An airy survey of the effects of climate through history and prehistory, from the initial case of “planetary flatulence” that created Earth’s atmosphere to the effects of whale poop, the computer industry and less-frequent bathing on levels of greenhouse gases.
Christie presents a disjointed but roughly chronological series of observations beneath jokey questions like “Who put the lizard in blizzard?” (about dinosaurs in the Antarctic) and “What is it with kids these days?” (about El Niño and La Niña). The book is not without flaw. The author confuses “stalactite” with “stalagmite,” seldom brings in facts to support his claims, and fails to draw credible connections between climate change and events like the Viking discovery of North America, the building of cathedrals in Medieval Europe, or the destruction of the Spanish Armada. Nevertheless, in general, readers will come away with a better picture of climate’s long-term effects and the forces that govern it. Lame jokes, the occasional simple “Clim-ACTivity” and Kinnaird’s cartoon vignettes further lighten the informational load. The author cites sources for his information (though not specific pages) in endnotes.
A broadly focused look at the topic, neither systematic nor forceful, but well designed for browsers with casual interest or short attention spans. (bibliography) (Nonfiction. 9-12)