In 1872, when Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days was first published in serial form, little was known about the cause of climatic variations; today, however, the certainties far exceed the doubts. Amid expectations, delays, postponements, one after the other the conferences on climatic change have failed, and in the meantime, over the centuries, the level of the seas has risen by 65 metres. Not only do we now know for certain that global warming is mainly caused by the greenhouse effect produced by our activities, we can also predict the effects and scenarios of the next decades with reasonable accuracy. The authors accompany us on a voyage around the world in 2872 (in eight chapters, each enriched with a series of maps and scientific data-sheets), one thousand years after Verne, to show us the hypothetical and decidedly undesirable future that awaits our planet if we don’t decide to take action without further delay.
Telmo Pievani teaches Philosophy of Biological Science at the University of Padua. He is editor-in-chief of Pikaia and collaborates with Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera, and the magazines le Scienze and Micromega.
Mauro Varotto teaches Geography at the University of Padua.