Convincing, painful, and a long shot—but better than the alternative.



A strictly science-based plan for effectively addressing the dire realities of climate change.

Geneticist and science writer Cox begins with bad news, although good news is rarely in evidence. Earth’s average temperature is now 2.2 degrees higher than in the pre–fossil fuel era. This may sound trivial, but it is anything but. A rise of another half degree will produce widespread human suffering, but we are on course for a catastrophic nearly 6 degree rise by 2100. Activists advocate the Green New Deal plan that cuts carbon emissions to zero through transition to an economy running on non-fossil energy. After expressing admiration, Cox adds that it won’t work. As he writes, the assumption that “renewable energy coming on line each year will be matched by an equivalent amount of coal-, oil-, or gas-fired capacity going off line” is wrong. So far, it’s mostly added to the total energy pool. It’s imperative that we stop using fossil fuels and ditch our obsessions with economic growth, new technology, and quick-fix (and ineffective), market-oriented approaches such as carbon taxes. Cox proposes to ban all mining and extraction, possibly after nationalizing the fossil fuel industries. More realistic than the average activist, he points out that clean sources can’t replace these in the foreseeable future, so the world will have to get along with less energy. Since the poor benefit under the Green New Deal, the burden will fall on the wealthy and upper middle classes, whose standard of living may drop to that of Denmark or Switzerland, nations that use half the energy of the U.S. Cox’s audience, deeply worried about global warming, may protest that his prescriptions seem unrealistic as well as political poison. Anticipating this, he delivers a blunt rebuttal: “Weaning ourselves off high levels of energy use now is good practice for a future in which a weaning is going to happen, like it or not.”

Convincing, painful, and a long shot—but better than the alternative.

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-87286-806-9

Page Count: 200

Publisher: City Lights

Review Posted Online: April 7, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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The Johnstown Flood was one of the greatest natural disasters of all time (actually manmade, since it was precipitated by a wealthy country club dam which had long been the source of justified misgivings). This then is a routine rundown of the catastrophe of May 31st, 1889, the biggest news story since Lincoln's murder in which thousands died. The most interesting incidental: a baby floated unharmed in its cradle for eighty miles.... Perhaps of local interest-but it lacks the Lord-ly touch.

Pub Date: March 18, 1968

ISBN: 0671207148

Page Count: 312

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1968

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A straightforward, carefully detailed presentation of how ``fruit comes from flowers,'' from winter's snow-covered buds through pollination and growth to ripening and harvest. Like the text, the illustrations are admirably clear and attractive, including the larger-than-life depiction of the parts of the flower at different stages. An excellent contribution to the solidly useful ``Let's-Read-and-Find-Out-Science'' series. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 30, 1992

ISBN: 0-06-020055-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1991

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