THE CARBON AGE: How Life's Core Element Has Become Civilization's Greatest Threat, by Eric Roston.
The Carbon Age
In his book, Eric Roston reveals how intimately human life is intertwined with carbon.
"Everything in moderation" -- a favorite mantra of wise folks, from Aristotle to my mom. It’s also the basic lesson of Eric Roston’s new book, The Carbon Age: How Life’s Core Element Has Become Civilization’s Greatest Threat. In one sense, the story of carbon is a tale of supreme irony: The very thing that allows complex things to exist now threatens our complex existence. But really, it all makes perfect sense.
Existence is a balancing act. And the carbon kingdom makes up a large part of that balance. By showing how intimately human life is intertwined with carbon, The Carbon Age forces us to care about all kinds of things we might have overlooked -- none so much as the carbon in our atmosphere.
Roston's book takes us from the beginning of the universe to the present day, telling the story of carbon along the way. The stuff is absolutely everywhere. From the nuclear fusion of numberless stars, it spreads out universally (literally). It’s in the graphite we use to write to the diamonds we use to propose. And Roston's book is essentially a soap opera journey though its various iterations, with way more drama and appeal than a science book should have.