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The 2084 Report: An Oral History of the Great Warming

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This vivid, terrifying, and galvanizing novel reveals our future world after previous generations failed to halt climate change—perfect for fans of The Drowned World and World War Z. 2084: Global warming has proven worse than even the direst predictions scientists had made at the turn of the century. No country—and no one—has remained unscathed. Through interviews with sci This vivid, terrifying, and galvanizing novel reveals our future world after previous generations failed to halt climate change—perfect for fans of The Drowned World and World War Z. 2084: Global warming has proven worse than even the direst predictions scientists had made at the turn of the century. No country—and no one—has remained unscathed. Through interviews with scientists, political leaders, and citizens around the globe, this riveting oral history describes in graphic detail the irreversible effects the Great Warming has had on humankind and the planet. In short chapters about topics like sea level rise, drought, migration, war, and more, The 2084 Report brings global warming to life, revealing a new reality in which Rotterdam doesn’t exist, Phoenix has no electricity, and Canada is part of the United States. From wars over limited resources to the en masse migrations of entire countries and the rising suicide rate, the characters describe other issues they are confronting in the world they share with the next two generations. Simultaneously fascinating and frightening, The 2084 Report will inspire you to start conversations and take action.


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This vivid, terrifying, and galvanizing novel reveals our future world after previous generations failed to halt climate change—perfect for fans of The Drowned World and World War Z. 2084: Global warming has proven worse than even the direst predictions scientists had made at the turn of the century. No country—and no one—has remained unscathed. Through interviews with sci This vivid, terrifying, and galvanizing novel reveals our future world after previous generations failed to halt climate change—perfect for fans of The Drowned World and World War Z. 2084: Global warming has proven worse than even the direst predictions scientists had made at the turn of the century. No country—and no one—has remained unscathed. Through interviews with scientists, political leaders, and citizens around the globe, this riveting oral history describes in graphic detail the irreversible effects the Great Warming has had on humankind and the planet. In short chapters about topics like sea level rise, drought, migration, war, and more, The 2084 Report brings global warming to life, revealing a new reality in which Rotterdam doesn’t exist, Phoenix has no electricity, and Canada is part of the United States. From wars over limited resources to the en masse migrations of entire countries and the rising suicide rate, the characters describe other issues they are confronting in the world they share with the next two generations. Simultaneously fascinating and frightening, The 2084 Report will inspire you to start conversations and take action.

30 review for The 2084 Report: An Oral History of the Great Warming

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gabi

    Okay, this is 5 stars I have to explain, because the quality of the book as a novel is mediocre at best. Like other reviewers stated before me, most of the voices of the interview partners who tell their tales in the various chapters feel the same, more like a summing up of facts than the voices of real people who had stuff happening to them. I was listening to the audio production and here this feeling is enhanced by rather monotone reading of some of the narrators (not all of them, mind). But - Okay, this is 5 stars I have to explain, because the quality of the book as a novel is mediocre at best. Like other reviewers stated before me, most of the voices of the interview partners who tell their tales in the various chapters feel the same, more like a summing up of facts than the voices of real people who had stuff happening to them. I was listening to the audio production and here this feeling is enhanced by rather monotone reading of some of the narrators (not all of them, mind). But - and this is a big one - the content is so important that I feel it outweighs any shortcomings of the execution. Powell takes the facts of global warming till end of 2019 and based upon them extrapolates the fate of humankind to the 2080ies. He divides his report in thematic parts like drought, sea level rising, climate refugees, fascism etc. and has people from different countries have their say. The interviews are sobering to say the least, downright devastating perhaps describes it better. This report is a warning call for the decade that still has the possibility to change the future. An important read for anybody, whether you are a science follower or a science denier. The facts are there, the extrapolation feels well researched and the outcomes reported are depressingly believable.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jade

    One word sums this book up: terrifying. TERRIFYING. Written by geologist Dr James Lawrence Powell, this is a book of fiction, but reads as non-fiction. Set in the year 2084, it is an oral history of the devastation wreaked upon our planet by unchecked global warming. The narrator interviews different people in different areas of the world to see why we didn’t do enough to save our planet, what we could have done, and how global warming affected everyone, everywhere. The book is divided into diffe One word sums this book up: terrifying. TERRIFYING. Written by geologist Dr James Lawrence Powell, this is a book of fiction, but reads as non-fiction. Set in the year 2084, it is an oral history of the devastation wreaked upon our planet by unchecked global warming. The narrator interviews different people in different areas of the world to see why we didn’t do enough to save our planet, what we could have done, and how global warming affected everyone, everywhere. The book is divided into different chapters that deal clearly with areas such as melting ice/rising sea levels, drought, fascism, immigration, war, extinction, and clean energy possibilities. One could say that this is dystopian fiction, but I think we would be better off categorizing this as a red flag warning: in 2020 we are still not striving to reverse the effects of the damage that our nations are creating to the environment, and every year we are losing the chance to ensure that our children and grandchildren live in a world where they will thrive. This is really our last chance. Just this August here in California we had a week of sustained temperatures over 110 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s not difficult to imagine this becoming the norm, to imagine losing power constantly, not being able to grow food… And so on. The 2084 Report provides a pretty terrible overview of what our world will look like in 2084, and a lot of it is based on hard scientific facts. If you are going into this book thinking that you will be reading a novel, you may be a bit thrown off by the content. It reads as an oral history, and therefore as nonfiction. I personally think that this is the best way to deal with this topic: it is very real, and very terrifying, and the only way to make a change in what our next generations will face, is to make it now. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Christa

