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THE PARROT AND THE IGLOO by David Lipsky Kirkus Star


Climate and the Science of Denial

by David Lipsky

Pub Date: July 11th, 2023
ISBN: 9780393866704
Publisher: Norton

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.