A passionate overview of human-induced global warming whose effect on climate, agriculture, ecosystems, and extinction is approaching a point of no return.
In 30 short yet detailed chapters, journalist Nesbit (Poison Tea: How Big Oil and Big Tobacco Invented the Tea Party and Captured the GOP, 2016)—a former White House communications official who is now the executive director of Climate Nexus—explains the science behind climate change, how it affects specific nations today, and the far more dismal afflictions that are just around the corner unless nations can get their acts together. The 10 hottest years in human history have occurred since the turn of the century. The major cause, atmospheric carbon dioxide, is not only rising faster than ever, but will continue to rise for decades after we stop adding to it—which we are doing at an alarming rate. Shrinking ice at the Earth’s poles may be of less concern than the vanishing snowpack and glaciers at the so-called “Third Pole”: the Himalayas, which serve as a source of water for over 1 billion people. Readers may find modest hope in the obligatory how-to-fix-it final chapters. Many world leaders worry about climate change, and some are trying to help. This is not the case in the United States, where, bizarrely, the subject has become politicized. Democrats accept its reality, and Nesbit praises former President Barack Obama for his warnings, neglecting to add that he took no action. Still, this is preferable to Congressional Republicans who consider it a liberal affectation. Thus, offended on discovering a CIA research project on the effect of global warming on national security, they cut off funding.
An above-average example of the stream of similar books pouring off the presses. That there is a large audience for this genre is a cause for optimism—perhaps the only one.