    Really scary what-if stories. Think World War Z except the bad guys are us and our refusal to do something to control global warming. Flood, famine, heat, disease and war are all results of the rising temperatures. Everyone should read this. Some of it has already happened.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    This is probably a 4 or 4.5 star book for me, but I’m rounding it up because I don’t understand why it has such a low rating on Goodreads. This is a fiction book written like a nonfiction book told through interviews. The author has degrees in geology and geochemistry. You can tell that he has done a lot of research and used his own expertise in crafting this book. In the note at the end he stated that all the data from 2019 and earlier is factual. He has extrapolated on that data to write this n This is probably a 4 or 4.5 star book for me, but I’m rounding it up because I don’t understand why it has such a low rating on Goodreads. This is a fiction book written like a nonfiction book told through interviews. The author has degrees in geology and geochemistry. You can tell that he has done a lot of research and used his own expertise in crafting this book. In the note at the end he stated that all the data from 2019 and earlier is factual. He has extrapolated on that data to write this novel telling what life could be like in 2084 if world governments don’t start doing something to combat climate change. It took me over a month to read this 225 page book because I could only take a little bit at a time. I needed to stop and think about what the author was saying and to sometimes do my own research on the side. There were parts of this book that made me angry and parts that gave me chills. I would only recommend this to people who believe in science and want to know more about climate change.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Donna Hines

    Vivid! Scary! Reality check! It doesn't take science to understand global warming, natural disasters, and Earth as we know it has been steadily on the decline. What's apparent is those who choose to ignore the signs present and those who do not! What side of this debate you're on depends on many different things including location, intellect, and substance of reports. Stemming from Northeastern Pa we had several individuals blow the whistle but I'm not sure if anyone truly listened. Just in the past Vivid! Scary! Reality check! It doesn't take science to understand global warming, natural disasters, and Earth as we know it has been steadily on the decline. What's apparent is those who choose to ignore the signs present and those who do not! What side of this debate you're on depends on many different things including location, intellect, and substance of reports. Stemming from Northeastern Pa we had several individuals blow the whistle but I'm not sure if anyone truly listened. Just in the past few years we had earthquakes, droughts, rising rivers, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, tropical storms, erosion, and more affect us. In my 47 years I never thought I'd one day be stuck in one tornado much less find myself in two within a few years apart here in coal country. It's devastating yet fragile and a reminder that we are on borrowed time. This was a shocker that must be not only entertained but examined and carefully processed with change being needed and STAT! One thing I must note is this book went into military, politics, wars, etc. so be forewarned. Thank you to NetGalley for this exclusive as I continue my #2020Lovefest with Atria Books.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Haider

    3.5 stars Fast forward to 2084. Global Warming has made a serious impact on life on Earth. In this work of fiction, we hear from numerous people from around the world to form an oral history of how climate change has effected things. Topics range from health impact, wars, lack of resources, species extinction and more. All of it is scary stuff yet not entirely unimaginable. The oral history tells of America become rule by a fascist "America First" party who works to remove all illegal aliens from 3.5 stars Fast forward to 2084. Global Warming has made a serious impact on life on Earth. In this work of fiction, we hear from numerous people from around the world to form an oral history of how climate change has effected things. Topics range from health impact, wars, lack of resources, species extinction and more. All of it is scary stuff yet not entirely unimaginable. The oral history tells of America become rule by a fascist "America First" party who works to remove all illegal aliens from the US in an effort to save American resources & jobs for Americans. We hear of cities submerged by rising seawater...ocean front homes lost to the tides...mass migrations as people move to higher ground or more temperate zones. I loved he concept of this and feel that all of the science and projections are sound and realistic. However, the storytelling wasn't quite there for me. This was supposed to be an oral history told from many different view points but the voice in all of the different accounts sounded the same. Thank you to the publisher for the review copy!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Diogenes

