THE PARROT AND THE IGLOO

CLIMATE AND THE SCIENCE OF DENIAL

An important book that will leave your head shaking.

An exploration of the history of climate change denial.

In this simultaneously captivating and disturbing book, Lipsky, a professor at NYU and National Magazine Award winner, explores the history of climate change—and those who deny that it is largely human-made—over the past 70 years. The author begins by sharing stories of the inventors who sparked the technological advances that, without their knowledge, triggered the climate problems we face today, primarily Edison, Westinghouse, and Tesla. Lipsky then moves on to the scientists who identified carbon dioxide as the culprit and brought the problem to the world’s attention. Of course, climate change is not a new concept—“by the mid-fifties, the science was already well understood”—but early predictions were a “gross underestimate” of the situation, particularly because fossil fuel use grew more quickly than anticipated. Lipsky also lays out how denial and lies related to climate change are as strong as ever. In the 1950s and ’60s, the New York Timesran dozens of articles about climate change, but by the late 1980s, climate change “would seem an idea hatched by environmentalists.” The author paints a clear, damning portrait of leaders in the energy sector who have repeatedly failed to take responsibility for the effects of their actions, even seeding doubt and deception where possible. Furthermore, politicians on both sides of the aisle have pushed their own agendas, focused on problems they felt were more pressing, and never taken concrete action to mitigate the destructive effects of climate change. “The climate doesn’t care about politics, or experts, or warnings, and isn’t even aware there are people,” writes Lipsky. “We have our days and lists and hours, our schedules and emergencies; but the climate keeps its own time.” As of 2021, notes the author, 19 of the 20 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000.

An important book that will leave your head shaking.

Pub Date: July 11, 2023

ISBN: 9780393866704

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: Nov. 1, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2022

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ELON MUSK

Alternately admiring and critical, unvarnished, and a closely detailed account of a troubled innovator.

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A warts-and-all portrait of the famed techno-entrepreneur—and the warts are nearly beyond counting.

To call Elon Musk (b. 1971) “mercurial” is to undervalue the term; to call him a genius is incorrect. Instead, Musk has a gift for leveraging the genius of others in order to make things work. When they don’t, writes eminent biographer Isaacson, it’s because the notoriously headstrong Musk is so sure of himself that he charges ahead against the advice of others: “He does not like to share power.” In this sharp-edged biography, the author likens Musk to an earlier biographical subject, Steve Jobs. Given Musk’s recent political turn, born of the me-first libertarianism of the very rich, however, Henry Ford also comes to mind. What emerges clearly is that Musk, who may or may not have Asperger’s syndrome (“Empathy did not come naturally”), has nurtured several obsessions for years, apart from a passion for the letter X as both a brand and personal name. He firmly believes that “all requirements should be treated as recommendations”; that it is his destiny to make humankind a multi-planetary civilization through innovations in space travel; that government is generally an impediment and that “the thought police are gaining power”; and that “a maniacal sense of urgency” should guide his businesses. That need for speed has led to undeniable successes in beating schedules and competitors, but it has also wrought disaster: One of the most telling anecdotes in the book concerns Musk’s “demon mode” order to relocate thousands of Twitter servers from Sacramento to Portland at breakneck speed, which trashed big parts of the system for months. To judge by Isaacson’s account, that may have been by design, for Musk’s idea of creative destruction seems to mean mostly chaos.

Alternately admiring and critical, unvarnished, and a closely detailed account of a troubled innovator.

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2023

ISBN: 9781982181284

Page Count: 688

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2023

THE ELEPHANTS OF THULA THULA

A heartwarming and inspiring story for animal lovers.

The third volume in the Elephant Whisperer series.

In this follow-up to An Elephant in My Kitchen, Malby-Anthony continues her loving portrait of the Thula Thula wildlife reserve, which she co-founded in 1998 with her late husband, South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony, who published the first book in the series, The Elephant Whisperer, in 2009. Following his death in 2012, Malby-Anthony sought to honor his legacy by continuing his vision “to create a massive conservancy in Zululand, incorporating our land and other small farms and community land into one great big game park.” At the same time, the elephants gave her “a sense of purpose and direction.” In the Zulu language, thula means quiet, and though the author consistently seeks to provide that calm to her charges, peace and tranquility are not always easy to come by at Thula Thula. In this installment, Malby-Anthony discusses many of the challenges faced by her and her staff, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. These included an aggressive, 2-ton rhino named Thabo; the profound loss felt by all upon the death of their elephant matriarch, Frankie; difficulty obtaining permits and the related risk of having to relocate or cull some of their animals; the fear of looting and fire due to civil unrest in the region; and the ongoing and potentially deadly struggles with poachers. Throughout, the author also shares many warm, lighthearted moments, demonstrating the deep bond felt among the humans and animals at the reserve and the powerful effects of the kindness of strangers. “We are all working in unity for the greater good, for the betterment of Thula Thula and all our wildlife….We are humbled by the generosity and love, both from our guests and friends, and from strangers all around the world,” writes the author. “People’s open-hearted support kept us alive in the darkest times.”

A heartwarming and inspiring story for animal lovers.

Pub Date: April 25, 2023

ISBN: 9781250284259

Page Count: 320

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Feb. 22, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2023

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