Book details

208 Pages
Publication date: September 2021
Kurt de Swaaf

The State of the World

Why We Can Still Save the Planet and What We Have to Do for That


What shape is the life of the plants and animals on our planet really in? Now that the decade of biological diversity declared by the United Nations is coming to an end, this question is more topical than ever.

In the extensive report on biodiversity compiled by the IPBES-IPCC (a part of the United Nations), 500 scientists detail the status quo of the ecosystems, their living organisms, and their environmental conditions by drawing on studies conducted around the globe. They register what the planet has already lost, what it is about to lose, and what the odds are for what remains. Biologist and science journalist Kurt de Swaaf has delved into this exhaustive subject. He notes that it is almost high noon already, but he also considers our prospects of turning back time with hope. By reforesting the rain forest in Costa Rica, for example, with the aid of research and investments—people just have to want it enough.


Shortlisted for Science Book of the Year in Austria


»Although the book paints a bleak picture of the state of the world, the author emphasizes that it is not too late and that the clock could be turned back – if only we wanted to.«

»Kurt de Swaaf has studied this comprehensive report and presented it in a clear and exciting way in this book.«
Grüner Spiegel

»Act, now! A stirring plea for environmental protection.«

»A book for saving the world«
Mein Bezirk

»It makes it clear that we can still turn the tide so that humans, animals and plants have a future.«

»Kurt de Swaaf uses concrete examples to show how it can work – if only people want it to.«

»Kurt de Swaaf has taken on this comprehensive [IPBES] report and presented it vividly and excitingly in this book.«
Katholisches Sonntagsblatt

»Very fascinating and informative.«
Zur Zeit

»This in-depth nonfiction book provides the basics for understanding the current crisis in our ecosystems.«
Schwäbische Nachrichten

»A thought-provoking book by Kurt de Swaaf«
Passauer Neue Presse

»vividly and excitingly presented«
Deutscher Alpenverein

»In this concentrated form of his book these innumerable small mosaic stones are put together to a whole big picture«
Kutter & Küste



Sample Translation


Kurt de Swaaf

KURT DE SWAAF, born in the Netherlands to parents of Austrian-German descent in 1963, is a biologist and science journalist. He attended university in Heidelberg, focusing his studies on water ecology and marine biology. He writes for Terra Mater, Neue Zürcher Zeitung and Der Standard.