    Long story short, I was offered an e-galley copy to proof, but I have not yet heard back if it’s an actual galley copy or if Atria Books is looking to simply drum up buzz before it drops on 01 SEP. As it is, I give it 5 stars for content, and 2 stars for execution, with a mean of 3.5 stars, then rounded up because why not be generous. I’ll explain. Powell takes the current scientific data, overwhelmingly knowledgeable about anthropogenic global warming (AGW), and gives us a projection of 2084 wi Long story short, I was offered an e-galley copy to proof, but I have not yet heard back if it’s an actual galley copy or if Atria Books is looking to simply drum up buzz before it drops on 01 SEP. As it is, I give it 5 stars for content, and 2 stars for execution, with a mean of 3.5 stars, then rounded up because why not be generous. I’ll explain. Powell takes the current scientific data, overwhelmingly knowledgeable about anthropogenic global warming (AGW), and gives us a projection of 2084 with a nameless and deadpan interviewer chronicling the events between now and then with a host of interviewees across the globe (but all speaking perfectly good if not literary English). Powell is a scientist, professor, and prestigious leader in a number of important educational and scientific institutions and organizations. I have tremendous respect for him, and he knows this topic intimately. In fact I agree completely with him when he says "I think it’s time for scientists to get up from the lab bench and speak out." In fact we need our scientific experts to lead, because the bulk of the political class is soulless, selfish, ignorant, and/or bought-out. I should also mention that this copy was offered on NetGalley, a site I’ve not used before but one that leans heavily towards Amazon’s Kindle app. I have boycotted Amazon for almost six years now and don’t intend to ever give Bezos another dime on his way to becoming the first trillionaire. If you don’t know it, Goodreads is also owned by Amazon. I had to take the encrypted file and use a glitchy Adobe app to read it, but it has since crapped out on me and I can no longer cite my highlights. The file wouldn’t open on Nook, or Libby, or iBooks. So it goes. OK, back to the book. It is powerful nonfiction wrapped in interesting fiction. The 2084 Report, on the surface, might feel like Max Brooks’s World War Z, but it is not, at all. It’s also not A Canticle for Leibowitz, nor Letters from Earth, though Twain’s idea might be a best comparison in a way, but I’m also thinking about the Dio-fronted Black Sabbath song from 1992 of the same name, so they might be meshed together in my mind. The Report reads like so many books over the past 10 years discussing the Anthropocene, within the thin veil of being in the form of harsh analyses from the future, condemning us in the present for not doing enough to avert the hardships ahead. It’s a cool idea, certainly; however, Powell’s cast of interviewees converse in a problematically homogenous way. There is little to distinguish one from another, besides the opening description of each. His “voice” if you will, is uniform and bares little semblance of a multicultural cast. Many characters say something like “my English is rusty” and then go on to communicate in proper English with some Russian or Dutch or Arabic phrases sprinkled around. I think there was only one exclamation mark used as those from the future berate our collective stupidity and selfishness and myopia, our incompetent and corrupt governments, our greedy and vampiric corporations. Wouldn’t people be pissed off? Hell, I have a Master’s in English Studies and I still talk like an old soldier half the time. I’m pissed off now, and I don’t have any progeny to worry about. Give us scientists that throw things across the room in disgust, give us religious leaders questioning their fantasy faiths with a noose hanging from a door frame behind them, give me a person on the brink of insanity, locked in a bunker surrounded by “old books”, scrawling a screed in feces across the walls of his or her tomb, crucifying past generations for their complete and utter idiocy with futile rage. “Let the cockroaches rule next time!” Powell doesn’t give us that. He gives us stoic person after stoic person relaying the research we already have, telling us again and again to not breed so much, to conserve more and consume less, to focus on long-term contingencies instead of short-term pleasures, because misery for billions is coming through droughts and famines; drowned coastlines, swallowed islands, and 120-degree days; mass migrations; wars for potable water and other precious resources; genocides; the use of nuclear weapons; increasing divisions and strife; rampant suicide and hopelessness. The window for collective behavior change is quickly closing, but you already know that because you’ve read Wallace-Wells’s The Uninhabitable Earth, Wilson’s Half-Earth”, and Hawken’s Drawdown, plus so many others, right? You haven’t? Then you’re a huge part of the problem. Dwelling on misanthropic Agent Smith from The Matrix (1999), “I’d like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure.” Sadly though, there is no cure for the human plague. We’ve been told about these dynamics of homo sapiens for over twenty years plus. We’ve been told about global warming since 1970. I doubt the species will ever wake up from its ignorance-is-bliss Matrix. Overall I enjoyed reading the book simply because it is reinforcing what I already know, and gives us a glimpse of 60 years into the future, though I didn’t see many technological advances described. In a way I felt the pangs of Omar el Akkad’s American War and its utter lack of creativity towards what the future will appear like, in an everyday sort of way. Holographic projections, cyber-jacks into neural nets, a full-day’s nutrients in one handy pill, automation and AI wiping out half of all current occupations, the last billionaires zipping through dystopias in their armored hover-trains, or having escaped to their robo-brothels on the moon? Think of the world 60 years ago—in the 1960s—and the drastic transformations that have taken place with everyday things. Now project 60 years into the future. Powell strips away those creative, descriptive elements and instead focuses on the hard truths of today and their prospective outcomes. Again, this is all fine and well, but it doesn’t make it truly as unique and dynamic as this work could be. That is what I was hoping for. While I was struggling through the hellscape of high school in the late 80s, I was fortunate enough to have taken a class on American Sci-fi and Fantasy, where I read A Canticle for Leibowitz, Stranger in a Strange Land, Dune and numerous other great books (by white guys). I suppose The 2084 Report could be an interesting primer for current high-school students; it just doesn’t have the punch that makes a classic work truly classic. I feel that this will just be shelved alongside all the other important portents the multitudes are ignoring, but as Joaquin Phoenix’s masterful Arthur Fleck tells us, we get what we deserve.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

    This is a very sobering account of what the future could look like if the world doesn't wake up and do something about global warming (especially the republicans in politics in the US, which is mentioned in the book). When people and corporations make decisions based on short-term profit, instead of long-term consequences, the situations in the book result. These stories are told in a fashion similar to, "World War Z", with the author interviewing various people from around the world for first-ha This is a very sobering account of what the future could look like if the world doesn't wake up and do something about global warming (especially the republicans in politics in the US, which is mentioned in the book). When people and corporations make decisions based on short-term profit, instead of long-term consequences, the situations in the book result. These stories are told in a fashion similar to, "World War Z", with the author interviewing various people from around the world for first-hand accounts of the effects of global warming. Some of these accounts are truly terrifying. People die. Billions of people died. At one point, someone makes an off-hand comment that the current population is 3 billion. The comment is never addressed, but when you realize the population today is 7 billion (and rising), the full effect of the disaster hits you in the gut--hard. I wish the members of congress would read this book, especially those who claim global warming is a hoax or that God will save the planet. I don't know if these people are just stupid, corrupt, or truly don't believe in climate change. I think the first two are the most likely scenarios. When money is at stake--lots of money--corrupt people do stupid things in their own self-interest. Throughout the world, republicans in the US are pretty much the only ones who don't admit to believing in climate change although the proof is staring them in the face. Unfortunately, they also have a lot of power. If a republican President is elected, we can all kiss the world goodbye. Our descendants (if any survive) will hate us (as they do in the book) for not doing anything to address this problem. It has been well-known for decades when there was still time for us to do something to stop it. We didn't. And this book may address the consequences of this inaction perfectly. Or it could be worse.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    I read this after been drawn to dystopian near-futures by Paol Bacigalupi's The WindUp Girl and this book disappointed. I rate this book so poorly because it sets out to present itself as an oral history collecting the real words of real people (albeit imagined) in the future, but, it reads instead like an extended essay listing cold facts and sometimes imaginative predictions. The book also suffers because the 'voices' of all the 'characters' are IDENTICAL. EVERY CHAPTER HAS THE SAME VOICE. It d I read this after been drawn to dystopian near-futures by Paol Bacigalupi's The WindUp Girl and this book disappointed. I rate this book so poorly because it sets out to present itself as an oral history collecting the real words of real people (albeit imagined) in the future, but, it reads instead like an extended essay listing cold facts and sometimes imaginative predictions. The book also suffers because the 'voices' of all the 'characters' are IDENTICAL. EVERY CHAPTER HAS THE SAME VOICE. It doesn't matter if it's a defeated Canadian governor now absorbed into the Union, an inuit refugee, or the former Mexican ambassador to the US –they ALL have the same voice. When the author does make an attempt to differentiate, through a flash of accent or a single-sentence-but-apparently-deeply-personal story, it just comes across as amateurish. Favorable comparisons to Max Brook's World War Z do not give that excellent title proper respect. 2084 should have just been a speculative essay, dispensing entirely with any sort of story wrapper. Just make the scary predictions, back them up with facts or projections, and let folks make their own conclusions. I think I'm even sympathetic to the point of view of the author, but seriously, for much more visceral connections to the one world we're destroying and the new one we're making, check out Bacigalupi's Pump Six and Other Stories or WindUp Girl. They will affect you more. You can read this thing in an afternoon, easy-peasy, though I got bored and it took me a few weeks. One technical note - This entire Kindle eBook version is set in bold face type. ALL of it. Distracting and amateurish.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Konet

