Conversations, Reading Guides, VOLUME 12

The Science of Climate Change [A Reading List ]

Climate change is one of the most pressing threats to humanity and to the life of creation. Although it has been disputed by politicians, the scientific community unequivocally stands behind the grim view that science lays out for us. 

 
As one of the hottest heat waves in recent memory has just swept over the United States,  we offer this list of essential books on understanding the science of climate change and the disputes that it has spawned…

Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

Bill McKibben

We need to acknowledge that we’ve waited too long, and that massive change is not only unavoidable but already under way. Our old familiar globe is suddenly melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen. We’ve created, in very short order, a new planet, still recognizable but fundamentally different. We may as well call it Eaarth.

                     
Our hope depends, McKibben argues, on scaling back — on building the kind of societies and economies that can hunker down, concentrate on essentials, and create the type of community (in the neighborhood, but also on the Internet) that will allow us to weather trouble on an unprecedented scale. Change — fundamental change — is our best hope on a planet suddenly and violently out of balance.

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3 Comments

  1. As a climate change skeptic, it would be helpful to see author bios – or something that provides a better sense of the credentials of the person writing the book

  2. Walt, a good and reasonable suggestion. Thanks!
    Reality is that I likely might not have the time to update the post in this way.
    (Guess it’s easy enough for folks to drop an author’s name into Google?)

  3. Failed Climate Disaster Predictions
    sea level rise https://www.salon.com/control/2001/10/23/weather
    ice-free arctic http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7139797.stm
    not ice-free https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/arctic-sea-ice/

    The arctic ice trend from 1980, just after all the “New Ice Age” predictions (Time magazine, Newsweek, etc.) is down. But there has been a rebound from the 2012 low. Regardless of the trends, the prediction for ice-free by 2013 was off by millions of square kilometers or over a million square miles. In other words: epic fail.

    As for the issue of “settled science” and the idea that there is a overwhelming consensus of approaching disaster: the way we know that scientific theories are valid is that they make predictions that come true. Accurate predictions are the “gold standard” of science. Climate science has a long history of failed predictions, which strongly suggests that the science is not settled. (Actually “settled science” and “scientific consensus” are oxymorons, as has been demonstrated numerous times in the last 100 years.)