Well-documented and terrifying review of the scientific evidence supporting claims that Earth teeters on the edge of a climactic precipice.
Pearce (When the Rivers Run Dry, 2006, etc.) begins by dismissing the argument that global-warming claims are “empty rhetoric.” Each ensuing chapter describes a specific tipping point—an indicator that dramatic climate change may be around the corner, possibly occurring within the next decade. Along the way, we learn about the ozone, greenhouse gases and phenomena such as Arctic Sea “chimneys.” Particularly compelling is Pearce’s explanation of why aspects of the Kyoto Protocol, designed to offset global warming, may actually have the opposite effect in Arctic regions. The author profiles scientists and weaves personal anecdotes into his narrative. The weighty and highly technical information in his research-laden text, though laid out in clear prose, at times becomes cumbersome for the layperson. In the end, however, the abundance of facts substantively bolsters Pearce’s contention that the end of the world as we know it may be nigh.
Important reading for policymakers, climate-change skeptics and anyone planning a future beyond the next decade.