    This was grim, scary and depressing AF and thank heavens it is a apocalyptic predictive fiction about the future of the planet, but it does and should scare everyone who reads it into action. Our current generation is already seeing effects of climate change from past generations and future generations have to live with a vastly changing Earth. I liked how the chapters were divided into different disasters and different sub-chapters delving deeper into catastrophe. The author obviously did a lot This was grim, scary and depressing AF and thank heavens it is a apocalyptic predictive fiction about the future of the planet, but it does and should scare everyone who reads it into action. Our current generation is already seeing effects of climate change from past generations and future generations have to live with a vastly changing Earth. I liked how the chapters were divided into different disasters and different sub-chapters delving deeper into catastrophe. The author obviously did a lot of research and you can tell he cares about climatology and a call to global action. This is brief read, less than 250 pages, it was 224. I was able to read this in a few days. This is a work of fiction but left me with a sense of dread and doom just like the nonfiction book, Uninhabitable Earth. I think these are both important pieces of writing and we as a plant. human-race need to work together to make some real changes for future generations, to hold off the doom a little longer. This will stay with for a long time and a must read. Thanks to Netgalley, James Lawrence Powell and Atria Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Available: 9/1/20

  11. 4 out of 5

    Preeti

    I think the message of this book is super important. But the execution is lacking, which is why I ended up at 3-3.5 stars instead of more. The author was going for a World War Z vibe but certainly it fell quite short of that. Each of the interviews with different people were in very similar voices, sometimes with the same turns of phrase. Sometimes they ended abruptly and/or felt incomplete. I did think that it started getting stronger towards the end of the first section and later on into the boo I think the message of this book is super important. But the execution is lacking, which is why I ended up at 3-3.5 stars instead of more. The author was going for a World War Z vibe but certainly it fell quite short of that. Each of the interviews with different people were in very similar voices, sometimes with the same turns of phrase. Sometimes they ended abruptly and/or felt incomplete. I did think that it started getting stronger towards the end of the first section and later on into the book. Many of the stories/interviews were really compelling but the storytelling was dry. Despite the shortcomings, I still think this is an important and sobering read, and certainly a preview of things to come if we don't change out shit up real fast. Note: I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lauren1012

    I had a lot of hope for this book, but it was extremely disappointing. It's a fantastic idea, but it was handled poorly. Each "interviewee's" story is exactly the same and told in exactly the same voice. It reads like a collection of essays, not a collection of varied people's stories. Although I am on the same page as the author, I found myself resenting how heavy-handed and obvious the agenda is. This would have been much better to be published as a non-fiction collection of essays illustratin I had a lot of hope for this book, but it was extremely disappointing. It's a fantastic idea, but it was handled poorly. Each "interviewee's" story is exactly the same and told in exactly the same voice. It reads like a collection of essays, not a collection of varied people's stories. Although I am on the same page as the author, I found myself resenting how heavy-handed and obvious the agenda is. This would have been much better to be published as a non-fiction collection of essays illustrating what possible (probable?) outcomes await us in the future.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    A nice idea perhaps but not so well executed. It is supposed to be a future oral history of a severely changed climate world. Many different people are giving an oral history. The problem is that they all have the same sounding narrative voice.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Theo

