Our Biggest Experiment: An Epic History of the Climate Crisis


Product Details

$27.00  $24.84
Counterpoint LLC
Publish Date
6.3 X 9.1 X 1.4 inches | 1.45 pounds

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About the Author

ALICE BELL is a climate campaigner and writer based in London. She co-runs the climate change charity Possible, working on a range of projects from community tree planting to solar-powered trains. She has a PhD in science communication from Imperial College London and a BSc in the history of science from University College London, and has worked as both an academic and journalist, writing about everything from the radical science movement of the 1970s to plastic recycling in labs.


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

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

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