Thursday, October 25, 2007

High Tide: The Truth About Our Climate Crisis, by Mark Lynas

Fantastic book about climate change and the early impact of global warming that is already disrupting human and animal life. Lynas takes a world tour of global hotspots, and reports on how extreme weather, sea level rise, and changing climactic conditions are affecting them.

Wondering how a glacier his father photographed in Peru in the 1970's was faring set Lynas off on a fascinating journey.

From tipsy forests in Alaska (no, not drunk, but leaning because of permafrost thaw) to taro plots in Tuvalu that are dying because of daily inundations of sea water, Lynas sees the evidence that we are already in what is being called the anthropogenic era - a man-made climate.

Although this book is already out of date (Lynas's figures suggest that nations will have more time to solve our problems than we will- more recent reports, including the IPCC's latest offering suggest that we are experiencing climate change at rates hardly mentioned in early projections) it is more of a travelogue of what is being lost than an argument, so I don't think it loses any power by being 3 years old. If anything, reading it is even more sobering, knowing that those tipsy forests are degrees of magnitude vaster, that Tuvalu is evacuating, that even more glaciers are gone. His writing is accessable and smooth.

Quality: 10 Popularity: 5 Overall: 15

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