    The conceit of The 2084 Report is that it’s a fictional missive from the future, a collection of interviews transcribed to form an oral history archive. When I think of oral history, the most memorable archives I have witnessed are those that are able to preserve the sounds of the voices represented, and for that reason I wonder if this book might be more compelling in audiobook format, preferably with each character read by a different actor. There was another flattening effect in the text as w The conceit of The 2084 Report is that it’s a fictional missive from the future, a collection of interviews transcribed to form an oral history archive. When I think of oral history, the most memorable archives I have witnessed are those that are able to preserve the sounds of the voices represented, and for that reason I wonder if this book might be more compelling in audiobook format, preferably with each character read by a different actor. There was another flattening effect in the text as well: not only are the characters’ literal voices silent, but their narrative voices all sound identical. Regardless of age, culture, or career, each narrator blends seamlessly into the next. None seemed to have any identity or unique personality. Powell writes with a clear intention: a desire to impress upon his readers the severity, the seriousness of our impending doom, if we neglect to take drastic action now to mitigate climate change. This is a subject that weighs heavily on my personal psyche and informs all of my decisions and plans for the future. I have deep concerns that governments and media dramatically underestimate how significant, and how rapid, environmental destruction will be. My observation is that many academic researchers seem to fail to synthesize findings from across many fields, resulting in overly-conservative, compartmentalized predictions of how our planet’s future will play out that don’t pay enough attention to climate tipping points and feedback loops; it is that much more difficult, I believe, for laymen to fully comprehend the scope of this disaster encroaching upon us. Some of Powell’s narrators comment on this conservative bias in academia: “In my research preparing for the trip, I found a report from the 2010s noting that migration to the EU had already risen due to increasing heat and drought and the social disorder that resulted. One study projected that the annual number of migrants would rise from the 350,000 of the tens to twice that by 2100. But this study, like so many from that period regardless of topic, projected the future based on the past and the past was not a good guide when there was a ‘new normal’ every year or two. These projections almost never took into account global warming and its ancillary effects.” (Although this point of view is undercut elsewhere in the book: “The forecasts turned out to be accurate, though at the time they were made no one had paid any attention.”) Overall, The 2084 Report does engage with much of the more recent science about climate change picking up speed, and imagines what kind of social changes might plausibly accompany a rapidly changing environment. Powell discusses many facets of a changing climate that are often left out of climate prediction models: will increased flooding lead to a rise in diseases like dysentery, cholera, yellow fever, typhus? will desertification result in not just famine, but also increased respiratory disease? will fascist governments euthanize seniors and imprison climate refugees in concentration camps? what happens if the Amazon rainforest essentially vanishes? what happens if entire ecosystems disappear? Unfortunately, although this book presents one of the more dire views of the future I’ve seen, I believe the author is still too conservative in his projections. The amount of space and textual weight devoted to trophic cascade and loss of biodiversity is negligible; when he does mention these phenomena, he does so briefly and without naming them. It was disappointing to see Powell fall into the same trap of compartmentalization that he criticizes in today’s scientists and governments: when tackling the question of whether and why the loss of a random species should matter to humans (in the single chapter devoted to extinction!!), a character gives three answers: 1. It’s disrespectful to God to destroy his creation. 2. Some animals and plants have “practical benefits” that can contribute to medicines and vaccines; extinction removes these life-saving medical qualities from our arsenal. 3. Either all life is meaningful, or all life is meaningless. It seemed strange and unfortunate to me that the author would pass up this opportunity to discuss how life on Earth is interdependent; as humans, the environmental conditions necessary for our existence depend on ecosystems, species, and complex natural systems we have only scratched the surface in understanding. In effect he has removed the human animal from its natural surroundings and put forth a vision of a future, hellish as it is, where some of us can survive well enough even long after the majority of other life on Earth has perished. In my opinion, this undercuts his ultimate goal, which is to increase humanity’s urgency to act. Similarly, in another section devoted to oceans, Powell largely misses the forest for the trees. Re: the Great Barrier Reef, he has this to say: “By 2050, 95 percent of the Great Barrier Reef had died, taking with it more than a thousand fish species. The beautiful reef that once brought Australia well over $1 billion in tourism annually then brought in nothing.” There is no discussion of the role coral reefs play in protecting coastal land from tropical storm damage and flooding, or of the tangible benefits of biodiversity and healthy ecosystems. He briefly mentions ocean acidification in connection with the extinction “of many species of plankton, starfish, urchins, oysters, coral polyps, as well as the larger species like squid that feed on them,” but neglects to tell us, for instance, why we should care about plankton. He certainly does not seriously engage with alarming research predicting dead oceans by 2048, and the significance of that tragedy for human life. The book’s section on war and social conflict took a darn turn: according to a narrator intended to represent Ethiopia, “Of course, Africa’s ultimate problem has always been its large population. Even without global warming, the presence of so many people might have sealed our doom eventually.” (Somewhat ironically, the following chapter begins the section on “Fascism and Migration.”) This assertion is glossed over quickly; the author must not have experienced this as a controversial statement that would require defending. While I agree it is reasonable to allow that Earth does not possess limitless resources (clearly — as we are currently blowing past those limits at a frightening, self-destructive pace), I think it’s extremely important to exercise some perspective when looking at these numbers, and a great deal of caution when discussing concepts like overpopulation, particularly when directed at regions and peoples who have historically been exploited and robbed of resources, who are not significant sources of carbon emissions, and who are at the most risk from climate change. Powell’s claim here is overtly political, white supremacist, and frankly upsetting. There were some aspects of this book that I really appreciated. I was glad to see climate change treated seriously, not as a problem for “our grandchildren” to deal with, but as something that is happening now, much sooner than expected. On the whole, though, I was not impressed by The 2084 Report. Particularly as fiction, it missed the mark for me. Although the projections in this book are more conservative than my own, I would have liked to see 2084 presented instead as creative or speculative nonfiction; its tone is more appropriate for science writing, and I believe its narrative would be more compelling through that lens. At the end of the book, a character opines, “This may have seemed a bit like a dry recitation of numbers. If so, I have failed to convey the impact of the greatest health crisis in human history.” This insight, I believe, should have prodded Powell to continue reworking his narrative until he found a better balance of statistics and story. That said, I hope the picture painted in his words helps more people realize the seriousness of what is happening to our world.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jacintta

    Fictional oral history conducted in year 2084, based on real life science. Recounting what global warming has affected people all over the world. Water and food shortage, drought, sea level rising, nations going to war fighting for recourses... The US invaded and took over Canada, Iceland has become a province of China, billions of animal species extinct and that people can no longer have pets. In the author's note, "People have asked me, is this book fiction or non-fiction? And i say that, It's Fictional oral history conducted in year 2084, based on real life science. Recounting what global warming has affected people all over the world. Water and food shortage, drought, sea level rising, nations going to war fighting for recourses... The US invaded and took over Canada, Iceland has become a province of China, billions of animal species extinct and that people can no longer have pets. In the author's note, "People have asked me, is this book fiction or non-fiction? And i say that, It's fiction now, but if we're not careful, it's going to be non-fiction by the 2080'." Though the author did try to end the book on a hopeful note, "act now" sounds just as bleak as the rest of the book (it is also mentioned in the book that the cut off year to act to have any impact is 2020). The illustrated future is so bleak, so grim, so hopeless this book should be categorized as Horror. That said, everyone should read it!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    I read this book in one sitting, unable to stop reading. The oral history approach that worked so well for World War Z works here too, although these horrors are all too plausible in a world that is careening toward catastrophe. We have to force or governments to adopt and enforce carbon neutral goals before it is too late.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    A frightening eye opener that closely acknowledges the effects that global warming has had on the world and where we may stand in the years to come. It shocks you into actually wanting to do something to commit to change and elect officials that will enforce the laws that need to save our planet.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Fredrick Danysh

