"The story of carbon is an exciting journey and Eric Roston is a super storyteller!"

Roald Hoffmann, 1981 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry.

"Roston is a whirlwind... gives readers a substantial context to the sound bites concerning climate change that are flung at us with little explanation... lucid and occasionally disturbing."
Pub Weekly, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews
The Carbon Age was included among The Boston Globe's most anticipated books of the year.



"In order to understand the issue of climate change—or for that matter almost any issue relating to energy and life—it's necessary to understand carbon. Fortunately, it's an absolutely fascinating element, as Eric Roston shows in this delightful book. His narrative is a wonderful way to relish some basic science as well as understand some of the most profound policy issues we face."
Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute and author of Einstein: His Life and Universe.

"The story of carbon is our story, of course. It's an exciting journey — from cyanobacteria through the old and new gingko tree, to the intellectual wonder of organic synthesis, and our dangerous romance with the internal combustion engine. Eric Roston is a super storyteller!"
Roald Hoffmann, Frank H. T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters, Cornell University, and 1981 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

"With delightful verve and zest, Roston explores the awesomely cornucopian roles of carbon, ranging from cosmic to cellular, from climate to cancer. He also makes a compelling case that human destiny and carbon are now inextricably coupled."
Dudley Herschbach, Frank B. Baird, Jr. Professor of Science, Harvard University, and 1986 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

"If you thought oxygen was important wait 'til you read this brilliantly researched tale of carbon: the element that makes possible diamonds, the 'lead' in your pencil, even 'you'... and is likely to occupy many headlines in the years ahead because we can't live without it and we may not be able to live with it."
Norman R. Augustine, former Chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation and chairman of the study, Rising Above the Gathering Storm.

"Wow... You just blew my mind."
Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report

"Carbon, the citizen king of elements, governs who we are and what life is — but the king is going mad! Citizens, revolt against the despots, or all may be lost!"
James E. Hansen, director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

"Roston's fascinating excursion into the many lives of the carbon atom is a most accessible and thoroughly enjoyable way to gain real insight into a series of profoundly important subjects including, notably, the hellish risks we now face with climate change. I liked this book and plan to read it again."
James Gustave Speth, dean, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

"Eric Roston provides an unparalleled tour of carbon's role — it is generated in the stars and cycles through earth's systems, providing the building blocks for life itself. Roston breaks out of the silos of the scientific disciplines, demonstrating that understanding carbon requires a wide range of modern science — from evolution and climate change to human biology. It is a journey that every reader will find surprising and thoroughly enjoy."
Richard A. Meserve, President of the Carnegie Institution for Science

"Eric Roston's wonderful book, The Carbon Age, makes it clear that we have had a gap in popular writing about energy, climate, and the beauty of science. The imperatives before us to reduce carbon emissions and think scientifically about our world are clearer than ever before."
David Suzuki, Co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation and award-winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster.


"Since carbon is so instrumental to life, and has always been, it's tempting to say that every age, from the foggy beginning, has been one of carbon... Today's Carbon Age is the Carboniferous Period in reverse—cars, power plants, and cement factories burn long-buried carbon back into the atmosphere, recombining carbon and oxygen into CO2."
From the Prologue