Fire, Storm and Flood by James Dyke [5/10]

Fire, Storm and Flood: The Violence of Climate Change” is labelled “a photographic record” of the climate emergency, and is structured as stunning stock photos, each accompanied by a couple of pages of fluent narrative prose. The author, a British Earth systems scientist, has artfully selected vignettes and climate tales from around the world and through time. As a collection of short essays on aspects of climate change occurring now or forecast to occur with certainty, it is timely. Essays that impacted me included the one of back to back photos of a glacier now and decades ago; the heavily populated Thar Desert across Pakistan and India; the ignominy of the Athabasca Oil Sands; the 2018 China heatwave; and Death Valley temperatures approaching wet bulb death levels. Although useful and often compelling, I pined for a cogent narrative through-line to shape for my reading, and I was irritated by the book’s progressive timeline which is small and unreadable on a tablet. Fire, Storm and Flood is worth considering if you are hungry for global warming stories.

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