    A novel about climate change and its consequences. Written as a series of essays set in 2024. Some of the issues address are water, temperature, and human migration. This was a free review copy through Goodreads.com.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lilli Leight

    The 2084 Report is terrifying. It’s a fictional book that reads like non-fiction about global warming and climate change. Told through oral history, the narrator interviews officials, scientists, and leaders from around the world, each depicting a different part of climate change and essentially what people could’ve done to stop it. The one question that kept popping up was, why didn’t anyone do anything? The world described in the books seems both foreign and not so far away. A lot of this book ra The 2084 Report is terrifying. It’s a fictional book that reads like non-fiction about global warming and climate change. Told through oral history, the narrator interviews officials, scientists, and leaders from around the world, each depicting a different part of climate change and essentially what people could’ve done to stop it. The one question that kept popping up was, why didn’t anyone do anything? The world described in the books seems both foreign and not so far away. A lot of this book rang true. There were tons of references to past climate and weather events and to climate policies. This is a super short book, and I really recommend you check it out. It will definitely make you question what you can do to help the environment out. Thank you Atria Books for my gifted copy.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kyle O’Keefe

    Oh man. I was so excited for this book, but I was really let down. World War Z is an old favorite of mine, specifically because it feels so authentic as an oral history of events that feel believable due to the writing. I hoped that this one would be similarly powerful, but I was disappointed. I knew from the start that the size of the book would probably be a problem for me- a 220 page book doesn’t seem like the appropriate length for something so ambitious in scope. More importantly though, we Oh man. I was so excited for this book, but I was really let down. World War Z is an old favorite of mine, specifically because it feels so authentic as an oral history of events that feel believable due to the writing. I hoped that this one would be similarly powerful, but I was disappointed. I knew from the start that the size of the book would probably be a problem for me- a 220 page book doesn’t seem like the appropriate length for something so ambitious in scope. More importantly though, were the interviews themselves. The “author” of the oral history claimed that he/she spoke with mostly average people, but each interview really felt like an interview with a specialist. I really wanted to hear some personal accounts of some shit, but everything I got was distanced and filled with numbers. There are ZERO characters here really, and most of the people giving their history sounded exactly the same. Ideally, I would have loved to see this books twice as long, and have it include both types of narratives. The later sections of the book were far superior to me because they required more creativity from the author. I was annoyed that most chapters started with a debrief of the situation up to 2020, including way too many statistics for me. I’m giving this to my husband to read- he’s studying political science and environmental studies, so I think he’ll enjoy it a little more than I did. It’s clear that the author wanted to make the reader think long and hard about global warming, and take some action towards change in response to the things we read in this book. That would have been more successful I think if I cared about characters, or if there was any actual story arc at all.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance reading copy of this important work. Dr. Powell brings the experience and understanding of a scientist to this speculative account of what is to come for many of us over the next several decades of global climate change. This work is frightening, at times terrifying, and acutely necessary if we are to organize and actually do something, anything at all, to avert the disaster that our future is shaping up to become. "The 2084 Report" is sim Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance reading copy of this important work. Dr. Powell brings the experience and understanding of a scientist to this speculative account of what is to come for many of us over the next several decades of global climate change. This work is frightening, at times terrifying, and acutely necessary if we are to organize and actually do something, anything at all, to avert the disaster that our future is shaping up to become. "The 2084 Report" is similar in urgency to "The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future" published in 2014 by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, though that novella stretched even farther into our collective future to paint a dire picture of the long-lost past. Dr. Powell's effort is more personal and pointed, laying clear who is to blame for what we of the waning Industrial Age and era of fossil fuels have unleashed on future generations. Much of Dr. Powell's narrative is based on common, relatively linear extrapolations from current trends that have become more apparent since 2000: species extinctions, rising sea levels, stronger storms, flood and drought extremes, climate-driven human migration, shifting agricultural zones, resource conflicts (especially over water sources), and all-out war. Some of the details seemed fanciful at first glance, but then I thought of how 2020 is going so far, and everything in "The 2084 Report" was suddenly well within reach. I hope things don't turn out this way, and that's a compliment to Dr. Powell's work—he's done the homework to make it personal, to bring it into people's living rooms and kitchens, and we need to pay attention.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Arnold

    The scariest part about this book is that it all seems very realistic and will probably come true. The book is similar to Max Brook's World War Z. It is a series of interviews looking back from the year 2084 to our time, when we pushed the ecological balance of this planet over the edge. In the interviews the author brings up many interesting points that at least I hadn't thought of before. The book makes a very good point about how interconnected everything is. Throw something out of balance over The scariest part about this book is that it all seems very realistic and will probably come true. The book is similar to Max Brook's World War Z. It is a series of interviews looking back from the year 2084 to our time, when we pushed the ecological balance of this planet over the edge. In the interviews the author brings up many interesting points that at least I hadn't thought of before. The book makes a very good point about how interconnected everything is. Throw something out of balance over here, get massive disasters over there. I bought the book on Amazon for Kindle for $1.99. For that price I think everyone should read it, regardless of one is into post apocalyptic literature or not. It is a quick read and will make you think, hopefully a lot!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Regina

    A frightening depiction of what could potentially come through the effects of global climate change if humanity continues to push the envelope on CO2 emissions and abuse its precious, and limited, resources. Many may deem this brief glance into the future through the eyes of a host of world leaders and citizens of 2080s as overly pessimistic, but the reasoning is sound and it's better to be safe than sorry! Perhaps people should read this, and take it very seriously. I enjoyed the author's varie A frightening depiction of what could potentially come through the effects of global climate change if humanity continues to push the envelope on CO2 emissions and abuse its precious, and limited, resources. Many may deem this brief glance into the future through the eyes of a host of world leaders and citizens of 2080s as overly pessimistic, but the reasoning is sound and it's better to be safe than sorry! Perhaps people should read this, and take it very seriously. I enjoyed the author's varied selection of locations used to assess the damages of climate change and the impacts to culture and society. Overall, scary, but well worth the read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anders R

