By Climate Central
Pantheon, $22.95, 214 pages
Much of what we read or see on TV seems geared to make us feel fearful or guilty. Before reading Global Weirdness, both negative emotions sat alongside the idea of humankind destroying the world at breakneck speeds. While the book is not exactly comforting, it does present current scientific knowledge, possible future scenarios, and the sliver of change we may be able to contribute in order to save ourselves and our planet.
The organization of the book into short chapters is suited to our decreasing ability to concentrate. Touches of humor blended with common sense leave the overall threat in place but distance the reader from any sense of imminent catastrophe. We no longer need to panic every time a lump of iceberg detaches itself.
In admitting scientists are not omnipotent, and explaining the significant role oceans play and the multiple causes of greenhouse gases, makes the book enjoyable to read as well as seriously informative. The authors suggest most sixth-graders could understand all they read here, and I don’t doubt it. It’s we older folk who have been struggling with the new terminology and the implications.
Reviewed by Jane Manaster