Book Review: UNDER A WHITE SKY, Elizabeth Kolbert

Greenland’s ice is melting, fast!  (Noah built an ark.)  Foto: Caspar Haarløv/AP  [fair use]

Did you know that, early within our civil history, there have been dramatic events (“D–O events”) when sea levels rose a foot per decade, and average temperatures swung wildly; and that history is now about to repeat these?   (In 2019 there was enough meltwater coming off Greenland to fill a pool the size of California to a depth of four feet?)  Elizabeth Kolbert, a prominent science journalist, tells this story so well . . . but we, oh well, we continue to row, row, row our boat . . . merrily : “What, me worry”?

Her book, UNDER A WHITE SKY: The Nature of the Future, is mostly about the inevitable need for geoengineering as remediation for our abuse of nature. I found the first half to be mostly appetizers for the main course, which is served steaming, based on irrefutable historical records locked into ice cores, and confirmed by other natural records (pollen, ash, tree rings, etc). She introduces us to colorful expert characters who are realists, and  are candid in sharing their evidence.

If you don’t like horror stories or thrillers (or pandemics) maybe it’s time to book a vacation on another planet, as there is no vaccine for climate change.

NOTE:  I am donating my copy of this book to Merida English Library.  MEL also has my donated copy of her earlier book, Sixth Extinction, which won a Pultizer.

 

 

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TOBACCO SMOKE, & MIRRORS

by Stuart Palley/EPA

Remember when ? —

the tobacco industry lied to Congress, while having 50 years of hard evidence in its files that tobacco smoke causes cancer? “Cigarette smoking is no more ‘addictive’ than coffee, tea or Twinkies.”

President Eisenhower lied to the public about a spy plane flying over Russia, instead being a weather plane that went off course?

President Johnson lied about Vietnam: “We are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.”

 President Trump lies about climate change, even tho’ 13 of his federal agencies find it real.  

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Powerful essay linked here about the rights of children to a stable climate:

House hearings are being held during which members learned, for example, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations were last this high three million years ago when the planet was 2º to 3º Celsius warmer, sea levels were 75 feet higher and beech trees grew in Antarctica and the current rate of warming is unprecedented in over 50 million years.

Both sides of the aisle fiddle, while Rome burns!  Speak out, or choke. (see comment)

The fire of Rome, by Hubert Robert, 1771