    Some books are rather strange to give a rating to. Well, I suppose most books share that distinction. Treating a book like an Uber ride feels unsavory, reductive. Of course, I'll still play the game and give a rating. Perhaps, I've simply accepted it as given, a standard practice that I alone simply can't change. Why do I bring this up for "The 2084 Report"? The book technically falls under the genre of fiction. It's marketed up front as a novel sharing the oral history of the Great Warming (nee Some books are rather strange to give a rating to. Well, I suppose most books share that distinction. Treating a book like an Uber ride feels unsavory, reductive. Of course, I'll still play the game and give a rating. Perhaps, I've simply accepted it as given, a standard practice that I alone simply can't change. Why do I bring this up for "The 2084 Report"? The book technically falls under the genre of fiction. It's marketed up front as a novel sharing the oral history of the Great Warming (nee Climate Change). Reading the book feels like anything but escapist fiction. James Lawrence Powell issues a warning shot across the bow of humanity. He's begging readers to make this book fictional. He's afraid he's screaming into a void. So am I. We experience the devastating effects of a warming planet through interviews with scientists who witnessed that devastation first-hand. Fires and over-farming have almost wiped the Amazon Rainforest off the face of the earth. The paradise of Santa Barbara is converted into a hellscape wedged between a rising sea to the West and uncontrollable wildfires to the East. Water wars have pushed India and Pakistan to the brink of nuclear annihilation. South Florida is nearly uninhabited and New Orleans is solely visible through glass-bottomed boats. The nightmare could be called indescribable if it weren't for the fact that many of these "predictions" are already coming to pass. Powell does provide a solution to this future hellscape: Nuclear power. That's it. That's the tweet as it were. Of course I can't say I disagree, but after 200 pages of apocalyptic forecasts (sorry--history lessons) the solution feels so much smaller than the problem at hand. Could it really just be as simple as nuclear power? I think Powell wants us to believe so, because he so desperately wants to believe so. But what will nuclear power do to relieve us of transportation emissions? What will it do to stop over-farming and the destruction of the natural environment? What will it do to stop the use of natural gas for commercial and residential heating and cooking? Powell knows we are on the precipice and he's right to seek any way back from the edge. I'm just not sure he's convinced there is any way to back off. He's accepted the Great Warming as a given. So why not rate his book and move on to the next topic? Because the only thing worse than failing, is not trying at all.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Wojcik

    This book wasn't quite everything I hoped it would be, but I still found myself thoroughly engrossed in it. The biggest disappointment was perhaps that it had been put to me as similar to World War Z in how the story would be told (obviously i realize that the subject matter is vastly different) which I adored. While it's true that this book is also an oral history, it was much drier and less exciting, in the telling of its message. This is perhaps because we're looking at the real science behind This book wasn't quite everything I hoped it would be, but I still found myself thoroughly engrossed in it. The biggest disappointment was perhaps that it had been put to me as similar to World War Z in how the story would be told (obviously i realize that the subject matter is vastly different) which I adored. While it's true that this book is also an oral history, it was much drier and less exciting, in the telling of its message. This is perhaps because we're looking at the real science behind global warming as the jumping off point, which is arguably less exciting than a zombie plague, but even so. That said, the science was explained in an easy to understand, not overly complicated way. You don't need to be a scholar to appreciate this message. Because it is written as a collection of interviews from all manner of different people, each section was quick to digest and it made for a nice quick read. It was organized well, and even though each section focuses on a specific topic, each person's interview kind of builds on previous entries, so there's a thread of continuity throughout that I appreciated. I do wish that more of the individual entries were told from the perspective of a lay person. Most sections were told from scientists or other experts in their field, and there weren't too many everymen to tell the story of your typical civilian experience. I get why -- the lay person's experience can't really speak to the hard facts of what happened and the message gets diluted. It would have been nice, though, to read an entry from an average person, even now in their 80's, (in 2084) to say, "yeah, I was alive in 2020 and we knew what was going on, but unfortunately not enough of us could raise our voices to get our governments to move their asses. Some of us did care, some of us did try, but it just wasn't enough..." It's perhaps a bit defeatist, but I feel like it's a real, current sentiment, and I'd have loved to hear it expressed, since most of the book makes it sound like noneof us presently do. That said, it was an eye opening, interesting read, and overall, I'm not disappointed.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    What is the genre of book which is dystopian but also realistic? Is there a dystopian realism category? If so, The 2084 Report fits snugly into this new, and possibly extendable genre of book- think dystopian terrifying realism, dystopian nightmarish realism, dystopian reality realism. This book is a fictional non-fiction account of the state of the Earth in 2084. The full title is The 2084 Report: an Oral History of The Great Warming. Its told from multiple perspectives in an interview style whi What is the genre of book which is dystopian but also realistic? Is there a dystopian realism category? If so, The 2084 Report fits snugly into this new, and possibly extendable genre of book- think dystopian terrifying realism, dystopian nightmarish realism, dystopian reality realism. This book is a fictional non-fiction account of the state of the Earth in 2084. The full title is The 2084 Report: an Oral History of The Great Warming. Its told from multiple perspectives in an interview style which made it really easy to read. The division of the chapters is a great touch too- Flood, Drought, migration, this way you can keep track of the horrors without losing pace too much. At every turn the author has included little current landmarks for us; times when we could have changed our practices for a better future but resisted the science of climate change in favour of power or economies. It’s frustrating to understand and recognise all the signs were ignoring. I have often viewed climate change like the White Walkers from Game of Thrones (stay with me, I promise it will make sense). Westeros is fighting for power against one another, looking inwards for dissidents and outwards for usurpers but never looking at the larger threat to all of them- a united threat, the Whitewalkers. While we fight against one another for power and money at the sake of the people on earth, we ignore the looming threat of the earth itself, warming to its limits, threatening all of us, uniting us in danger. Thank you to Atria books for the egalley. My first one! I was sent this because I had read the History of Bee’s, and while I can see the similarities, they are a different style which everyone may not enjoy. I can imagine this book will entice those of us who enjoy non-fiction historical reads as well as fiction.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lynda Huffman

