Hothouse Earth by Bill McGuire [7/10]

Bill McGuire, a British volcanologist of repute, has, with his “Hothouse Earth: An Inhabitant’s Guide,” written a steely-eyed post-COP26 assessment of Earth’s and humanity’s prospects within the unfolding climate crisis. It is sure to ignite yet another hot debate about the plusses and downsides of doomsaying but the author, although bleak in his worldview, is never less than fair with his judgments. He wastes little time with the denialists, instead laying out the science, including the gaps in climate science and the unknown risks with tipping points, and then walking through the upcoming predictions for heat, floods, fires, storms, famines, diseases, and so on and so on. I expected to be laid low by his confident pessimism (the likelihood of +1.5C are slim and +2C is at risk) but instead came away much better informed (and, given that I read a lot on the subject, that is itself a wonderment with this book) and ready for witnessing and action. Hothouse Earth indeed: you must devour it and weep and gnash teeth and take positive steps.

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