[Book Review] Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? by Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben’s new book, Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?, tells the story of the converging trends of climate change and artificial intelligence and the impacts on human civilisation.

Bill is the founder of the environmental organisation 350.org and an early writer who warned of the danger of global warning in his 1989 book, The End of Nature.

With 30 years of experience on educating and leading the movement on climate action, he shares how humans have now emerged as a destructive geologic force that is degrading the planet, the impacts and risks, those who are taking action and the fossil fuel companies that lie and “commit treason against an entire planet”.

The climate crisis is compounded by the rise of artificial intelligence and genetic engineering, which leads to the experience and meaning of being human increasingly disappearing. Bill explains that “these threats to the human game are existential”.

Despite the bleakness, Bill still has the conviction that “resistance to these dangers is at least possible” and that “we have the tools to stand up to entrenched power”. He shares that both the solar panel and the nonviolent movement are transformative tools in turning that belief into reality.

The solar revolution has benefited people across the developing world with clean energy. Solar could be a “technology of repair”, healing the atmosphere and reducing the inequality from the control of oil.

Nonviolence, both the “dramatic acts of civil disobedience that end in jail or a beating” and the “full sweep of organising aimed at building mass movements”, is capable of changing hearts as well as minds.

In the end, Bill is hopeful that we could make the right choices and use the tools we have to save the human game.

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