    The book opens with the question, “Those of us alive today are haunted by the question of why, back in the first few decades of this century, before time had run out, people did not act to at least slow global warming..,.surely our grandparents’ generation had a good reason for letting this happen to us - what was it?” Through interviews with historians, scientists and educators in the year 2084, it attempts to answer that question as they tell the history of the devastation of global warming. The book opens with the question, “Those of us alive today are haunted by the question of why, back in the first few decades of this century, before time had run out, people did not act to at least slow global warming..,.surely our grandparents’ generation had a good reason for letting this happen to us - what was it?” Through interviews with historians, scientists and educators in the year 2084, it attempts to answer that question as they tell the history of the devastation of global warming. While this book is fiction, it reads like non-fiction, and is a terrifying look at the world the grandchildren of my generation will live in. The interviews cover all aspects of the effects of climate change: melting ice leading to rising sea levels, extreme heat, drought, climate migration from areas no longer habitable, war, mass extinction....but it also talks about the things we have a chance to do now, to make sure this future does not happen. Rather than being a depressing book, it’s a warning that is riveting and energizing. It’s a call to action. And now, in the 2020’s, is the time to take action. We are already living through the effects of climate change, and each year they will get worse. If we don’t make the necessary changes in this decade, it will be too late. “We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost's familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road — the one less traveled by — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.” - Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

  28. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. After reading a review of the book in Maclean's Magazine I was excited to pick up this book and read it. By the end I was less excited. There aren't many problems I can list that haven't already been stated by other reviews but one that stood out to me was a feeling of inconsistency. For instance, in one chapter an Israeli tells us that Iran was using its nuclear reactor to build weapons...but in the last chapter we're told that people erroneously avoided building nuclear reactors BECAUSE they we After reading a review of the book in Maclean's Magazine I was excited to pick up this book and read it. By the end I was less excited. There aren't many problems I can list that haven't already been stated by other reviews but one that stood out to me was a feeling of inconsistency. For instance, in one chapter an Israeli tells us that Iran was using its nuclear reactor to build weapons...but in the last chapter we're told that people erroneously avoided building nuclear reactors BECAUSE they were afraid of just this...and yet the interviewees of that chapter say it never happened. But wait...didn't the interviewer just say a few chapters ago that it did...with Iran? I also find it hard to believe that the United States is somehow capable of invading Canada successfully while fighting a war with Mexico and helping with wars in other countries...all while dealing with their own internal problems like starvation and mass migration. And somehow China only walks away with...Iceland? Sure Jan. (On a side note: I took issue to the Natives of Alaska being referred to as "Eskimos". Pretty sure that's not how they identify themselves.) Needless to say this book at times irritated me. That was why I gave it the higher rating. Because that's what books are supposed to do. They're supposed to derive some kind of emotion out of us that compels us to learn more. Now I'm more interested in global warming. While I was certainly no denier, it always wasn't on the top of my "need to know more" list. I suppose you could say I was apathetic to it. Global warming was just a fact. Now I'm interested in knowing how likely any of the events presented in the book are to happen.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Astrid Paramita

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Ok I’m giving this book 5 stars because I think we all need to read it and then do everything in our power to prevent anything like this from happening. That being said, this book is very depressing. The reason I picked it up is because I had thought of writing a similar book but I couldn’t because the story always ended up gloomy. I’m so glad the author did it! And now I think maybe there should be more books on this subject, at least to raise awareness of the subject and as writers, you’d have Ok I’m giving this book 5 stars because I think we all need to read it and then do everything in our power to prevent anything like this from happening. That being said, this book is very depressing. The reason I picked it up is because I had thought of writing a similar book but I couldn’t because the story always ended up gloomy. I’m so glad the author did it! And now I think maybe there should be more books on this subject, at least to raise awareness of the subject and as writers, you’d have the power to wield this imaginative story to something more relatable than scientific papers and maybe then we have better chance to keep the warming below 1.5 degrees. What I like about this book is that it reminds me of the side effects that would come with higher temperatures and water rising. For example, it’s not just lost of land but also lost of fresh water & electricity. We can’t live without fresh water. What I find missing in this book is stories on the bigger tropical nations, how would they fare? Is there somewhere where we are doing quite alright? In the end, it seemed the way to go would be to change to nuclear energy until we can replace everything with renewables (not keep burning coal), and control the population, what use would it be to have everyone consume 50% but have 2x the population?

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jade

    Magnificent! This book of fiction, written by Dr. James Lawrence Powell, reads as though it is a work of non-fictions. Taking place in 2084, is an oral history of the great warming and devastation destroying Earth. Different people from different places of the Earth are interviewed by the narrator to understand and explain how the people of Earth did not do everything in their power to save the planet, what should have been done, and how global warming is effecting everyone and everything through Magnificent! This book of fiction, written by Dr. James Lawrence Powell, reads as though it is a work of non-fictions. Taking place in 2084, is an oral history of the great warming and devastation destroying Earth. Different people from different places of the Earth are interviewed by the narrator to understand and explain how the people of Earth did not do everything in their power to save the planet, what should have been done, and how global warming is effecting everyone and everything throughout the world. There are nine parts of this book going over glaciers melting, sea levels rising, drought, immigration, world population, and clean energy. This book is a warning of where the Earth is headed if not reversed and we do not do everything in our power to do so. This is our last and only chance to save the only planet we can live on. The 2084 Report describes what it would be like if the Earths temperatures continue to rise, such as lose of power, inability to grow crops, and the new laws created to keep the world population low all based on scientific evidence. This is a very real, terrifying, and inevitable possibility that may happen to our kids and grandkids if the proper changes are not put into play.

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