, overwhelming consumption of fossil fuels—it’s about our blundering and dangerous experiment with planetary stability. You might think it’s more important to focus on the future of our planet, but only by understanding our history can we start to shape what happens next. Read this and be energised—on a renewable source of power, of course—to save the world.” —Rowan Hooper, host of the New Scientist podcast and author of How to Spend a Trillion Dollars

“The climate crisis is so overwhelming it can be easier not to engage with the problem. However, Alice had me every step of the way. She guides the reader on an international journey through time, focusing not on statistics but the complex human story and fascinating characters that have led us to where we are now.” —Maddie Moate, BAFTA-winning presenter of BBC Earth’s “Earth Unplugged”

“The story of the climate crisis and the making of the modern world are intertwined, and in this meticulously researched and elegantly written book, Alice Bell is the perfect guide to unpicking how humanity came to face its most profound threat.” —Neil Denny, host of Little Atoms podcast

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