Body Count by Paddy Manning [7/10]

In “Body Count,” journalist Paddy Manning has travelled our vast continent of Australia, seeking and talking to the victims of what are now the self-evident impacts of the climate emergency. In clear, empathetic prose, he explores the tragedies, slams the villains, and hails the heroes. Successive chapters cover fire, heat, flood (this was an eye opener to me), disease, and breakdown. One of the more intriguing aspects of Body Count is varied are the responses to Manning’s perennial question to survivors or relatives of victims: how much do you believe climate change contributed to this event? Manning makes his own view crystal clear but generously allows his interviewees full scope to range across the full spectrum of possible responses. A penultimate chapter offers an optimistic message and his final words address his conviction that our Coronavirus pandemic is twinned to climate change. Solid in exposition, revelatory in the breadth of warming impacts upon Australia, Body Count packs a much-needed wallop.

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