Monday 26 March 2007

Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature and Climate Change by Elizabeth Kolbert

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPublished by Bloomsbury Publishing

Elizabeth Kolbert brings us this brilliant yet devestating book containing the sobering facts about global warming and it's effects on the world around us. The changes, the likes of which have not been seen since the end of the last ice age, are trying to give mankind a warning. The question is, are we going to listen or continue with our Business as Usual attitudes.

Regardless of how much you know about global warming, this book deserves your attention. It's an expansion on the author's three part series for the New Yorker. Elizabeth Kolbert excels at giving us the invaluable information in a very clear and easy to understand way. Too clear at times. The result is a wake-up call that cannot be ignored, especially those of you who like me, have children, and would like to leave them a planet they can exist on. I think each of us has a responsibility to ourselves and those around us to try and find a solution to this problem and stop hurtling towards the inevitable catastrophe ahead of us.

The author leads us to many places in this book so we can learn how this problem is affecting everyone and not just by throwing facts at us but by showing us what is happening around the world. Until reading this I had no idea just how bad things were but it really did change my priorities. Until this book I had no idea that Fairbanks Alaska was losing its foundation due to permafrost melting. Likewise I had no idea that in the Netherlands they are needing to develop amphibious housing and the list goes on.

This book also had times, where I found it hard to read and not because of the facts but because of the many people and systems who seem to insist on blocking the discovery of a solution. I don't know about anyone else, but sticking my head in the sand has never worked all that well for me. Perhaps I just had problems grasping the concept of disbelieving global warming exists because with each new sign, there is no catastrophe. Why do we have to wait for the catastrophe before we do something?

Read this book. Buy two copies and give one to someone you know. This book is one that simply must be read.

Check your personal emissions using the Environmental Protection Agency's calculator found here. Resource Center GHC Calculator

Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research:

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