The Seasons Alter: How to Save Our Planet in Six Acts

The Seasons Alter: How to Save Our Planet in Six Acts

by Philip Kitcher, Evelyn Fox Keller


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A landmark work of environmental philosophy that seeks to transform the debate about climate change.

As the icecaps melt and the sea levels rise around the globe—threatening human existence as we know it—climate change has become one of the most urgent and controversial issues of our time. For most people, however, trying to understand the science, politics, and arguments on either side can be dizzying, leading to frustrating and unproductive debates.

Now, in this groundbreaking new work, two of our most renowned thinkers present the realities of global warming in the most human of terms—everyday conversation—showing us how to convince even the most stubborn of skeptics as to why we need to act now. Indeed, through compelling Socratic dialogues, Philip Kitcher and Evelyn Fox Keller tackle some of the thorniest questions facing mankind today:

  • Is climate change real?
  • Is climate change as urgent as the “scientists” make it out to be?
  • How much of our current way of life should we sacrifice to help out a generation that won’t even be born for another hundred years?
  • Who would pay for the enormous costs of making the planet "green?"
  • What sort of global political arrangement would be needed for serious action? These

These crucial questions play out through familiar circumstances, from an older husband and wife considering whether they should reduce their carbon footprint, to a first date that evolves into a passionate discussion about whether one person can actually make a difference, to a breakfast that becomes an examination over whether or not global warming is really happening. Entertaining, widely accessible, and thoroughly original, the result promises to inspire dialogue in many places, while also giving us a line of reasoning that explodes the so-far impenetrable barriers of obfuscation that have surrounded the discussion.

While the Paris Agreement was an historic achievement that brought solutions within the realm of possibility, The Seasons Alter is a watershed book that will show us how to make those possibilities a reality.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631494123
Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 04/17/2018
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 748,922
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Philip Kitcheris a professor of philosophy at Columbia
University and one of the most influential philosophers of science in the past two decades.

Evelyn Fox Keller, a recipient of both MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships, is a professor emerita at MIT.

Table of Contents

Prologue xi

Preface xvii

1 Is It Real? 1

Morning Joe 1

Understanding Joe 20

2 So What? 30

Long-Distance Call 30

Living with Uncertainty 61

3 Why Care? 68

Jo's Boys 68

Jo, Conflicted 88

4 What Can Be Done? 94

Greek Idyll 94

Grounds for Hope? 125

5 Who Pays? 135

Firebrand 135

A Many-Sided Dilemma 165

6 A New Politics? 174

Power hunch 174

Tea and Sympathy 209

Epilogue 223

Notes 229

Acknowledgments 245

A Navigational Guide 251

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